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Trust and Believe: Merrimack Set to Face BC in Quarterfinals 15 Years After Exter Injury


It’s crazy to think that the head injury to former Merrimack goaltender Joe Exter happened 15 years ago today, on March 7, 2003.

It was Game 1 of the Hockey East Quarterfinals at Conte Forum, and Exter had raced out of his crease for a loose puck when Patrick Eaves collided with him, dislodging his helmet and smashing his head against the ice. Exter was in intensive care at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston for weeks, but made an incredible recovery, skating just two months later and signing a contract with the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins a few months after that. Today, Exter is an assistant coach at Michigan State.

It’s also crazy to think that so many Merrimack hockey fans don’t know this story; but the fact is, many of our readers and followers of the program today weren’t following the program 15 years ago.

This weekend, Merrimack and BC will play in the quarterfinals for the first time since that 2003 series.

ESPN ran a feature on Exter about one year after the injury:

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN


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