Copponi: "I just had to put it in the basket"
BOSTON — Matt Copponi’s overtime goal propelled the Warriors to the Hockey East Championship game. The Warriors will take on Boston University Saturday night back at TD Garden.
Merrimack had a faceoff in the offensive zone, which Copponi won to the wall. After a shot was blocked, the puck ricocheted to Ottoville Leppanen. He forced Lowell goaltender Gustavs David Grigals to slide out of his crease and overplay the angle. Leppanen was then able to find Copponi alone in front.
“There was about as much white there as I could ever see,” Copponi said. “It was a great play from Leppanen. He took the goalie all the way across the crease and I just had t put it in the basket.”
Merrimack won its second game in a row in double overtime. The Warriors beat BC in the Hockey East quarterfinals last Saturday in double overtime.
The win also extended Merrimack’s winning streak to seven games. This is Merrimack’s longest winning streak since it won eight games in a row in 2011. Ironically, that team was the only other Merrimack team to reach the Hockey East Championship game.
“We’ve been in this situation all year,” Copponi said. “We’ve been in OT several times. It takes heart to win these games. We didn’t stop. We put pressure on them and didn’t stop for a second. If you stop for a second, your season is over. Our leadership got that message across well.
“We want to do something that will change the world for this program,” Copponi added.
The Warriors are one win away from making that a reality.
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