Merrimack can't keep pace with No. 16 BU

BOSTON — When a team scores six goals, they should win the hockey game. But that wasn’t the case for Merrimack last night at No. 16 Boston University, as the Warriors dropped an 8-6 decision to the Terriers at Agganis Arena.

“We have to defend better,” Merrimack head coach Scott Borek said. “We can’t score six goals and lose a hockey game. We played their hockey. We played a transition game against Boston University. That’s not our bread-and-butter. We need to understand and play to our identity better.”

In the opening game of the series on Friday, Merrimack forced BU to play its style. Friday’s game at Lawler Arena was a physical brawl, and the Warriors skated away with a 3-2 victory. Saturday night the Terriers dictated the pace, and the Warriors had a stretch at the end of the first period where they had absolutely no answers for BU.

The Terriers scored the first goal of the game just over two minutes into the first period but the Warriors had a response in the form of Filip Forsmark on the power play just one minute later. That was the last response Merrimack had for a while.

BU scored four straight goals, including three to close out the first period, and opened up a 5-1 lead midway through the second period. 

“We obviously didn’t start well,” Borek said. “They jumped on us but we should have anticipated that. We should have known that they were going to come after us. We showed immaturity on our part. I liked how we battled the whole game and we climbed back.”

After the fourth goal, Borek pulled starter Zach Borgiel.

“That had nothing to do with Zach,” Borek said. “That had everything to do with us not protecting him the way we should. I thought that maybe if we go to Troy (Kobryn), we’ll protect him better because of the situation. We did at times, but we didn’t do it consistently.”

Every time it looked like Merrimack was going to get itself back into the game, the Terriers answered quickly. 

The Warriors scored twice - from Zach Vinnell and another goal from Forsmark — late in the second, but the Terriers found the net again with 10 seconds left to stretch their lead back to three goals at the second intermission. 

Declan Carlile cut the deficit to two goals again for the Warriors at the 2:03 mark of the third, but once again the Warriors couldn’t keep their foot on the gas and the Brian Carrabes made it another three-goal game 21 seconds later.

Merrimack cut the deficit to 7-5 almost halfway through the third period after Vinnell stepped into a puck that was deflected off a blocked shot and blasted it past Drew Commesso for his second goal of the game and the teams traded goals later in the third, including a third goal for Vinnell, who notched his first career hat trick.

“We had to get on our toes,” Borek said. “We had plenty of chances to get back in that game. We did a good job of trying to climb back. We just dug too deep of a hole.”

Merrimack will face the defending national champions, UMass Minutemen, in a home-and-home series next weekend. The two-game set will begin at Lawler Arena on Friday night.

Game Notes

Merrimack wore its road blue shirts and BU wore its home white jerseys. … Vinnell’s hat trick was the first hat trick by a Merrimack defenseman since Karl Stollery scored three goals against RIT on Jan. 1, 2011. ... Merrimack had the advantage on faceoffs 41-32 and the Warriors outshot the Terriers 32-30. BU out-attempted Merrimack 66-52. ... The Warriors were penalized twice for too many men on the ice. 

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#16 Boston University 8, Merrimack 6
at Agganis Arena
Merrimack College (3-3-0): 1-2-3—6
Boston University (3-3-0): 4-2-2—8
First Period: 1. BU Ty Amonte (Tyler Boucher, Ty Gallagher), 2:22; 2. MC Filip Forsmark (Liam Walsh, Logan Drevitch), pp, 3:29; 3. BU Dylan Peterson (Nick Zabaneh, Ty Gallagher), ev, 4:38; 4. BU Robert Mastrosimone (Wilmer Skoog, Alex Vlasic), ev, 8:52; 5. BU Dylan Peterson (unassisted), sh, 11:51.
Second Period: 6. BU Wilmer Skoog (Robert Mastrosimone, Joseph Campolieto), ev, 8:15; 7. MC Zach Vinnell (Liam Walsh, Logan Drevitch), pp, 14:17; 8. MC Filip Forsmark (Declan Carlile, Zach Uens), pp, 18:30; 9. BU Dylan Peterson (Nick Zabaneh, Alex Vlasic), ev, 19:50.
Third Period: 10. MC Declan Carlile (Max Newton, Mick Messner), ev, 2:03; 11. BU Brian Carrabes (Ty Gallagher), ev, 2:24; 12. MC Zach Vinnell (Matt Copponi, Mark Hillier), ev, 9:35; 13. BU Nick Zabaneh (Jamie Armstrong, Case McCarthy), ev, 18:06; 14. MC Zach Vinnell (Liam Dennison, Max Newton), ev, 18:53.
Shots: Merrimack 6-9-17—32; Boston University 8-16-6—30
Saves: MC Borgiel (11:11) 2/6, Kobryn (47:47) 20/24; BU Commesso (59:59) 26/32
Power Play: Merrimack 3-8; BU 0-4
Penalties: Merrimack 5-10:00; BU 9-18:00