Merrimack completes the weekend sweep of Boston College
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The last time Merrimack swept Boston College in a weekend series, Bill Clinton just began his second term as president of the United States, “Jerry Maguire” was the No. 1 movie at the box office, and “Seinfield” was the No. 1 show on television.
In other words, it’s been a long time since Feb. 14-15, 1997, when the Warriors won a pair of games (5-2, 11-5) to sweep a weekend series against the Eagles.
Merrimack beat Boston College, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum to sweep the series after Thursday’s 3-1 win at Lawler Arena. The win moved the Warriors to 6-3 (4-1 in Hockey East) on the season, and only two of those losses were in regulation.
It’s early to look at the Pairwise, but yesterday’s win moved Merrimack up to No. 17 in the nation. For now, they’re a top-20 team.
“It was a really good weekend for us,” said Merrimack coach Scott Borek. I thought that we showed a lack of maturity at times (on Saturday), but we worked through it which was a real positive. Zach (Borgiel) made some very big saves at the right time.”
Borgiel, who returned after missing a few games due to an undisclosed injury, made 27 saves and remains unbeaten (3-0) on the season.
Borgiel’s biggest saves came at the end of the second period, when the Warriors had to kill 1:15 of 5-on-3 time after a penalty to Mike Brown and a bench minor for too many men on the ice were called 45 seconds apart.
“He was huge there, and I thought that was the point that the game really tilted toward us,” Borek said. “Getting through that situation was huge.”
Added Borgiel, “On the 5-on-5, the guys did a good job of taking away shot lanes and allowing me to see the puck. The expectation is if I see the puck, I should make the save.”
Borgiel also made saves on pucks he didn’t see.
“On those, I just try to get an initial read on the shot,” he said. “even if there’s traffic in front, you can figure out where the puck is going to go. At that point, you just have to fill space.”
Borgiel last played on Oct. 21 and shutout Colgate, 5-0. He didn’t dress the following night and dressed last weekend against UMass but wasn’t able to play. He got back to regular practice this week.
“I missed it,” he said. “Hockey is like riding a bike, once you get it going, you never forget hockey.”
This win moved the Warriors to third place in Hockey East with 12 points (.800 points percentage). They have a better points percentage than the two teams ahead of them (UConn and Northeastern) and are slightly behind UMass Lowell (.833) and Providence (.917) in the same categories.
It might be time to say it … it’s not that Merrimack caught BC on an “off night” this time around. Merrimack was just better. All weekend, with the exception of a few minutes in the second period on Saturday, the Warriors controlled the play.
“We got a W,” Borek said, “and that’s what we were here for.”
Ed Note - Portions of this story will appear in Sunday’s Eagle Tribune
Merrimack 5, Boston College 2 at Conte Forum Merrimack College (6-3-0): 2-1-2--5 Boston College (2-4-1): 1-0-2--2 First Period: 1. MC Ben Brar 4 (Filip Forsmark, Adam Arvedson), ev, 4:33; 2. BC Cutter Gauthier 3 (Trevor Kuntar) pp, 15:21; 3. MC Mark Hillier 2 (Alex Jefferies, Ottoville Leppanen), pp, 17:50. Second Period: 4. MC Mike Brown 1 (Will Calverley), ev, 19:21 Third Period: 5. MC Alex Jefferies 4 (unassisted), pp, 7:32; 6. MC Filip Forsmark 3 (Ben Brar), ev, 10:47; 7. BC Andre Gasseau 1 (Lukas Gustafsson, Oskar Jellvik), pp, 18:16. Shots: Merrimack 13-9-10--32; BC 3-17-9--29 Saves: MC Borgiel (59:21) 27/29; BC Benson (50:29) 21/26; BC Wilder (9:13) 6/6 Power Play: MC 2 for 7; BC 2 for 5 Penalties: MC 6-12:00; BC 8-16:00 Attendance: 4,101