Round three is upon us. Friday evening at TD Garden, the Eagles and Terriers will be battling for a Comm. Ave. triumph and a spot in the Hockey East Championship game. Following a 1-1 series tie in the regular season, top-seeded BC will be looking to take the season series in a pivotal matchup.
In a mirror image of last year’s tournament semifinals, BC will be hoping for similar results against BU in this year’s bout. The Eagles edged the Terries 3-2 before falling to UMass Lowell in the finals last season.
However, BC first had to take care of business against Merrimack in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. In a best-of-three series against the tenth-seeded Warriors, the end result was positive, but the play was not all that pretty.
In the first game on Friday night, Merrimack out-shot the Eagles 37-13, but star goaltender Joseph Woll stood tall the entire game, stopping all 37 attempts for his third career shutout.
Although the Warriors seemed to control the pace for a vast majority of the game, BC broke through on a Connor Moore power play goal with just under four minutes remaining in the second period. They held on from there for the key 1-0 win.
The following day, the offense stepped it up to a tune of four goals. Yet, none was bigger than the overtime game-winner off the stick of freshman winger Christopher Grando.
While the Eagles and Warriors were knotted at 3-3 through 60 minutes, only five more minutes were needed before Grando broke free for an unassisted, short-handed goal to punch BC’s ticket to the semifinals.
After the series, Coach York was quick to note the Warriors’ fight. Coming down to Conte, they “battled us tooth and nail for a chance to go down to the Garden.” In these conference tournaments with national bids on the line, York said, “The hardest thing…is to take the sticks away from another team,” but the Eagles showed just enough resilience to sweep the series.
The Eagles are now a perfect 4-0 against Merrimack this season after defeating the Warriors two games in a row early last November.
Now, all eyes will be set on the Terriers. Just like the Eagles, BU has not dropped a match since mid-February, but something’s got to give this Friday night at the Garden.