CHN Staff Report
Merrimack is headed to TD Garden for the first time since 2011, thanks to a 1-0 double overtime win over Boston College.
The Warriors finished second in the regular season, their highest-ever finish, but running into a team with the history of BC was never going to be easy, even if the Eagles were the eighth seed in this tournament.
Merrimack swept a home-and-home with the Eagles in November, but this was never going to be easy.
“I thought they played very well. I thought we did as well. I thought both teams left it on the ice,” Merrimack coach Scott Borek said. “It was a nothing-nothing game but holy cow, there were a lot of chances. Both goalies played very well.”
Senior Mick Messner, a Madison native who transferred from Wisconsin after his freshman year, scored on a shot from the left circle. He accepted a pass from Ryan Leibold that was a bit in his skates, but he managed to get the shot off and squeezed it past BC goalie Mitch Benson.
Borek was thrilled for that line, that also includes Jordan Seyfert, because most of the game they were tasked with stopping BC’s top line, which includes the explosive Cutter Gauthier.
“Awesome, awesome, such a good, positive thing and just, you know, that group of guys work so hard and they’re such team guys that they just do everything for the team and I was really happy to see that happen for him,” Borek said.
“Leibold’s line with Messner and Seyfert did a great job. Just respecting their job and doing what they had to do to be successful. I love that.”
The long game was taking its toll on both teams as it wore on. But Merrimack was able to rely on its four-line depth to keep going.
“It was adverse circumstances. Guys were cramping up and I’m sure both teams, but I only know about our guys and they just fought through it,” Borek said.
“I think our team was fresher. But it was important that we played everybody. There’s not a guy on our bench that I would feel comfortable sitting down. Like I just said, everybody’s playing pretty hard, everybody was playing pretty well.
“We had a couple guys cramp in different situations so had to play other players in those areas where they were playing, and it wasn’t about trying to score a goal.”
Neither team was giving an inch. In the first overtime, though, BC came out flying at first, and outshot the…
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