Eagles Complete Season Sweep of Merrimack

Eagles Complete Season Sweep of Merrimack

By: Nick Iati

The No. 4 Eagles took care of business in Conte Forum on Thursday night, taking down the Merrimack Warriors by a score of 6-1. Senior defenseman Jesper Mattila and freshman linemates Matt Boldy and Alex Newhook all had three-point nights in the victory.

The Eagles jumped on the Warriors from the opening puck drop, as Boldy ripped a shot past Merrimack goaltender Troy Kobryn just 1:20 into the game. Connor Moore supplied a nice pass to Boldy on the side of the net to earn the primary assist, his 7th of the year, and Newhook picked up the other helper on the goal.

BC continued to dominate in time of possession, and at the 8:30 mark of the period, David Cotton swatted a fluttering puck past a flailing Kobryn for his 14th goal of the season. The score came off a rebound after a wild sequence of events in front of the net, and Julius Mattila and Logan Hutsko picked up the assists as the Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

The Warriors just could not get anything going, and the Eagles asserted their dominance by outshooting Merrimack 15-3 in the frame.

After Newhook and Merrimack’s Logan Drevitch drew coincidental high sticking penalties at 19:46 of the first period, Jesper Mattila scored a 4-on-4 goal just 0:51 into the second period. Jesper tipped the puck through Kobryn’s five-hole off a nifty feed from his twin brother, Julius, in transition to secure his 2nd goal of the season. The play was reviewed after a Merrimack challenge for offsides, and even though it looked like Warriors head coach Scott Borek may have had a legitimate gripe, the goal was upheld and the Eagles’ lead was extended to three.

Just 4:37 later, Newhook ripped a one-timer past Kobryn on a 2-on-1 feed from Boldy as both freshmen stayed scorching hot. The goal was Newhook’s 18th of the year, good for 2nd among all NCAA rookies, and an assist later in the game represented his 39th point of the year, moving him into first among all NCAA rookies. Newhook also extended his point streak to nine games, during which he has recorded an astounding 20 points.

A physical sequence of events at the 11:12 mark led to a Luke McInnis minor slashing penalty and a five-minute kneeing major and game misconduct for Merrimack’s Liam Walsh. Just over three minutes later, the Warriors finally got on the board after Mac Welsher tallied a shorthanded goal in transition on a wrist shot past Spencer Knight’s glove. Welsher’s 7th goal of the season was assisted by Dominic Dockery and Kobryn and cut the Eagles’ lead to 4-1.

After Knight and the Eagles killed off a subsequent Jack McBain high sticking penalty, Mike Hardman finished a beautiful centering feed from Newhook at the 19:31 mark of the second period to put the Eagles back up by four. The all-freshman line of Hardman-Newhook-Boldy is now responsible for 38 points since being formed just six games ago.

The Eagles weren’t done just yet, as Boldy went top shelf on Kobryn after a filthy deke at the 9:49 mark of the third period for his 2nd goal of the game and 9th of the season. Boldy has broken through in a big way since the turn of the calendar, and last night marked his fourth three-point performance in the last six games.

With 2:33 remaining in the game, BC relieved Knight and gave Adin Farhat, a junior goaltender from the club team, his first taste of varsity action. He did not face any shots on goal.

Boldy’s final goal put the nail in the coffin on the game and the Warriors’ 2019-20 season, as Merrimack concludes the year 9-22-3 overall and 7-14-3 in Hockey East play, placing them tenth in the conference. They will not make the conference tournament.

Meanwhile, BC picked up its sixth straight win and moves to 22-8-1 overall and 15-6-0 in Hockey East play. Looking ahead, the Eagles travel up Commonwealth Avenue on Saturday night to play Boston University and then close out the regular season with a home-and-home series against the University of New Hampshire next weekend. The Eagles need to win just one of their remaining three regular season games to clinch a first place finish in the Hockey East before the conference playoffs begin the weekend of March 13.