BOSTON -- Good evening everyone and happy Hockey East playoff time!
Welcome to Agganis Arena on the campus of Boston University where the host and third-seeded Terriers welcome their in-state conference rivals, the No. 6 Merrimack Warriors for the first of a best-of-three quarterfinal series this weekend.
Quarterfinals and Commonwealth Avenue have become synonymous for the Terriers as they have earned home ice in each of the first nine years of Agganis' existence, hosting all nine conference opponents in that stretch. BU's last road game in the quarterfinals came in a three-game victory over Boston College in 2004.
Additionally, BU has at least one win in each of the last 20 Hockey East tournaments, a streak currently twice as long as any other school. The Terriers earned the third seed for the fourth straight year after winning a three-way tiebreaker for third place with Providence and New Hampshire. However, BU has played to three-game series in each of the last six years.
BU swept its season series with the Warriors, posting road wins on Nov. 9 and Jan. 11 by a combined 7-2 score, before a 5-2 home win on Feb. 26. Senior captain Wade Megan's shorthanded on Jan. 11 was the lone goal in the three games not scored at even-strength.
After missing the tournament from 2004-09, the Warriors are in for the fourth straight year, a stretch that began with a three-game set at Agganis in 2010.
Click here for my comprehensive series preview.
Here are the full starting line-ups:
Mike Collins - Shawn Bates - Josh Myers
John Gustafsson - Brian Christie - Ben Bahe
Kyle Singleton - Rhett Bly - Quinn Gould
Justin Hussar - Vinny Scotti - Connor Toomey
Justin Mansfield - Jordan Heywood
Brendan Ellis - Dan Kolomatis
Sean Robertson - Kyle Bigos
Sam Marotta (12-9-4, 2.18, .927)
Wade Megan - Cason Hohmann - Sahir Gill
Matt Nieto - Danny O'Regan - Evan Rodrigues
Matt Lane - Ben Rosen - Sam Kurker
Mike Moran - Ryan Santana - Jake Moscatel
Sean Escobedo - Ryan Ruikka
Ahti Oksanen - Patrick MacGregor
Matt Grzelcyk - Matt Ronan
Sean Maguire (10-7-0, .919, 2.72)
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.