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BU dominates Merrimack to advance to Hockey East semifinals

Matt Grzelcyk and the Terriers swept Merrimack and advanced to the Hockey East semifinals.
Matt Grzelcyk and the Terriers swept Merrimack and advanced to the Hockey East semifinals.
Matt Dewkett

Boston, Mass. -- Jack Eichel assisted on three Boston University goals as the Terriers cruised past Merrimack, 5-0, to sweep the series and advance to next weekend's Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden.

It was as dominant a performance as David Quinn could ask for in his team's final preparation before the single elimination part of the post-season begins.

"I'm really happy for our guys. I'm really proud of the way we played the whole weekend, all six periods. We really kept our composure. We stuck with what we needed to do to have success," said the second year coach of the Terriers.

After a scoreless first period the Terriers finally got on the board with a shorthanded tally 4:11 into the second. Cason Hohmann carried the puck through the neutral zone on a two-on-one before passing the puck to Eichel. The freshman patiently waited to draw the Merrimack defender before pulling the puck back and sending a perfect pass right back to Hohmann for an easy goal.

Ahti Oksanen scored a power play goal just over a minute later and Danny O'Regan scored a pretty goal with 2:20 left in the middle frame to give BU a 3-0 lead after two. The Terriers held a commanding 24-2 edge in shots on goal during the period.

"We had a net front presence in the offensive zone. We did a good job taking away time and space. We battled hard along the walls," said Quinn. "We turned it up a notch in the second period."

Matt Grzelcyk and Hohmann added shorthanded empty net goals in the final minutes of the game for the 5-0 final. The Terriers outshot Merrimack, 55-27, on the game. Matt O'Connor made 26 saves before giving way to post-graduate Anthony Moccia, who made one stop.

Rasmus Tirronen made 50 saves in his final collegiate game in the tough luck loss for Merrimack. The Espoo, Finland native finished the season with a .929 save percentage, the best in school history at the Division I level.

The Terriers await Sunday's results to find out their opponent in Friday's Hockey East semifinals at the TD Garden. BU could face UMass Lowell, Notre Dame, Vermont or New Hampshire depending on how the results go in the three game threes on Sunday.

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Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.