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Hockey East: Merrimack, BU Skate to 1-1 Draw

Boston University junior Matt Lane scored the game tying goal 1:37 into the third period.
Boston University junior Matt Lane scored the game tying goal 1:37 into the third period.
Matt Dewkett

NORTH ANDOVER -- Third period magic struck again for the Terriers in a tough environment. Boston University erased a second period deficit to salvage a 1-1 tie and a hard fought one point on the road against Merrimack on Friday night in front of 2,549 at Lawler Rink.

"It was a hard earned point on the road. It's not an easy building to play in. That's a good team. They're well coached. They make you earn every inch of the ice. It was a good goal in the third period to tie it," said BU head coach David Quinn.

The small ice surface at Merrimack makes the play seem much faster and it definitely had a negative effect on the Terriers.

"Without question," said Quinn when asked if the rink could limit skilled players like star freshman Jack Eichel. "There's not a lot of room out there. That's why you need to move the puck quicker and not allow them to smother you which they're very good at," added the second year bench boss.

Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy wasn't pleased his team didn't come away with two points after holding a lead after 40 minutes, but he seemed satisfied with some aspects of the contest.

"It was fun. That was a great environment here tonight. Two good teams playing hard. There were some really good players out there. When you have a lead going into the third period you don't like to come away with anything but a win, but I thought we played pretty well," commented Dennehy.

According to Dennehy, his team didn't talk much about Boston University or "number nine" in practice during the week. The Warriors did a good job of limiting space, asserting their forecheck and keeping Eichel in check for the most part.

"We talked about what we needed to do. I thought we did a really good job of shrinking the rink and possessing the puck down low. The best defense is keeping the puck in their end," explained Dennehy.

Merrimack struck first 1:07 into the second period on Brett Seney's team-leading sixth goal of the season. Seney, after receiving an outlet pass from Marc Biega, zipped into the offensive zone and used a defenseman as a screen to roof a shot past the outstretched glove of BU goaltender Matt O'Connor.

"Biega made a nice pass to me cross-ice. I had some speed and saw their [defenseman] backing in so I just kind of tried to get a shot through. I saw high glove and luckily it went in for me," said Seney.

The Terriers evened the score 1:37 into the third period on a goal just seven seconds after a power play had expired. Continuing to work hard down low Matt Lane was able to push towards the net front and jam the puck past Merrimack goalie Collin Delia.

Boston University went 0-for-6 on the power play while Merrimack went 0-for-7 in a game that was choppy as it seemed there was a special teams opportunity every few minutes of game time.

"I thought we were immense on the penalty kill. I'm sure Mark feels the same way," said Quinn.

Merrimack and Boston University conclude their two-game weekend series on Saturday night at Agganis Arena.


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