Men’s Hockey: Farrance nets two, BU beats Merrimack 7-2

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By: Denny Hackett

In a Martin Luther King Jr. day matinee, the Terriers (9-9-3) cruised past the Merrimack Warriors (7-17-1) behind two goals from David Farrance and an excellent performance in net from Jake Oettinger.

With the win on Monday, the Terriers won their fourth straight Hockey East matchup while setting their season high in goals at seven scored against the Warriors.

In what was a back and forth first period between the Terriers and the Warriors, Merrimack opened the scoring with an even strength goal from freshman forward Chase Gresock at 8:50 in the period.

However, the Terriers quickly responded with a David Farrance power play goal just six minutes after the Warriors broke the tie. Then with just under a minute to play in the period, senior forward Ryan Cloonan netted his first goal of the season to give the Terriers a 2-1 lead going into the break.

For the second straight game Cloonan played on the first line and BU Head Coach Albie O’Connell was happy with his performance against Merrimack. He said, “He’s been very solid we were just waiting for him to break out and he scored a really nice goal, so hopefully that gives him a little bit of confidence.”

After nine minutes of even play from both teams to start the second, BU forward Max Willman scored his first goal of the season on the penalty kill after a turnover by Merrimack in the neutral zone left him one on one with the goalie. For the Terriers, this is the second straight game they have scored a shorthanded goal and the seventh overall this season.

Just four minutes after Willman’s goal, forward Patrick Harper gave the Terriers a 4-1 lead after a rebound bounced off of Merrimack goalie Craig Pantano. However, Merrimack forward Logan Drevitch cut the Terrier lead to two just 20 seconds after Harper’s goal.

While it seemed like momentum was shifting toward Merrimack at the end of the second period, the Terriers absolutely blew their doors off in the third period. In a flurry, the Terriers scored three goals in the first ten minutes of the third. Dante Fabbro and Shane Bowers both scored power play goals while Farrance netted his second of the game on even strength. The game against the Warriors was the first time in Farrance’s Terrier career that he scored two goals in one game.

McConnell praised Farrance after the game when he said “He’s pretty consistently good at moving the puck, it’s nice to see he’s got a hard shot, it’s nice to see him put some pucks on net. He’s very good.”

With the game under wraps with the Terriers up 7-2 the teams broke out into a mess with players on both sides being sent to the penalty box with 7:30 left to go in the game. BU forward Logan Cockerill was handed a five minute major for fighting and was disqualified from the game while Merrimack defenseman Alex Carle and forward Logan Drevitch were each given two minute roughing minors. However, both teams made it through the penalties without surrendering a goal.

In Monday’s contest, the Terriers’ special teams unit was on fire with three power play goals and one shorthanded goal while also not allowing a goal on the penalty kill. After the game Cloonan said, “It was big to get our power play going, especially confidence wise. The PK was also just as big, stopping them every time. So hopefully we can carry this into the future.”

In the waning minutes of the game BU goalie Jake Oettinger made a couple of fantastic saves on the Warriors back to back, including a glove handed save before spinning around to swat the puck away with his stick on the opposite side of the net to prevent the goal. On the day Oettinger made 30 saves in net while allowing just the two goals.

Now the Terriers stay at home and prepare for back to back games against Arizona State this weekend on Friday and Saturday night.

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