By: Denny Hackett
After picking up a point against Providence on Thursday, the Terriers (13-15-4) will be playing for a chance at home ice advantage in the Hockey East playoffs in Saturday’s matchup with Merrimack (4-17-2).
The Warriors are currently on a ten game streak without a win, tying two and losing eight over that span and are out of the running for spot in the playoffs in two weeks. The teams have split the season series so far with the Terriers taking the win at Agganis 7-2 on January 21 and the Warriors winning 4-0 back in October.
For Merrimack, freshman forward Chase Gresok leads the way in goals with 11 and is second to senior forward Derek Petti’s 14 assists with 13 of his own. The Terriers will likely see Craig Pantano in net who sports a 3.43 goals against average to go along with a .893 save percentage.
The Terriers are currently in fifth place in the Hockey East Standings behind Northeastern and UMass Lowell who are tied at 27 points with BU just two points behind them. On Friday the Huskies fell to BC 3-1 while the Riverhawks lost to UNH 1-0.
While the losses help the Terriers’ cause, they will likely still need to win their last two games in order have a shot at home ice when the Hockey East Playoffs begin in two weeks. BU also needs Lowell to lose its remaining two games in order to jump them in the standings because the Riverhawks hold the advantage in league wins. However, BU holds the tiebreaker over the Huskies so the Terriers would take home ice if they finish with the same amount of points.
For senior night, the Terriers will be celebrating two seniors on Saturday, forwards Bobo Carpenter and Ryan Cloonan. After missing just a handful of games in his first three years as a Terrier Carpenter has effectively been sidelined since the beginning of the Spring Semester. He has missed ten straight games since a 4-2 win over the University of Arizona back on January 25. It is still currently unclear when Carpenter will return for the Terriers but they certainly miss his presence on the ice.
In his career, Carpenter has played 138 games and has scored 56 goals to go along with 45 assists. One of the highlights of Carpenter’s career was an eight game point streak back during his sophomore season in 2016-2017.
Last season the North Reading native tallied an assist on the game-winning goal in the Hockey East semis against Boston College while also scoring the game-winning goal against UCONN in the quarterfinals. Before his injury this season, Carpenter served as the team’s captain.
As for Cloonan, the East Longmeadow native has played in 112 games for the Terriers, scoring six goals and 22 assists along the way. Some of the bigger highlights of Cloonan’s career go back to his freshman season when he played in all 39 games and was a three-time Hockey East top performer that season.
The regular season is winding its way to a close and the next two games are must win matchups for the Terriers if they want to have a chance at home ice in the playoffs.