NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Entering Saturday’s game against UMass, Merrimack was aware of its Hockey East playoff fate. By virtue of Maine’s 1-0 victory earlier in the afternoon over New Hampshire, the Black Bears clinched the final home ice position and Merrimack as their opponent. However, there was still much for the Warriors to play for, as concluding the regular season with a win and a run in the conference playoffs could yield an NCAA bid.
Saturday night, the Warriors accomplished one portion of their goal, defeating UMass, 5-3, at Lawler Arena behind a dominate third period. Merrimack scored three-consecutive goals to neutralize a 2-1 deficit entering the frame to earn the victory.
With the loss, the Minutemen settled for the eighth seed and will face Hockey East regular season champion Boston College in Chestnut Hill.