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Hockey East Tournament: Merrimack, BC, UNH Head To The Garden

Three of the four Hockey East best of three quarterfinals were decided on Saturday evening, as Merrimack, Boston College and University of New Hampshire advanced to next weekend's finals at the TD Garden.

Boston College overcame a determined UMass Amherst team, 4-2. UMass Amherst senior Chase Langeraap got the Minutemen on the board first a mere 21 seconds into the game. BC couldn't answer until the middle of the second period, when junior Jimmy Hayes scored his first goal of the evening. Joe Whitney added another for the Eagles a few minutes later, but UMass Amherst would send the game to the second intermission tied up on a Michael Marcou goal. 

Halfway through the third period, Hayes got his second goal of the night, turning the game to BC's favor. He would grab the hat trick with an empty-net goal near the end of the game. The win eliminated UMass and allows BC to attempt to defend their Hockey East title. 

Merrimack decimated the University of Maine at a sold-out Lawler Arena Saturday night, 6-2. Propelled by a 9 point game by their all-rookie third line, Merrimack never allowed Maine to get into the game. Freshman Carter Madsen had a hat trick on the night, while linemate freshmen Ryan Flanigan had a goal and 3 assists. Merrimack was up 3-0 before Maine could get on the board with Brian Flynn's 20th goal of the season. The rest of the second period was marred with fights and penalties, but Merrimack jumped in a minute and a half into the third to go up 4-1 and essentially put the game out of Maine's sticks. This will mark just the second time Merrimack will advance to the Hockey East semifinals. 

Vermont gave the University of New Hampshire a scare Saturday night, but it was second seeded UNH that pulled out the 4-3 win. The first period between the two teams were scoreless, but Vermont got on the board first with a Ben Albertson goal. UNH answered with two goals in the second from Austin Block and Steve Moses. The third period started with a Paul Thompson goal for UNH, but UVM netted two goals to tie up the game, 3-3. But with three minutes left in the third, Mike Sislo netted the game-winner to advance UNH to the semifinal round. 

One quarterfinal round is left to be determined, as Boston University and Northeastern are the only series to head to a game 3, which will take place Sunday night at BU's Agganis Arena.