Sophomore forward Matt Copponi scored at 10:05 of the second overtime for the Warriors
Copponi Scores In Double OT To Send Merrimack Past UMass Lowell, 2-1, In Hockey East Semifinals
Sophomore forward Matt Copponi scored at 10:05 of the second overtime for the Warriors

Box Score - Highlights

BOSTON - Matt Coppani's goal at 10:05 of the second overtime gave second-seeded Merrimack a 2-1 victory over fifth-seeded UMass Lowell in the semifinals of the 38th annual Hockey East Championship Friday night at TD Garden. The Warriors move on to Saturday's title game to take on top-seeded Boston University at 7 p.m. (TV-NESN).

Copponi rapped home a feed on a give-and-go from Ottoville Leppanen to lift Merrimack to its second-ever appearance in the championship game, its first since 2011. The Warriors, who also needed extra time in the quarterfinals, will play for its first-ever Hockey East crown.

Goals were a premium in the matchup between the two top defensive teams in the conference, both came into the game ranked ninth in the nation in team goals against average.

Copponi's goal denied a late comeback bid by UMass Lowell (18-14-3), who tied the contest the last minute of regulation after Merrimack jumped on top with the game's first goal in the third period after outshooting the River Hawks 22-7 in the first 40 minutes.

Midway through the third, Merrimack's Jordan Seyfert, who had several other good chances, broke down the left side and roofed it over UMass Lowell goaltender Gustavs Davis Grigals for his ninth of the year, assists going to Slava Demin and Ryan Leibold.

With an extra attacker on, Scout Truman's one-timer in the slot off of Jake Stella's feed from behind the cage tied it for the River Hawks with 31.1 seconds left, forcing overtime.

Late in the first overtime, Copponi had his first chance to end it cutting in alone from the right wing Davis Grigals snuffing his backhand try. Right away at the other end, Merrimack netminder Zachary Borgiel denied UML's Brian Chambers drive from the lower slot. Chambers, nine minutes into the second overtime, had another great chance for UMass Lowell that was saved by Borgiel right before Copponi's game-winner.

Borgiel made 35 saves, 28 after two periods for the winners. Davis Grigals finished with 40 saves for UMass Lowell (18-15-3). Only two penalties, one for each side, were whistled in the hard-fought matchup, the second overtime game of the night.

Merrimack improves to 23-12-1 with the win, its sixth straight. Its 23 victories are its second most in Division I after winning 25 in 2010-11.

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