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BU, Harvard, and Merrimack men’s hockey will all be staying in New England for NCAA regional play

A night after celebrating a Hockey East championship at TD Garden, captain Domenick Fensore learned his BU team is the No. 2 seed at the Manchester regional for the NCAA Tournament.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The Boston University, Harvard, and Merrimack men’s hockey teams will not have to travel outside of New England for first-round matchups in the NCAA Tournament this week.

BU (27-10-0) was selected as the No. 2 seed for the Manchester regional and will take on Western Michigan in Thursday’s opening game at 2 p.m. at SNHU Arena. The Broncos (23-14-1) finished the season second in the NCHC but were stunned by Colorado College in the conference quarterfinals.

Harvard (24-7-2) and Merrimack (23-13-1) will be playing in the Bridgeport regional, which begins Friday at Total Mortgage Arena. The Crimson are the No. 2 seed and will face Ohio State (20-15-3), which finished fourth in the Big Ten, at 2 p.m.


As the fourth seed, Merrimack will take on No. 1 seed Quinnipiac (30-4-3), the ECAC regular-season champion who was upset in the semifinals of the conference tournament. The Bridgeport winners will play Sunday at 4 p.m. for the right to go to the Frozen Four in Tampa.

Should Boston University prevail against Western Michigan, it will play the winner of No. 1 seed Denver (30-9-0) and No. 4 Cornell (20-10-2) Saturday at 4 p.m. Denver is the defending national champion and finished first in the NCHC, while Cornell took third in the ECAC.

The Terriers last made the tournament in 2021, and will be looking to register their first postseason victory since 2018. BU will carry the momentum of a 10th Hockey East tournament championship, which it won Saturday over Merrimack, into NCAA play.

“This is why you come to BU and play in the big games,” said captain Domenick Fensore. “Obviously we want to cap it off with a national championship so we have to keep pushing forward. Win and move on, that’s our mentality.”

Harvard is in the tournament for a second straight year, having lost to eventual national runner-up Minnesota State in the first round, 4-3, in 2022. The Crimson finished second in the ECAC and reached the title game of the conference tournament but fell, 3-2, to Colgate Saturday night.


“The pain and the disappointment in the loss leaves you frustrated, but you turn and focus on the next task at hand to be as ready as we can for whatever comes our way next,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said Saturday. “At this time of year, you really need to be able to stay out of the box, come out and play a game that allows you to have success, and for us that’s playing fast and really making a team play defense and be in their zone.”

Donato and the Crimson are headed for their second consecutive tournament berth.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Merrimack enters its first NCAA tournament since 2011.

Sunday’s selection show capped an emotional 24 hours for the Warriors, who were left to wonder if they would even qualify after losing to the Terriers in overtime Saturday. Good news was delivered when St. Cloud State defeated Colorado College later Saturday, ensuring Merrimack would make the 16-team field.

“I do love this team. They’ve made the entire community proud,” Merrimack coach Scott Borek said after the loss to BU. “This team wants to keep playing together. I know that sounds cliché, but this team does not want to separate. They want to stay together. They want to keep playing.”

Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.