Game Notes: Merrimack vs. Bentley
— While a common opponent on all of Merrimack’s Division II sport schedules, Merrimack and Bentley have only met on five previous occasions in men’s ice hockey. The last showdown occurred just over two years ago in Watertown, when Merrimack remained unbeaten against the Falcons in a 5-1 victory at the J.A.R.
— The last time the Falcons made the short trek up to Lawler Rink was in November of 2013, when the Warriors held off the Falcons in a 3-1 win on home ice. That game bridged a nearly 30-year gap in the all-time series, which Merrimack leads by a 5-0-0 margin. The Warriors won all three of those meetings in the 1980s, including the only other previous game played in North Andover on Dec. 10, 1981 (5-2).
— Merrimack’s 1-6-2 start to a season is its worst since starting 1-7-1 in the 1994-95 campaign. The Warriors would go 1-8-2 before winning their second game that year.
— Bentley’s captain Kyle Schmidt is closing in on 100 career points. After two points last weekend, he’s at 96 for his career (44 goals, 52 assists). That ranks him 7th among active players in career points and T-3rd in goals. He would become the 11th player in program history to hit 100 points playing just at Division I. Brett Gensler ’14 holds the record for career points solely in Division I for the program, at 167.
— Bentley has played exclusively against Atlantic Hockey members through eight games, as the Falcons have gone 1-4-3 so far to start the 2017-18 campaign.
— Ryan Soderquist, a 2000 Bentley alum, is in his 16th season coaching his alma mater. He started the year with a 200-276-67 all-time mark.
— Friday’s game will mark the middle weekend of three straight weekends on the road for the Falcons. They visited Niagara last weekend, and will head back to that area next weekend for a series at Canisius.
— The Falcons will be looking to claim a win over a Hockey East school for the 8th season in the last 10. They’ve claimed wins over Maine (08-09), UMass (09-10), Northeastern (10-11, 12-13, 15-16), BU (13-14) and UNH (16-17).