NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Featuring the most home games in the three-year history of the program, head coach Erin Hamlen and the Merrimack College Athletic Department are excited to announce the women’s ice hockey team’s 2017-18 schedule on Wednesday.
Merrimack will play at Lawler Rink 18 times next winter, setting the program record for regular season home games. The Navy and Gold’s upcoming slate features 35 total games, highlighted by a seven-game homestand in October as well as an early season road trip to face the University of Minnesota, who finished last year ranked fourth nationwide and have won six national titles.
The Gophers are one of three NCAA Tournament participants from last season that the Warriors have on their ledger, in addition to Boston College and Saint Lawrence. The Warriors host the latter for a two-game series during Homecoming Weekend, the first of three non-conference opponents that will come to Lawler Rink for the first time in school history. The Penn State Nittany Lions (Oct. 20-21) and the Princeton Tigers (Nov. 24-25) will also make their first-ever non-league treks to North Andover.
Merrimack’s schedule brings the Warriors as far as Minneapolis in addition to New York and every state in New England. Outside of the trip to face the Gophers, the only other non-league road swing for the Navy and Gold features a trip to Schenectady, New York, to face Union College during the first weekend of November.
The Warriors are coming off a record-setting 2016-17 campaign that saw Merrimack reach the Hockey East Tournament for the first time in school history. The Navy and Gold set records for victories (11), conference wins (7) and claimed the 2016 Nutmeg Classic Championship.
“Our third season brings new challenges, but the players are prepared to meet them head on. Our non-conference play, starting with the last year’s fourth-ranked program, will give the team an opportunity to play against highly ranked programs who are accustomed to success,” Hamlen stated. “Our staff is looking forward to build on the positives from these games in order to create future success. Playing in Hockey East has been an honor, and as rivalries are built, we look to continue to move up in the regular season standings in order to put ourselves in the best position for the postseason. Our goals are specific, and we can’t wait to see them come to fruition.”
2017-18 Schedule Highlights
- After a home exhibition against Whitby on Friday, Sept. 22 (7 p.m.), the Warriors start the season with four games on the road, including a season-opening Hockey East tilt against Boston University on Saturday, Sept. 23. The following weekend, Merrimack makes its trip to Minnesota to face the Gophers for two games on Friday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 1. Minnesota finished last season ranked No. 4 in the country
- A home-and-home weekend with the University of New Hampshire (Oct. 6-7) marks the home opener for the Warriors. The contest with the Wildcats kicks off a seven-game homestand for the Navy and Gold, the longest in program history. Merrimack will host St. Lawrence for Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 13-14), the Penn State Nittany Lions will make their first-ever trip to Lawler Rink the following weekend (Oct. 20-21) and the University of Vermont arrives in North Andover (Oct. 27-28) to conclude the stretch of home tilts
- November begins with the Warriors’ final non-conference road trip of the season. Merrimack heads to Schenectady, N.Y. for its first-ever contests against Union College (Nov. 3-4)
- The Warriors return to league action for back-to-back weekends against Northeastern University and Providence College. Merrimack will host the Huskies on Saturday, Nov. 11 (2 p.m.), and six days later will return to Lawler to battle the Friars at 7 p.m.
- Before a prolonged winter break, the Navy and Gold host Princeton University (Nov. 24-25) for the first time to wrap up November. The Warriors will then enjoy a weekend off before returning to the ice to end the calendar year with a pair of games against Boston College (Dec. 8-9), the defending Hockey East Champions
- January begins with four consecutive games at Lawler, starting with the third and final game between the Warriors and the Eagles (Jan. 2). The final three games of this slate are league matchups against Connecticut (Jan. 5), UNH (Jan. 10) and the first of a three-game run against Maine (2 p.m.)
- The following weekend finds the program in Orono, Maine to conclude the season series against the Black Bears. The Warriors will end February with two games against BU (Jan. 25-27), facing the Terriers for the first time since the season opener
- February features the five final games of the regular season, four of which will be on the road. The Warriors’ home final is on Saturday, Feb. 10 (7 p.m.), against Northeastern. That contest is preceded by a pair of away games against Providence (Feb. 2) and Vermont (Feb. 4). The regular season concludes with a two-game weekend set in Storrs, Conn. against UConn (Feb. 16-17)
- The 2018 Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament will feature the top-eight teams in the conference, with the quarterfinal round consisting of a best-of-three series at the sites of the higher seeds before the remaining four teams square off in the Championship Rounds at a to-be-determined site the following weekend.
2017-18 Women’s Ice Hockey Ticket Timeline
**Subject to change
- July 17 – New Season Tickets On Sale!
- August 24 – Promotional Schedule Unveiled
- August 25 – Single-Game Tickets On Sale
BUY 2017-18 WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY SEASON TICKETS
Price: $50 for Adults; $25 for Youth (ages 14 and under)
- If interested in purchasing women’s ice hockey season tickets, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or inquiries
- Season-ticket holders enjoy the same seat location for ALL regular season home games AND priority access to order women’s ice hockey home playoff tickets!
Mike McMahon has covered Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune since 2006 and he also has been a senior writer at College Hockey News since 2005.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN and you can follow the site @TheMackReports.