NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men’s ice hockey team officially opens Hockey East play this weekend when it takes on Northeastern in a weekend series.
Saturday’s game is set to be broadcast regionally on NESN.
Five Things To Know
- The Warriors return to the ice following their first win against a top-10 team since Dec. 29, 2017 when it takes on another nationally ranked team, Northeastern, in a home-and-home set that starts Saturday in Boston at Matthews Arena.
- Merrimack was impressive in its opening weekend set against #8/9 Massachusetts. With just nine forwards in the lineup, the Warriors played tight with the Minutemen Saturday in Amherst before an empty net goal sealed a 3-1 decision. On Sunday, Alex Jefferies, Zach Vinnell and Patrick Holway both had multi-point games and Zachary Borgiel made 17 saves for his first career win in a 3-2 victory at Lawler Rink.
- Jefferies, who was taken in the fourth round of this year’s NHL Draft by the New York Islanders, has quickly made his presence felt at the collegiate level. He earned a primary assist on Chase Gresock’s goal Saturday, then had another helper Sunday to go along with his first career goal. He already leads the Warriors in points (3) and plus minus (+2) for the season.
- Jefferies and Vinnell were both rewarded for their multi-point weekends against the Minutemen by Hockey East with weekly awards. Jefferies was named Rookie of the Week, while Vinnell was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week.
- Northeastern opens its campaign this weekend after it finished 18-13-3 last season with an 11-12-1 mark in Hockey East play. The Huskies return three of their top-5 scorers, including Zach Solow (13-18–31), who finished second behind Tyler Madden. After the loss of former Warrior Craig Pantano to graduation, the Huskies return just 51:54 of collegiate on-ice time at the goaltender position.
Inside the Matchup:
|Merrimack (1-1-0, 0-0-0 HEA)||Category||#17/14 Northeastern (0-0-0, 0-0-0 HEA)|
|12/6 vs #8/9 Massachusetts (W, 3-2)||Last Time Out||3/7/20 at Boston University (W, 2-1)|
|2.00||Scoring Offense||2.88 (2019-20)|
|2.50||Scoring Defense||2.71 (2019-20)|
|23.5||Shots Allowed/Game||29.2 (2019-20)|
|49-67||Faceoffs (W-L)||886-988 (2019-20)|
|.422||Faceoff %||.473 (2019-20)|
The Warriors close the fall semester Dec. 19-20 with another home-and-home set, this time against New Hampshire. Merrimack visits Durham, N.H. Saturday for a 6:00 p.m. puck drop on NESN+, before they close 2020 with a 4:00 p.m. start Sunday at Lawler Rink.
For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter and on Facebook.