After five years of internet-only broadcasts, Merrimack’s hockey program will be back on the airwaves this winter after the athletic department reached an agreement with ESPN Radio Boston.
The station will air all of Merrimack’s games on ESPN 1400, a signal out of Lowell/Lawrence which spans into southern New Hampshire and the entire Merrimack Valley.
“We are very excited to add Merrimack hockey to the ESPN Radio Boston family,” said Al Turner, station manager at ESPN Radio Boston. “We are always looking for opportunities to add new quality sports programming for our listeners in the greater Boston area, and we think we have found an excellent partner in Merrimack. Hockey East is the top collegiate conference in the nation, and we are thrilled to be able to provide a new outlet for fans of Merrimack hockey to follow the Warriors all season”.
John Leahy will be behind the mic for play-by-play (5th season) and Mike Machnik will return to the broadcasts on color. Machnik has been featured on Northeastern’s broadcasts (ESPN 890) and on UNH’s telecasts (NHPTV) since 2005. He was on Merrimack’s broadcasts for well over a decade before then. Along with another former Merrimack radio man, Dan Parkhurst, Machnik won an Associated Press award for coverage of UNH hockey on NHPTV.
Leahy has spent the summer in the Midwest, calling games for the Kalamazoo Kings baseball club in the Frontier League.
“Our new partnership with ESPN will allow us to better serve our fans and create new Merrimack hockey supporters throughout the region,” said Director of Athletics Glenn Hofmann. “After over one million (dollars) in renovations to Lawler Arena this offseason, we are eager for our student-athletes to take to the ice for the 2009-10 campaign, and we are looking forward to working with ESPN Radio Boston.”