Warriors reach agreement with ESPN Radio

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.”

13 Comments

  1. Where is Northeastern Hockey going to, they I believe used to be on 1400 am?
    Is there any room for the announcers to broadcast in the rink! That press area on the other side of the Blue Line Club looked pretty full each night?
    Will there be a pre game and post game show? most teams have a 1/2 hour to 15 min lead into each game and then a wrap up of each game with coach interviews and score updates from Hockey East: I know Mr Leahy was there on the webcast but adding a co announcer may make things crowded in the press row

    That is good news! I am looking forward to the first broadcast

  2. nin,

    There will be plenty of room upstairs. I've heard the PB is expanding by about 10 feet, roughly.

    I have to believe there will be some sort of pre/post game show, but I'm not positive. I know NU had didn't always have pre/post game shows due to other programming.

  3. I have not been told that NU is going internet only and I am the NU Stats guy for Radio Broadcasts. We did not have any lengthy pre or post game show due to ESPN Radio programming.

  4. I should have read more carefully – according to the Merrimack PR, all games include a pre and post-game show and will be streamed online.

  5. Ben — I certainly hope NU will remain on the air. You know the high regard I have for Rob and Billy and the NU program. It was an honor to work with you and the folks at NU, some of whom I've known over 20 years now. Good people as is the case throughout college hockey. I will look forward to seeing you guys again this year.

    Thanks Don and everyone…it will be great to get to work alongside John, he does a terrific job as I have said and I will do my best to make his job easier. As well Mike does a great job with his coverage of the team as everyone knows, and we have worked together for a number of years on coverage of college hockey for CHN. I look forward to continuing that with MC.

    The real news is the games being back on the radio. I'm glad people will be able to hear them now in the car, if they can't get to the rink and so on. Thanks to AD Glenn Hofmann, Asst. AD Dean O'Keefe, SID Brad Davis and Mark Dennehy. They did a lot of work this summer to make this happen, a real team effort.

  6. […] The Merrimack Warriors are stepping up their media presence – they announced yesterday that they will broadcast hockey games on ESPN Radio (1400 WLLH) in Lowell. It will be the first time in five years that Warriors hockey will be heard on an over-the-air station. The agreement includes coverage of home and away games. Northeastern Hockey was formerly heard on WLLH, and no announcement has been made about Huskies radio broadcasts for the upcoming season. [Via Warrior Rink Rat] […]

  7. Well, Well, Well! THAT is the the best news to come out of Volpe in a LONG time. Welcome back, Mike!!! Let the healing begin!

    I'd be surprised if NU went to internet-only as a radio presence is supposedly a league requirement.

    Post-game show on the ride home, nice!

  8. I am looking forward to hear the games on th internet.I am also looking forward in seeing the boys play in GrandForks in October.

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