Game Notes: Merrimack vs. Mercyhurst (11/4/16)

— Merrimack and Mercyhurst are meeting for just the fifth time on Friday night. The series is currently even at 2-2, with the teams splitting a pair of weekend series. In 2013-14, Merrimack and Mercyhurst split a two-game set at Lawler Rink and then the next season, 2014-15, the Lakers and Warriors split a series in Erie, Pa. Merrimack has a 5-4 win in overtime (road) and a 5-2 win (Lawler) on their record while Mercyhurst has wins of 3-2 (home) and 3-2 (road). The meeting on Oct. 18, 2013, was the first time the two programs had met.

— In Merrimack’s last win over Mercyhurst (10/24/14), Marc Biega scored the game-winning goal in overtime after Mercyhurst tied the game with an extra-attacker goal with 32 seconds left. It was a two-goal game for Biega, who scored his first collegiate goal in that game’s third period. Mercyhurst jumped out to a 3-0 lead the following night and withstood a late rally from the Warriors to hold on, 3-2.

Hampus Gustafsson is in the midst of a six-game point streak, which is the longest of his collegiate career. The longest career point streak among active Merrimack player’s is Brett Seney‘s six-game point streak from Jan. 31-Feb. 20, 2016. Gustafsson has matched that and can pass it with a point tonight against the Lakers. Earlier this season, his three-game goal-scoring streak was also the longest of his career. Jace Hennig is on a four-game point streak, which is also the longest of his career, and he has assists in three straight games.

— Entering tonight, 11 of Merrimack’s 18 goals this season have been scored by juniors or sophomores. The Warriors only have four goals from their senior class (3 players) and all four of those goals have come off the stick of Gustafsson.

— Speaking of Gustafsson, he’s Merrimack’s all-time leading scorer against Mercyhurst with three points (0g, 3a). Biega has two goals in two games, which leads current players. Drew Vogler, tonight’s projected starter, has never faced the Lakers. Injured goaltender Collin Delia has one game against the Lakers under his belt, going 0-1-0 with an .864 save percentage. He started the Saturday game at Mercyhurst two years ago (3-2 loss) and it was his first collegiate start.

— The Warriors enter tonight’s game 0-1 against Atlantic Hockey schools this season (2-1 loss to Sacred Heart). The Warriors are 2-1 on Friday nights. Merrimack is 3-0 this season when scoring first and 0-4-1 when the opponent scores first.

— Gustafsson, Hennig and Tyler Irvine have been Merrimack’s most productive line this season. In the five games those players have been together, the Warriors are 3-1-1 and that line leads all lines this season with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) when grouped together. Ludvig Larsson is likely to miss tonight’s game with an injury, but the Warriors are 3-0-1 in the four games he has played with Logan Coomes and Sami TavernierMerrimack has only had one game this season where it has been able to put Michael Babcock between Derek Petti and Chris LeBlanc due to LeBlanc’s injury. That line was arguably Merrimack’s best during a playoff run last season.

About Mike McMahon 6234 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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