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The Women’s Hockey East Association has announced that Merrimack College will serve as host of the 2016 Women’s Hockey East Tournament Championship Weekend at Lawler Rink on Saturday, March 5, and Sunday, March 6.

“The Merrimack College community is thrilled to serve as the host of this year’s Women’s Hockey East Championship,” Merrimack College Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson said. “Coinciding with the inaugural season of our own women’s program, we look forward to representing Women’s Hockey East to the highest standard while showcasing the league’s outstanding programs and student-athletes within the Merrimack Valley community.”

Tickets for Championship Weekend will be available for sale at the Merrimack College Box Office, with prices starting at $10 per session, or just $5 for groups of 10 or more. More ticket information will be announced shortly. Please call the Box Office at 978-837-5324 with any questions.

“We are excited to bring New England’s premier women’s ice hockey event to Merrimack,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “It is fitting that, in the Warriors’ first year of Hockey East play, we get to showcase their facility as host of our championships. We look forward to bringing the region’s female ice hockey community together for this event.”

The Hockey East Tournament semifinals will be held on Saturday, March 5, with games tentatively slated for 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Single-admission tickets are valid for both Saturday contests. The winners of each semifinal will advance to the 14th annual Women’s Hockey East Championship Game on Sunday, March 6, which is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m.

Before taking to the ice in North Andover, though, the four Championship Weekend participants will navigate through the league’s quarterfinal round during the previous weekend (Feb. 26-28). The top-eight teams in the league standings at the conclusion of the regular season will qualify for the 2016 Women’s Hockey East Tournament, and seeds No. 1-4 will host seeds No. 5-8 in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.

The four quarterfinal winners will then be reseeded for the semifinal round on Saturday, March 5. The semifinal winners advance to the 14th annual Hockey East Championship Game on Sunday, March 6.

The announcement comes on the eve of Merrimack’s inaugural season for its own women’s ice hockey program, which will take to the ice for the first time this winter. The Warriors – who posted a 4-2 victory against Whitby last Friday night – will match up against St. Cloud State for their first two games in program history starting with a Friday (Oct. 2) night matchup that will be streamed live on ESPN3 beginning at 6 p.m.

About The Women’s Hockey East Association
The Women’s Hockey East Association is a nine-team, Division-I college hockey conference which began play in 2002-2003, with offices based in Wakefield, Mass. Member schools include Boston College, Boston University, University of Connecticut, University of Maine, Merrimack College, University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, Providence College and University of Vermont. The league also sponsors a 10-team men’s league which began play in 1984.

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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