November 16, 2013

Men's Ice Hockey Heads West for Weekend Battle with No. 4/3 Notre Dame

WARRIORS AND FIGHTING IRISH MEET FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT

Links: Live Stats | Watch (NBC Sports Network Friday, Saturday Free Streaming) | Listen (Free) | Follow @MC_Athletics | Game Notes
VIEWING PARTY: Stats Bar And Grille (Directions)

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Searching for its first win since Nov. 1, the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team continues a two-game road stretch this weekend, traveling to South Bend, Ind., for the Warriors' first-ever trip to the Compton Family Ice Arena to face No. 4/3 Notre Dame in Hockey East action Friday and Saturday night.

The Basics
Date/Time:
Friday/Saturday, Nov. 15-16, 2013 | 7:30/7 p.m. ET
Records:
Merrimack (3-5-0, 0-2-0 HEA) | #4/3 Notre Dame (7-3-0, 1-1-0 HEA)
Location: Compton Family Ice Arena | South Bend, Ind.

Viewing Party Set for Friday at Stats Bar and Grille!
While the Warriors hit the road this weekend, Merrimack fans can catch all the action in one place, as Stats Bar and Grille in Boston will host a special Merrimack Hockey Viewing Party this Friday night!

Fans are encouraged to stop by and catch all the action live on the NBC Sports Network. In addition to the viewing party, fans will also have the opportunity to win prizes and gift baskets with tickets to upcoming games, Merrimack Athletics merchandise, and much more!

Last Time Out: Providence 4, Merrimack 2
Leading by a goal after the break, Merrimack watched its lead evaporate, as No. 5/6 Providence College scored twice exactly six minutes apart as part of a four-goal third period to lead the Friars to a 4-2 victory and weekend sweep of the Warriors on Saturday night at Schneider Arena.

For just the second time this season, Merrimack tallied the game's first goal in the first before the Friars tied it on a 5-on-3 advantage early in the second. The Warriors, however, went back up on a power-play strike of their own at 11:53 of the middle stanza, but the Friars hopped ahead for good on successive goals in the third period before wrapping it up with a late empty-net marker.

For the full recap from last Saturday, please click here.

Lifetime vs. Notre Dame
The Warriors and Fighting Irish meet for just the seventh time overall this weekend, and for the first time since squaring off in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in March of 2011. In that contest, Merrimack held a third-period lead, but the Irish rallied back to send the game to overtime and won it early in the first sudden-death session to advance. Both sides are even at 3-3-0 all-time, with Merrimack owning a 2-0-0 record on the road.  The only two times Merrimack faced Notre Dame in South Bend was Nov. 23 and 25, 1988, when the Warriors posted back-to-back wins (3-1 and 4-3 in overtime).

The Warriors:

  • Are led offensively by senior Mike Collins (2-7—9), who has tallied nine points in the last five games, and junior Dan Kolomatis (2-5—7)
  • Have clamped down on defense and have brought their season goals-against average down to 2.25, representing the 14th-best scoring defense in the country. Merrimack has yielded just 24.0 shots per game this year, the fourth-fewest average nationwide
  • Despite averaging an impressive 31.5 shots per game, a mark that ranks 23rd nationally, Merrimack has managed just 2.00 goals per game at that rate. That scoring rate ranks just 52nd nationally and last in Hockey East
  • After starting the year 0-for-13 on the power play, Merrimack now has at least one power play goal in three of the last four games, and has gone 6-for-32 (18.8%) on the man advantage during that stretch
  • Since allowing three power-play goals at Denver on Oct. 12, Merrimack's PK unit has turned aside 29-of-32 power play chances from the opposition (90.6%)

The Fighting Irish:

  • Entering the weekend 7-3 overall with a 1-1 mark in league play, Notre Dame opened its first season as a member of Hockey East on fire, winning its first five contests before going 2-3 over the ensuing five
  • Have boasted solid numbers on both ends, averaging 3.30 goals per game on offense (15th nationally) while allowing 2.10 goals per game defensively (ninth nationally)
  • penalty kill ranks atop the league and fourth in the country, as the Irish have fended off 92.2 percent of opponents' power plays
  • Rookie Vince Hinostroza has led the Irish on offense so far with a 3-9--12 scoring line and ranks eighth among all freshmen skaters nationwide in points per game (1.20)
  • Senior netminder Steven Summerhays has been brilliant, ranking second and third among league goaltenders in GAA (1.81) and save percentage (.928), respectively

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