January 30, 2014

Men’s Ice Hockey Renews Rivalry with No. 8 UMass Lowell; Limited Tickets Remaining!

WARRIORS SQUARE OFF WITH FORMER NE-10 RIVAL UMASS LOWELL; LIMITED TICKETS REMAIN!

Friday (Away):  Live Stats | Video (PPV) | Audio (Free) |Follow | Full Game Notes
Saturday (Home): Tickets (Limited Remaining!!) | Live Stats | Video (PPV) | Audio (Free) | Follow

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Looking to carry a win streak into February, the Merrimack College men's ice hockey team rounds out the month of January with a home-and-home series against former Northeast-10 Conference (Div. II) and nearby rival UMass Lowell starting Friday night at the Tsongas Center. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

Saturday night's contest will be broadcast live nationally on Fox College Sports Atlantic and regionally on WBIN.

The Basics
Date/Time:
Friday-Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2014 | 7 p.m. (Both)
Records: Merrimack (7-13-3, 2-7-2 HEA)
| #8 UMass Lowell (16-7-2, 6-4-1 HEA)
Location:
Tsongas Center/Lawler Rink | Lowell/North Andover, Mass.

SATURDAY IS WARRIOR WHITEOUT NIGHT; LIMITED TICKETS REMAINING!
Fans are encouraged to wear white to Lawler Rink on Saturday and add to one of the top home-ice advantages in Hockey East when the Warriors and River Hawks conclude their weekend series! 

Extremely limited tickets remain for Saturday night. To secure your seats, please use the link above or call the box office at 978-837-5324.

Lifetime vs. Lowell:
Meeting for the 115th time since 1971 on Friday, Merrimack continues its long-standing rival with the River Hawks this weekend, a series that is the second-most contested in the history of the program. The only team Merrimack has played more than UMass Lowell is Providence (119). Merrimack trails in the series (38-68-9) but has gone 5-4-1 over its last 10 against Lowell. The Warriors have gone just 17-36-4 in games played at Lowell and 19-29-5 in North Andover.

Last Saturday vs. UMass
Trailing by a goal heading into the final period, two underclassmen scored back-to-back goals to propel Merrimack past Massachusetts, 3-2, to split a weekend home-and-home series on Saturday night.

Entering the final intermission down by two goals after UMass erased a first-period deficit with a pair of tallies in the second, Merrimack staved off a weekend sweep and picked up two huge points after freshman Chris LeBlanc tied the contest less than four minutes into the third, and then three minutes later, sophomore John Gustafsson tapped in the game-winner after being fed by his younger brother and linemate Hampus Gustafsson to send the Warriors to victory.

For the full recap from last Saturday, click here!

The Warriors:

  • Are aiming to carry a win streak into the month of February with a win Friday night and close out the month of January at an even .500 mark (3-4-1 currently)
  • Boast a perfect 7-0-0 record when scoring exactly three goals or more this season
  • Freshman Chris LeBlanc was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Week after totaling three points (2g, 1a) last weekend against Massachusetts and ranks third on the team with nine points
  • Seniors Mike Collins and Brendan Ellis have enjoyed the most success against UMass Lowell, with each tallying a team-best five points in their careers versus the River Hawks

The River Hawks:

  • A year removed from its best season in school history that featured its first-ever Hockey East regular season and tournament title, as well as a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four, UMass Lowell is enjoying an equally impressive campaign to date and heads into North Andover boasting a 16-7-2 overall record and is ranked eighth in both national polls.
  • Team defense has been the key to Lowell's success; the River Hawks allow just 1.96 goals per game as a team, the best mark in the league and second-best in the country
  • Joseph Pendenza leads a modest group of scorers that average 2.92 goals per game as a team; the  senior forward leads all River Hawks with a 12-9--21 scoring line and is one of nine double-digit scorers -- and the lone 20-point getter
  • The goaltending tandem of senior Doug Carr and sophomore Connor Hellebuyck has been arguably the nation's best; after struggling last season, Carr has regained his 2011-12 form and owns the second-best goals-against average in the country (1.80), while Hellebuyck ranks fourth (1.87); in save percentage, Hellebuyck (.939) and Carr (.934) rank second and sixth, respectively

--

For continuing coverage of Merrimack College Athletics, visit MerrimackAthletics.com and follow the Warriors on Twitter and on Facebook.