With the conclusion of its regular season, the Merrimack men’s ice hockey team is slated for a trip to Maine on Saturday for the Opening Round of the Hockey East Playoffs. The No. 11 seeded Warriors are slated to take on the No. 6 seeded Black Bears at Alfond Arena for the third time this season, with puck drop coming at 7:07 pm.
Although the games will be televised locally on WBIN, the athletic department is offering a special package to see the game live. As has been the trend in recent seasons, Merrimack will provide transportation to and from the game. For $5, students get a bus ride to and from Maine, admission to the game, a free t-shirt, and a pregame party with food in Maine. The bus will return to Merrimack at the conclusion of the game.
“We’re trying to create a home field advantage,” Pat Spiegel, Director of Marketing and Ticketing told The Beacon. “At the end of the day the goal is to create a fun atmosphere. It’s all about making everything fun for the students. We’re not trying to break the bank and make it expensive for them, we just want it to be a fun experience. It’s all about the student experience and enhancing that. That’s what we’re all about.”
Student packages are continually available for purchase Tuesday and Wednesday on Main Street outside Sparky’s Place during lunch (11 am – 1 pm) and dinner (5pm – 7pm) hours, as well as in the Lawler Box Office from (10am-4pm). In order to guarantee a spot on the bus, students must buy their tickets by Wednesday.
Merrimack previously played Maine in both the 2011 and 2012 Hockey East Quarterfinals. The Warriors swept the Black Bears in 2011 en route to a Hockey East Tournament Final and an NCAA berth, while the Warriors lost in three games the following season. Merrimack was also swept out of the playoffs last season in the quarterfinals at Boston University. Should the Warriors pull out a difficult road win, they will advance to face No. 1 seeded and No. 2 nationally ranked Boston College for a three-game quarterfinal series.