Colleen Quinlan ’15
Merrimack’s Men Club Ice Hockey team started approximately five years ago. Since its inception, the club hockey team has experienced significant improvement. The team is part of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The teams play in the New England Collegiate Hockey Association Conference (NECHA).
This season, the team moved up to an elite level of the NECHA. Amongst the schools the team will be competing against Boston College, UMass Lowell, and Northeastern University. Nicholas Pappalardo ‘15 who is the President of Club Hockey believes this is exactly what the team needed. “Coach Johnson has really pushed us forward to becoming one of the top teams in the North East. Moving up gives us a lot more competitions and it puts us in a higher caliber of competition.”
Daniel Resop ’17 also believes moving up has had a positive impact on the team. “I think we have a good chance this year compared to last year where we lost in overtime during playoffs. We have a core group of players and the freshman class have stepped up so far this year.”
This past weekend the team went up against Keene State, Bryant University and UMass Lowell. They won two games, tied one making their record 5-3-3 “ Even though we did not sweep this weekend, beating Bryant University and UMass Lowell were two big wins for us” Resop says.
The players know moving up in the conference and going against elite teams will not be easy, but to date they have proven they can play against this level of competition. “This division is tough and as a team we are taking it one game at a time. We are pushing it to make it to the playoffs again this year and go to Nationals. That is our goal” Pappalardo says.
Tony Johnson coaches the Merrimack Men Club Ice Hockey, along side with assistant coaches Thomas Flanagan and Craig Cameron. Be sure to check their next home game November 22nd against Holy Cross at 8 p.m.
For more information about Merrimack Men Club Ice Hockey along with game schedules go to www.merrimackathletics.com/information/pages/club-sports.