The race for the top of Hockey East has never been closer. Five teams sit within 5 points of each other for the top of the mountain. One of those teams is playing at Lawler this weekend, the Huskies of Northeastern; Who at second place, are knocking on the doorstep of the #1 seeded and beloved Merrimack College.
The wound coming back from winter break has been tended to. The Warriors overcame Providence in their final match against them to win 3-0, splitting the season series 2-2 against the Friars. “It was a great win,” said Defenseman Zach Bookman, “Saturday was a full group effort.” Bookman was part of that effort, notching an assist on the empty net goal in the 3rd to seal the deal. Hugo Ollas was a huge part of the victory too, who stopped all 35 shots that came his way. All in all a good win for MC. “We needed to get the ‘family’ atmosphere of the room back to where it was in the first half,” claims Forward Jordan Seyfert, “so Saturday was huge for the guys.”
Now the team looks ahead to a matchup that will bring some prime entertainment. The Northeastern Huskies have been sniffing 1st place in Hockey East for some time. Nonetheless, Merrimack and UConn have taken the scent from them many times this season. But the Huskies have a chance to get on top for once. To put it into perspective, Merrimack has 30 points and Northeastern has 28. A regulation win for NE would put them a point over us.
This will be the Warriors first time seeing Northeastern this year, and their first time seeing former teammate Liam Walsh in a different uniform. Jordan Seyfert says it gives the boys a little extra motivation. “It’s a bit personal to the program. He’s one of my buddies but he left us to go to Northeastern this year,” says Seyfert, “we want to prove we are where we are for a reason.”
Without a doubt, preparation stays the same as it always has. The boys from Seyfert’s perspective know exactly what‘s expected of them. “This week isn’t different from any other week in how we prepare, we know if we play the way we need to, it shouldn’t matter what the other team runs.” Seyfert tells, “We need to key in on their special teams, be disciplined and not take penalties, and play a consistent 5 on 5 game.”
Merrimack will host the first game at home this Friday at 7 and then they’ll venture down to Matthews Arena for the second leg of the back to back weekend. Make sure you clear your schedules. The boys need the student section to bring the noise for what should be a great contest this Friday.