Once again, the 2015 Beanpot final and consolation game were postponed due to the ongoing wrath of whatever from high above the thing. Seriously, it’s been snowing for 24 hours, and it’s not supposed to stop until some time Tuesday.
The effect of the blizzard on college hockey has been widespread already. A number of games were postponed in the last few weeks. Tuesday night, Merrimack and Connecticut are scheduled to play a makeup game. If the Warriors can make it down to Hartford at this point, it’ll be a minor miracle.
Both Connecticut and Merrimack need this game badly if they plan to stay home for the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. UConn is currently in eighth place and in line to host a first-round series. Merrimack is just a game back of the Huskies with one game in hand.
It’s been a rough stretch for both clubs of late. UConn’s reliance on Rob Nichols was bound to catch up with it eventually. Just the same, Merrimack’s ability to control games has faded along with tougher competition.
It’ll be a tough matchup for either team in the playoffs. Merrimack, though, badly needs to stay in North Andover if it wants to see its season extend past that first week of the postseason.
The Warriors are 5-2-2 at home against Hockey East opponents. On the road, Merrimack is 0-6-0. Mark Dennehy’s system is designed to fit the dimensions at Lawler. The dimensions of the rink are the same as any other NHL-sizes sheet. The corners are tighter, though, and the arena itself is about as roomy as a coffin. Players and coaches visiting Lawler know it’s not and easy place to get wins.
Merrimack needs to stay home to advance to the league’s quarterfinals. Tuesday’s game with UConn is essentially a four-point fixture. Merrimack needs the win. And they need it badly. (more…)