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January 4, 2014

Merrimack meets Providence today at Fenway Park

Game scheduled for 4 p.m.; BC-Notre Dame meet afterward

BOSTON — Merrimack College men’s ice hockey team makes its historic debut in the Frozen Fenway series today as the Warriors take on long-time rival Providence College in the opening round of Citi Frozen Fenway 2014.

Merrimack and Providence will meet at 4 p.m. in Game 1 of the “Catholic Clash” doubleheader. Notre Dame and Boston College will play immediately following that game at 7 p.m.

“We have been looking forward to this for a long time,” said Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy, who was on between periods of the Bruins-Islanders game Tuesday.

“I’ve been to Fenway Park many times. We’re all very excited.”

Merrimack is 4-9-2 and 1-5-2 in Hockey East compared to Providence, which is ranked No. 4 in the nation with a record of 13-3-3 and 6-2-1 in Hockey East.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not Merrimack’s first outdoor game. In fact, the Warriors played three games against UConn in Storrs, Conn. in the 1980s. UConn used to play at a partially covered outdoor rink near old Memorial Stadium. Merrimack won all three meetings, with the last outdoor showdown occurring Feb. 18, 1988 (a 9-0 Merrimack victory), more than 25 years ago.

The following weekend, on Sat., Jan. 11, UMass Lowell will meet Hockey East rival Northeastern, while Boston University battles Maine in the night cap at Fenway Park.

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