NORTH ANDOVER — Merrimack College hockey will face one of its toughest tasks yet this season when it returns from the Thanksgiving break, as the Warriors travel to face reigning national champion Yale University in a non-conference clash at 7 p.m.
Yale (5-2-2) is ranked No. 9 in the national while Merrimack sits at 3-8-1.
Merrimack and Yale square for just the ninth time in the programs’ history and for the first time since 1998. The two teams renew what was once an annual November showdown. The last time the two schools met was on Nov. 27, 1998 in North Andover, with the Warriors coming away with a 6-3 win. The Bulldogs have won five of the eight all-time meetings, however, and won four games in a row between 1977 and 1984. The Warriors have won just once in New Haven, back on Feb. 30, 1972 (7-6 OT), the first-ever meeting between the schools.
Merrimack is looking to put an end to a six-game winless stretch. The Warriors’ last victory came against Bentley, a 3-1 home win on Nov. 1 at Lawler Rink. They are facing their sixth straight opponent that is either nationally ranked or receiving votes in national polls, winless at 0-5-1.
The Bulldogs boast the 11th-best scoring offense in the country (3.56 goals per game) and also benefit from being one of the most disciplined teams in the nation with their 8.7 penalty minutes per game are the second-fewest in the country