BOSTON -- Welcome inside historic Matthews Arena on the campus of Northeastern University where the sixth-seeded Huskies will look to even up their best-of-three Hockey East Opening Round series against No. 11 Merrimack on this Saturday afternoon.
Faceoff is set for 4 p.m. The game will be televised on NESN with Tom Caron and Billy Jaffe on the call.
Merrimack could not have picked a better time for its first shorthanded goal of the season as senior Kyle Singleton scored his first goal in 87 games 2:24 into overtime for a 3-2 win in Friday night's opener.
Merrimack has won nine of the last 14 overall meetings with Northeastern over the last five meetings, but trails the all-time series 51-41-9 entering this 102nd meeting. The teams split a Nov. 21-22 home-and-home series. This weekend's set marks the first between the teams ever in Hockey East postseason play and their first since the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
The Warriors were just one of six teams in the country without a goal in a man-down situation this season before Singleton's game-winner, his first marker since Jan. 5, 2013 at Vermont. They controlled the special teams battle all night long, going 7-for-8 on the penalty kill across more than a period's time.
In its first home playoff game since 2009 last night, NU came back from a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by sophomore Zach Aston-Reese and junior Mike McMurtry. The Huskies were down for the count on Saturday in last year's quarterfinal series at New Hampshire but current sophomore Mike Szmatula scored 3:39 into overtime to keep their season alive.
Junior Kevin Roy continued a five-game point streak for the Huskies with an assist on McMurtry's tying goal and leads the team, as he did in each of his first two seasons, with 44 points in 34 games.
Here are tonight's lines:
WARRIORS (15-16-4, 5-14-3)
Justin Hussar - Brian Christie - Ben Bahe
John Gustafsson - Hampus Gustafsson - Chris LeBlanc
Jace Hennig - Vinny Scotti - Mathieu Tibbet
Kyle Singleton - Clayton Jardine - Quinn Gould
Jared Kolquist - Dan Kolomatis
Marc Biega - Jonathan Lashyn
Justin Mansfield - Aaron Titcomb
HUSKIES (16-15-4, 11-9-2)
Kevin Roy - Dalen Hedges - Mike McMurtry
Zach Aston-Reese - Mike Szmatula - Torin Snydeman
Nolan Stevens - John Stevens - Dylan Sikura
X - Brendan Collier - Adam Reid
Dustin Darou - Matt Benning
Trevor Owens - Colton Saucerman
Dax Lauwers - Garret Cockerill