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Northeastern at Merrimack: Pregame Notes and Line Combinations

Pregame notes and line combinations from J. Thom Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass., where Merrimack meets Northeastern to open a Hockey East weekend series.

Collin Delia and Merrimack look to get back on track against Northeastern.
Collin Delia and Merrimack look to get back on track against Northeastern.
Matt Dewkett

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Good evening and welcome inside J. Thom Lawler Arena on the campus of Merrimack College where the Warriors are set to host Northeastern to begin an important Hockey East weekend series. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

The teams split last year's home-and-home set during the regular season, but the Warriors won an overtime game and a double overtime game to sweep last year's opening playoff series at NU's Matthews Arena. The Huskies hold a 50-42-10 record in the all-time series, but are just 4-6-0 in their last ten games with Merrimack.

NU picked up its first two conference wins of the season last weekend, sweeping New Hampshire for the first time since 2007. Junior Sam Kurker scored two goals and two assists in Saturday's 6-2 road win, while classmate Dylan Sikura returned from a two-game absence and scored three goals on the weekend.

The Huskies are now unbeaten in their first five January games (4-0-1) for the first time since 2000 and have not lost in their last six overall. Freshman goaltender Ryan Ruck has a .938 save percentage during the current six-game unbeaten streak, which dates back to a Dec. 19 win over Michigan State.

While the Huskies are one of the nation's hottest teams, things have been quite opposite for the Warriors in recent weeks. Merrimack has lost its first six games this month and stands just 1-10-1 in its last 12 contests overall.

Sophomore Brett Seney scored the Warriors' lone goal in last weekend's series finale at Notre Dame, a 5-1 loss on Saturday night. Senior Brian Christie is the team's leading scorer with four goals and 13 assists on the season, after handing out a pair of assists in Friday's 7-2 loss.

Here are tonight's lines:

HUSKIES (7-12-4, 2-8-3)

Nolan Stevens - John Stevens - Zach Aston-Reese
Mike McMurtry - Adam Gaudette - Dylan Sikura
Kevin Roy - Brendan Collier - Sam Kurker
Mike Jamieson - Lincoln Griffin

Jarrett Fennell - Matt Benning
Colton Saucerman - Eric Williams
Trevor Owens - Garret Cockerill
Dustin Darou

Ryan Ruck
Derick Roy
Jake Theut

WARRIORS (7-11-5, 2-5-5)

Justin Hussar - Brian Christie - Ben Bahe
Derek Petti - Ludvig Larsson - Chris LeBlanc
Michael Babcock - Brett Seney - Mathieu Tibbet
Jace Hennig - Hampus Gustafsson - Mathieu Foget

Marc Biega - Alex Carle
Matt Cronin - Jonathan Lashyn
Jared Kolquist - Aaron Titcomb

Collin Delia
Drew Vogler
Joe Pantalone