It’s here! It’s here! Hockey is finally here!
After a far too long wait, Northeastern finally opens up the season against Merrimack tonight at 7:00 at Matthews. Both teams are overwhelmingly young with few seniors (MC has 4, NU has 5). So expect to see some mistakes and miscues as these teams try to settle in.
Based purely on my own thoughts. I would be surprised if you see any changes in the top 3 lines, at least for this game. The first line worked great last year, and lines 2 and 3 need to be given at least 1 or 2 games as they are to see if they are at all successful. We’ll have a better idea of how the lines are after the weekend. As for the last line, Stone and Vrolyk are both veterans, and solid grinder players who can help shore up the defense. I threw Belonger on there because he’s another defensive forward and looked alright against Xavier. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Madigan put McMurty there, or played Marshall in order to boost the experience on the ice.
I took the lines from the exhibition game here because Madigan looked like he was playing his regular lineup out there. Lauwers will be needed if Bigos is back from his injury, and Saucerman and Darou both looked pretty good out there on Sunday.
Rawlings should get the start, he’s a veteran presence and will need to put up a solid performance to help out the young defense out there.
Northeastern needs to settle into the game fast before Merrimack and get a system going. If the top lines can click and Rawlings stands strong, Northeastern can beat Merrimack.