Northeastern has a home and home against Merrimack this weekend, closing out the three game series against them this season already. After losing to NU, Merrimack went on the road, where they promptly dropped 2 games against Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks, before beating and tying University of Vermont. So far Merrimack has split time between Sam Marotta and Rasumus Tirronen, with Marotta doing better than Tirronen, so I’d expect to see him out there on Friday. So far Merrimack has a pretty good offensive output, scoring 19 goals in 6 games, but also allowing 19 goals, while NU has scored 13 and allowed 14.
For Northeastern’s lineup, I’d expect things to stay the same as they were last week. They showed some excellent offensive output with the shakeup, and I think Madigan will want to give them another weekend to see how it goes. Mountain deserves the start on Friday, and then Madigan can go from there for Saturday. If Mountain plays great, then keep him in, or put Rawlings in if Mountain looks shaky. Mountain’s experience has amusingly come from Merrimack (his first full game was against Merrimack in 09-10).
The biggest thing for Northeastern this weekend is special teams and offensive output. Northeastern’s PK was bad on Friday but better the one time it occurred on Saturday, while the PP is just a joke. The fact that NU has so many great offensive players and have a man advantage for 2 minutes but still can’t score is inexcusable, so let’s hope Madigan had them practicing every day this week. Secondly, let’s see some more scoring overall. Saponari and Ferriero have no goals, and Pimm played so well last weekend he’s due for another couple of goals too.
Merrimack is a weaker team than UNH, and Northeastern has already proven that they can beat MC. Just follow the formula that’s done well so far: score early and put pressure on Merrimack, and then shut down their offense by keeping them on the outside and limiting rebounds. Maybe score a PP goal or two, keep up the pressure on offense that they’ve been doing so well thus far this season, and they should win.