Merrimack College’s two ice rinks are open for business as of yesterday, with summer camps kicking off at both Lawler Arena as well as the new second ice sheet that the college collaborated with the Islanders Hockey Club.
Inside Lawler Arena, you’ll notice a new design at center ice as well as new gold stanchions around portions of the rink; the boards are also new.
The ice has been put back in place at Merrimack College’s J. Thom Lawler Arena, and rentals are scheduled to begin on both sheets — including the new rink next door, partnered with the Middlesex Islanders — later this month.
New paint inside Lawler Arena includes what will serve as the logo for Hockey East’s 30th Anniversary season, as well as “Merrimack College” now surrounding the Merrimack logo at center ice.
Michael Szmatula, one of the top scorers in the United States Hockey League this past season, has asked out of his National Letter of Intent in order to follow his junior coach, Jim Montgomery, to the University of Denver.
But, according to sources, Northeastern does not intend to grant Szmatula a release, meaning he’ll need to essentially transfer if he wants to play for Montgomery at Denver.
Szmatula gave Sacred Heart a verbal commitment last spring before decommiting in order to commit to Northeastern. He was the fifth-leading scorer in the USHL this past season, finishing with 76 points (37 goals, 39 assists) in 63 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints, where Montgomery coached before he took the Denver job this past April. His 37 goals were second in the league.
By signing a National Letter of Intent, the school agrees to provide the player with a scholarship for a period of at least one year, while the player agrees to attend the school for the same period.
According to NCAA rules, if Szmatula breaks his National Letter of Intent agreement and enrolls at Denver before reporting to Northeastern, he’ll have to sit out the entire 2013-14 season and will forfeit one year of eligibility, meaning he’ll be eligible for just three years of NCAA hockey.
At the plate, Mantoni finished his senior season batting .252 with a pair of home runs and 36 runs batted in. In 19 games out of the bullpen, he led the Warriors with eight saves, posting a 1.61 earned-run average and striking out 32 batters in 28 innings.
Mantoni becomes the first Warrior drafted since pitcher Ryan O’Rourke was taken in the 13th round of the 2010 draft by the Minnesota Twins.
The following data was compiled by Mark Bilotta
|UMass Lowell (4)||Riley Wetmore (27), Chad Ruhwedel (23), Colin Wright(4), Malcolm Lyles (0) = 54 pts|
|Boston College (5+1G)||Steven Whitney (45), Pat Mullane (43), Patrick Wey (13),Brooks Dyroff (5), Patch Alber (3), Parker Milner (2) = 111 pts|
|Boston University (7)||Matt Nieto (37), Wade Megan (29), Ryan Santana (12),Sean Escobedo (11), Ryan Ruikka (7), Ben Rosen (6),Alexx Privitera (12) = 114 pts|
|Providence (5 +1 G)||Tim Schaller (23), Miles Harvey (12), Kyle Murphy (11),Chris Rooney (7), Alex Velischek (6) + Russ Stein (0) = 59 pts|
|New Hampshire (6)||John Henrion (26), Austin Block (23), Connor Hardowa(15), Brett Kostolansky (10), Scott Pavelski (7), Greg Burke (5) = 86 pts|
|Merrimack (3 +1G)||John Heffernan (11), Kyle Bigos (11), Brandon Brodhag(1) + Nick Drew (0) = 23 pts|
|Vermont (4 +1G)||Brett Bruneteau (13), Anders Franzon (5), Ben Albertson (4), Tobias Nilsson-Roos (2), John Vazzano (1) = 25 pts|
|Maine (7)||Joey Diamond (24), Kyle Beattie (13), Mike Cornell (10),Adam Shemansky (6), Mark Nemec (4), Klas Leidermark(3), Nick Pryor (2) = 62 pts|
|Massachusetts (7)||Rocco Carzo (19), Conor Allen (19), Darren Rowe (16),Kevin Czepiel (8), Eddie Olczyk (4), Filiou (2) and Tiefenwerth (6) = 74 pts|
|Northeastern (5 +1G)||Vinny Saponari (29), Garrett Vermeersch (15), Robbie Vrolyk (12), Steve Morra (7), Drew Ellement (3) +, Chris Rawlings (0), Cornell (1), Oskroba (1), Hoefler (0) = 68 pts|
|Notre Dame (4 + 1G)||Anders Lee (38), Sam Calabrese (20), Nick Larson (9),Kevin Nugent (5) + Mike Johnson (0) = 72 pts|
Take the 2004 Red Sox for instance. That World Series title couldn’t have happened without the heartbreak of the 2003 American League Championship Series.
2013 could turn out to be Merrimack’s 2003.
Although it didn’t end with the ultimate triumph, the Northeast-10 championship weekend was the perfect microcosm of Merrimack’s season. Despite many thinking the team was unlikely to even earn a playoff berth, the Warriors not only made the NE-1o tournament, but with their backs against the wall, went on a ride that came within inches of a championship.
In Game 1 of the double-elimination tournament, the Warriors were disposed of, quite easily, by Le Moyne, 8-0. The lopsided loss reaffirmed for the doubters what many thought about the Warriors all season: they didn’t belong.
But then, facing elimination, came a one-run win against Bentley the next morning. Facing elimination again that Friday afternoon, the Warriors beat the very same Le Moyne team that embarrassed a day earlier, 4-3.
Entering Saturday’s final, the Warriors needed two wins against the host, and top seed, New Haven. In Game 1, the Warriors dominated, thanks in large part to Alek Morency’s complete-game shutout (a 6-0 win) forcing a decisive title game that afternoon.
Highlighted by the addition of a second, auxiliary ice rink, as well as new locker rooms, strength and conditioning and sports medicine centers, the most noticeable addition – the second ice rink – is nearly complete and is anticipated to open in late June.
The Sports Medicine and Strength and Conditioning facility – complete with the addition of nine new locker rooms – is expected to open during the month of July, in advance of preseason.
Thanks to the generous donations and partnership between Merrimack College and Richard and Susana Gallant and the Islanders Hockey Club, the Volpe Expansion Project adds an additional 83,000 square feet to Merrimack’s Athletics Department hub.
Starting next academic year, fans will now enter through a newly constructed lobby, which will house new ticket box offices, as well as the new Merrimack College Book Store. In addition, the new lobby will include concessions, a brand new Pro Shop, and the entirely new Merrimack Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as a Dunkin Doughnuts. The new lobby will either lead to an entirely new entrance to Lawler Arena, or the second arena.
Adjacent to Lawler now rests a second, full-size ice rink complete with a mezzanine level for enhanced fan experience. The rink will primarily be the home of outside rentals while also serving as an additional practice facility for the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.
Nine new locker rooms will also be put in place to benefit Merrimack’s soon-to-be 24 varsity sports, and a 3,500 square-foot varsity weight room will provide training space for over 400 student-athletes. A state-of-the-art sports medicine facility will provide student-athletes with the highest quality treatment available, and will also provide training for students studying in Merrimack’s acclaimed athletic training and sports medicine fields.
But the Athletics Department is not the lone beneficiary of the Gallant’s dedication and donation to the College; Merrimack is nearing the completion of a 350-bed residential village that is expected to open in September, accommodating a quickly growing college population that set a new single-class record with over 800 incoming freshmen being accepted into the Class of 2017.
Merrimack Athletics enjoyed one of its most successful years in recent history in 2012-13.
Three different sports – field hockey, men’s soccer and men’s tennis – all qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Five different teams – men’s soccer, field hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s tennis and women’s golf – all earned conference crowns, with the men’s tennis team repeating as NE-10 Tournament Champions. Finally, the women’s golf team – in just its second season of existence – sent its first-ever individual qualifier to the NCAA Championships, as well. Not to be forgotten, the women’s crew team also had a successful campaign, winning its first regatta in only its second year of varsity competition.
The Warriors will look to build on their success and continue the college-wide momentum with the introduction of the women’s swimming & diving program in 2013-14, bringing the total number of varsity sports on campus to 23.
Jeremy Gibson has been named the new athletic director at Merrimack College. Gibson comes to Merrimack from Harvard University, where he was serving as Senior Associate Athletic Director. He had been with the Crimson since 1997. Gibson resides in Andover with his wife and two sons.
“The College is pleased to welcome Mr. Gibson to the Merrimack community,” said Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., Merrimack’s President. “Merrimack strongly believes that Mr. Gibson’s skills will augment those already present in the department and help the College continue its momentum.”
Working in the Harvard athletic department since 1997, Gibson leaves his current position as a senior manager for the largest and oldest Division I athletic program in the country. At Harvard, Gibson’s responsibilities spanned oversight of the department’s alumni relations and stewardship efforts, club sport, intramural and recreation programs, event management and facility operations. Additionally, Gibson had sport oversight of many varsity programs, including men’s and women’s ice hockey.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Merrimack community,” he said. “I am incredibly grateful to President Hopey, Vice President Abowitz and the entire search committee for this very exciting opportunity. I am eager to work with such a talented and dedicated group of students, coaches, administrators, faculty and alumni as we collectively build on the success of our programs and pursue the bold and ambitious goals that have been charted for department and the College.”
As Director of Athletics, Gibson will oversee a growing and successful athletic department at Merrimack that continues to build momentum as it looks toward a move to Division I athletics. Merrimack currently sponsors 22 sports, with women’s swimming beginning in 2013-14 and women’s hockey beginning in 2014-15. On the playing field in 2012-13, Merrimack won five conference championships, most since 1999, while posting its highest winning percentage as a department since 2009. Additionally, 17 of 22 programs posted a 3.0 GPA or higher this academic year, with all student-athletes compiling a GPA above 3.0 for the eighth straight semester.
Gibson has served on numerous committees including the NCAA Lacrosse Championship Local Organizing Committee, ECAC Hockey Executive Committee (Chair) and has served as the Ivy League administrator for a variety of sports. He has also participated on a number of committees at Harvard beyond athletics, supporting issues ranging from campus master planning, human resources strategy, commencement & reunion planning, academic advising and community relations.
Maine will offer its vacant head coaching position to Yale associate head coach Dennis “Red’ Gendron, according to sources. Gendron was a finalist along with former Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki.
Gendron just completed his second season at Yale, helping the Bulldogs to the national championship. Prior to that, he spent six years with Massachusetts as an assistant coach and was with the Black Bears as an assistant coach from 1990 to 1993, winning a national title with the Black Bears in 1993; he also earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Maine in 1993.
After Maine, Gendron moved to pro hockey, spending 11 seasons with the New Jersey Devils in the capacity of a scout and assistant coach, winning three Stanley Cup rings with the organization in 1995, 2000 and 2003.
The 55-year old will be a first-time collegiate head coach, having previously served as head coach of the Indiana Ice (USHL) in 2004-05 and with the Albany River Rats (AHL) from 2002 to 2004.
Other candidates, according to sources, were interim head coach Bob Corkum, UNH assistant coach Jim Tortorella and New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
Merrimack College has narrowed its search for its next athletic director to three candidates, according to sources with knowledge of the process. Interim AD Dean O’Keefe is a finalist along with Harvard Senior Associate Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson and current Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph.
O’Keefe has been the interim AD since last year, taking over for Glenn Hofmann, who resigned last summer in the midst of an internal investigation. He has been at Merrimack for five years and previously served as Vice President of Marketing & Sales at the Basketball Hall of Fame. At Merrimack, he had been Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations before taking the interim AD role. A 1994 graduate of Stonehill College, O’Keefe won three Northeast-10 Championships as a starter on the men’s soccer team before graduating with a degree in American Studies with a minor in Communications. He earned his Master of Arts in Education, with a Sports Management major from the University of Connecticut in 1996.
Gibson began at Harvard in 1996 and currently serves as Senior Associate Director of Athletics with responsibilities spanning varsity sport supervision, capital planning, facilities and operations, event management and oversight of the department’s alumni relations and stewardship efforts. He then worked in professional baseball for two seasons before returning to the Crimson as Assistant Director of Athletic Operations and has held the titles of Assistant Director of Athletics and Associate Director of Athletics prior to assuming his current post in 2010. The Andover resident earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bowdoin College in 1995 where he was a four-year starter on the baseball team and served as captain in his senior year.
Ralph has been the athletic director at Colorado College for the past six years. Prior his job at CC, he spent five years as AD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. He has served on committees for ECAC Hockey, USA Hockey, and the Liberty League. Ralph is a 1991 graduate of Alaska Anchorage, where he earned five NCAA Division II All-America awards in swimming, was twice named UAA Swimmer of the Year, and was a USS Senior National Qualifier. In 2005, he was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in sports management studies from California University (Pa.) and is originally from Salem, New Hampshire.
Note: This schedule is unofficial and incomplete. Information taken from other schedule releases, independent sources and media reports. Subject to change.
11 - at Denver
12 - at Denver
18 - MERCYHURST
19 - MERCYHURST
26 - ARMY
1 - BENTLEY
8 - at Providence
9 - PROVIDENCE
15 - at Notre Dame
16 - at Notre Dame
22 - NORTHEASTERN
23 - at Northeastern
30 - at Yale
6 - BOSTON UNIVERSITY
7 - at Boston University
4 - Providence (Fenway) (NC)
11 - at Clarkson
12 - at Clarkson
17 - at Quinnipiac
19 - QUINNIPIAC
21 - BOSTON COLLEGE
24 - at Massachusetts
25 - MASSACHUSETTS
31 - at UMass Lowell
1 - UMASS LOWELL
7 - at Boston College
14 - at Maine
15 - at Maine
21 - VERMONT
22 - VERMONT
28 - NEW HAMPSHIRE
1 - NEW HAMPSHIRE
7 - Hockey East First Round
8 - Hockey East First Round
9 - Hockey East First Round
14 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
15 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
16 - Hockey East Quarterfinals
21 - Hockey East Semifianls
22 - Hockey East Championship