The Mack Report

Oddball schedule forcing Warriors to manage minutes

NORTH ANDOVER — With four straight Sunday games, Merrimack College’s schedule is looking more and more like it belongs in the NFL than it does Hockey East.

Sprinkle in a Tuesday night road game at BU this coming week, and it’s certainly taken the Warriors out of the typical Friday-Saturday sync college hockey teams often fall into.

The scheduling oddities are due to two things: 1) television and 2) the blizzard that struck New England two weeks ago.

Two of Merrimack’s four Sunday games — including tomorrow’s 4 p.m. faceoff with Boston College — are set to air nationally on CBS Sports Network. The UMass Sunday matinee two weeks ago was rescheduled due to the storm as was Tuesday’s makeup date at BU’s Agganis Arena.

“We’ve had to manage our minutes in terms of being on the ice a little more,” Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. “We want to make sure we’re managing the minutes with the four games in eight days.”

The Warriors, after Sunday’s 2-2 tie at Providence, took Monday and Wednesday off earlier this week, running a skill session on Tuesday that was headed by assistant coach Curtis Carr.

“It was fun for the guys I think,” Dennehy said of Tuesday’s practice. “It was a good practice, too. They worked hard. I think it’s nice, at this point in the year, to hear a different voice.”

Ultimately Dennehy isn’t concerned with the schedule.

“It’s changed some things,” he said. “We’ll watch more video, try to control how much energy we’re exerting on the ice. But at the end of the day, practice is always good and it’s what makes you better, but at this point in the year, it’s more fine tuning. Our guys would much rather be playing games anyway, that’s the fun part.”