Following its first-ever Hockey East Championship appearance and a Division I school-record 25 victories, Merrimack is headed to its first NCAA Tournament since joining Hockey East and its first since 1988. The Warriors, seeded second in the Northeast region, will take on Notre Dame on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern on ESPN3.com.
Merrimack’s game will air on ESPNU and ESPNU HD on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Also in Merrimack’s regional are Miami Ohio and New Hampshire. Those teams will meet Saturday at 4 p.m. The regional final is scheduled for Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU and ESPNU HD with the winner advancing to the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 7 and 9.
The Warriors are the overall #6 seed in the 16-team field, while the Fighting Irish are 11th.
Complete ticket information will be available late Sunday or Monday online at merrimackathletics.com. Fans should continue to check back to Playoff Central 2011 for complete details as Merrimack opens its quest for its first-ever Frozen Four appearance.
Merrimack and Notre Dame have met five times but not since November 26, 1991. The Irish lead the all-time series 3-2 while the teams have split two meetings since Merrimack moved up to Division I in 1988-89.
Yale, North Dakota, Boston College and Miami Ohio received the #1 seeds, with Yale earning the top overall seed. Merrimack, BC and UNH will represent Hockey East in the national tournament.
Merrimack reached the NCAA Tournament as an at-large in 1988. They defeated Northeastern in a two-game aggregate first-round series, before falling to Lake Superior State in the second round.
The Warriors defeated UNH 4-1 for their first-ever Hockey East Semifinal victory in school history on Friday, before losing to Boston College 5-3 in the title game.
Notre Dame went 23-13-5 this season, finishing fourth in the CCHA Conference Tournament. T.J. Tynan (52 points) and Anders Lee (41 points) lead the Fighting Irish attack, while Mike Johnson has compiled an 18-9-4 record with a 2.62 goals-against in net.
The Irish went 1-1-1 against Hockey East, defeating BC while losing and tying BU. Notre Dame last made the NCAA Tournament in 2009, losing to Bemidji State 5-1 in the first round.