AMHERST, Massachusetts – Coming into the season, the Hockey East coaches’ poll showed Merrimack sitting eighth out of 11 teams in the conference. The Hockey East media poll had them in the same position.
Heading into the conference’s holiday break, the Warriors are tied for first with three games in hand. Moreover, they ended this past weekend third in the national Pairwise rankings, with a record of 13-4-0. They have just one loss in their last 11 games, outscoring opponents 37-17.
It’s more than fair to say this team is the single biggest pleasant surprise in the country — a team even those most familiar with the hard-to-play-against Warriors didn’t rate them as a particularly dangerous opponent in the long run, but only three teams have beaten them in regulation halfway through the regula