Former Merrimack WR Isaiah Voegeli signs with Eagles

Two days after the conclusion of the NFL Draft, Merrimack senior Wide Receiver Isaiah Voegeli signed a rookie contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on April 29th. Voegeli is the fourth player in Merrimack history to sign any type of NFL contract, all of which have come in the last two seasons.

Voegeli was a preseason first team Division 2 All-American for the Warriors this season, and followed up on the expectations with  a consensus All-American season last fall, as he broke multiple Northeast-10 Conference records as well as almost every Merrimack College receiving record.

Voegeli leaves Merrimack as the school’s all-time leader in multiple receiving categories including catches (211) and yards (3,554) and ranks second all-time with 34 touchdown receptions.

His senior season was one to remember as well, as he was named an All-American and NE-10  Most Valuable Player after leading the nation in receptions (10.8) and yards (150.0) per game. His 108 catches this season was an NE-10 record, as was his 269 yard game against St. Anselm.

He finished the season with 108 catches for 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games for the Warriors. His 1,500 receiving yards was second most in conference history, and his 14 receiving touchdowns were the most in program history. Voegeli also broke the 100 yard plateau in seven of 10 games as a senior hauled in a career-high 17 catches in a game against Pace.

In a statement to Merrimack Athletics, Voegeli said:

“I am still speechless. All I can say is to God be the glory. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity”

New Merrimack head coach Dan Curran, who had been an assistant for the team and worked specifically with Voegeli and the team’s receivers, was recruited by Eagles coach Dan Curran when Curran was at the University of New Hampshire.

If you ever get the chance to meet Voegeli, sit down and have a conversation with him. The 6-foot (barely) receiver may be the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. Incredibly well spoken and composed, Voegeli even participated in the Merrimack Theatre group, Onstagers, in his spare time, as well as working for the college’s physical plant and volunteering at Lazarus House, a Lawrence, MA shelter. Isaiah is just someone you want to be around. Personally, I don’t think it could happen to a better kid. Congrats, Isaiah.

Sometimes It’s Heaven That Freezes Over

Merrimack Hockey  to play at Fenway Park for  Frozen Fenway in January

"Frozen Fenway" at Fenway Park. Merrimack College is expected to play Providence in January, 2014

“Frozen Fenway” at Fenway Park. Merrimack College is expected to play Providence January 4, 2014

Hockey East officially announced today what has been speculation for the past several months: college hockey is returning to Fenway Park.

Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said the following in a statement released today:

“We are excited about the return of hockey to Fenway Park. We are particularly pleased that with these two doubleheaders, all of our men’s programs will have had the opportunity to experience Frozen Fenway, including the University of Notre Dame, our newest member.”

When Fenway Park last held its Frozen Fenway event in January 2012, Merrimack College was not one of the schools chosen to participate. This time, however, Merrimack will the opportunity to play against Providence College, a budding rivalry that has resulted in exciting, physical hockey games between the two programs who have become just as tough members of the Hockey East conference as any other school.

The news became official today when the City of Boston approved the necessary permits needed in order to make Frozen Fenway happen.

Merrimack will play Providence College in the first game of a double-header on January 4th, with Boston College taking on Notre Dame University – the newest addition to Hockey East in 2014 – in the later game. The Merrimack/Providence game will be a non-conference game, so the outcome will not affect the Hockey East standings.

“Even though this has been done before, playing at Fenway is still truly exciting for all involved,” Merrimack hockey head coach Mark Dennehy told College Hockey News’ Mike McMahon. “Merrimack is proud to be a part of this event.”

 

Joe Cannata Recalled by Canucks

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Merrimack Athletics sent out the following press release today:

Former Merrimack College goalie, Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) has been promoted to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL for the final two games of the regular season, as announced by the team on Wednesday.

Cannata was a sixth-round draft pick of the Canucks and signed with the team last spring after a stellar collegiate career at Merrimack.

Cannata appeared in 14 games for the Chicago Wolves this season, the Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate, registering a 2.65 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. Cannata compiled a 6-6-0 record during his stint with the Wolves.

Cannata departed as Merrimack’s all-time leader in wins, games played, minutes played, saves, goals-against and save percentage. He started all but one game in his final two years and allowed only 27 even strength goals (excluding empty netters) in 27 league games as a senior. The Wakefield native surrendered more than two goals only eight times as a senior, as Merrimack went 18-2-4 when scoring two or more goals. 

A two-time Hobey Baker nominee and Walter Brown award semifinalist, Cannata was a Hockey East first-team selection as a senior, becoming the program’s first first-team honoree since 1993-94.

Poll: How Far Can Merrimack Hockey Go?

Sophomores Connor Toomey and Josh Myers "Tebowing" in a picture at the team's annual Skate with Santa event in December

Sophomores Connor Toomey and Josh Myers “Tebowing” in a picture at the team’s annual Skate with Santa event in December

After a tough first half, the Warriors have come storming back to reclaim a national ranking, this week moving up a spot to #19. Considering the completely different teams we’ve seen on the ice this season, what do you think? Can this team make a deep run in the Hockey East Tournament? Can they still make the NCAAs with a month left? Voice your opinion below, and feel free to chat it up in the comments section!

Fight Club Fever Hits Merrimack

This article was originally published in the November 30th edition of The Beacon

fight club MC

 

An unusually high outbreak of fights on campus recently has people wondering if Merrimack students are taking the name “Warriors” a bit too seriously.

The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. This, though, is something we have to talk about.

If anyone has gone out the last few weekends, especially the two before Thanksgiving, you know what I’m talking about:

Merrimack on the weekends, or Gotham prison break?

Merrimack on the weekends, or Gotham prison break?

Remember the scene from The Dark Knight Rises when all the prisoners are freed? That’s what the apartments looked like each night.

Merrimack Police Services officers were scattered throughout the campus, many looking as if they didn’t know what to do, or what they could do. Fights were breaking out around every corner, and the gathering students forming mobs of bystanders created perimeters of helplessness.

Those who “won” the fights before they were broken up were falsely identified as victors, while their fellow Merrimack student lay bleeding on the ground next to them.

I get it. This is college. Alcohol, hormones, and jealousy flow freely through the veins of most of the people out on a Saturday night. Inhibitions are lowered; feelings are more easily hurt. It doesn’t take much to have one of the best nights of your life, but it takes just as little to turn into one of the worst. Fights happen, sure, but not like this.

One night in particular saw five recorded fights, although many more occurred before anyone was able to respond. The combatants included athletes on the same team fighting one another, girl-on-girl fights, and guests on campus causing a ruckus. One of those fights involved a guest walking into a party with a foot-long knife.

A thought: When someone leaves your apartment with a foot long knife, you stop them. It doesn’t matter if it’s not your problem, not your guest or if you didn’t do it. If you didn’t stop it, you’re responsible for what happens.

And sorry, ladies, but if “your man” wants some other chick, punching her in the face isn’t going to do anything but hurt your hand.

Merrimack, what are we doing?

In a recent survey of Merrimack students, when asked where they currently go to college, 100 percent of them answered “Merrimack College” or “North Andover” – not “Gotham City” or “Arkham Asylum,” although maybe that’s where some of us belong.

We need a hero. Batman would be great actually; he’s the hero we need, not the one we deserve. Unfortunately though, as much as I’d love to see Batman outside J tower stopping the idiots ruining our Friday and Saturday nights, he’s not gliding onto campus anytime soon.

Batman can't save us, but we can save ourselves

Batman can’t save us, but we can save ourselves

The only heroes we have are ourselves. If we don’t stop this childish nonsense, no one will. And if it doesn’t change, the phenomenal weekend atmosphere we’ve grown to love at Merrimack will quickly disappear before we know what hit us.

This isn’t Fight Club and we don’t live in Gotham City, either. This is Merrimack College. That used to be something to be proud of.

 

It’s one thing to right a wrong, and even understandable to act passionately, without thinking, while intoxicated. However Scarecrow, Bane or the Joker are not who you’re fighting with. You’re swinging at your classmates, your teammates, your friends.

Remember that.

Huskies Send Warriors Whimpering

Presenting your 2012-2013 Merrimack College Warriors © Blind Obedience

“Every night is a grind.”

Jim Madigan, Northeastern University’s head hockey coach, couldn’t have summed up Wednesday night’s Hockey East opener better.

Merrimack College head coach Mark Dennehy’s opinions didn’t differ, stating simply “you have to play a full 60 minutes to win…we didn’t deserve to win this game.”

Merrimack got off to a tough start Wednesday night as goaltender Rasmus Tirronen,  getting his first collegiate ice time during his first collegiate start,  gave up 3 opening period goals, the first coming just :53 seconds into the game.

A rowdy, rousing NU student section was endlessly heckling Tirronen as soon as he took the ice, something he’ll have to get used to in the Hockey East.

Despite immediately facing an uphill challenge, Dennehy was relatively pleased with Tirronen’s performance.

“I thought he played fine,” said Dennehy. “He was not our problem tonight.”

To be fair, Dennehy had a point. After the first three goals, Tirronen settled and made several spectacular saves to stymie Northeastern’s offense. Merrimack just looked slower, as the Huskies skated figure eights around them throughout the first period. In the defensive zone, Merrimack was hitting hard when they could slow the game down, but all three goals came off a Merrimack turnover in transition.

Seeing this, Dennehy called a timeout and laid out the game plan very simply for his team, now trailing 3-0. The Huskies, who outshot Merrimack 16-6 in the first period, were seemingly unafraid to let loose on Tirronen.

“I said ‘well, look what they’ve done in just 8 and a half minutes…we’ve got 51 and a half left.’”

After the timeout, the Warrior forecheck suddenly reappeared, but it was “too little, too late.”

What Merrimack needed was their big, bruising, six-foot, five-inch defenseman, Kyle Bigos. Bigos, who left Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury, said about his injury before Wednesday’s game simply “I don’t know. Lower body injury.”

Dennehy didn’t clarify the problem in his post game press conference, copying Bigos’ sentiment, saying “Let me see if I can do my best Bill Belicheck: lower body injury.”

In Bigos’ stay, freshman Sean Robertson suited up, making his collegiate debut.

In fact, Merrimack had 4 freshmen active tonight, including the debut of forward Ben Bahe and center Brian Christie, as well as a second appearance for wing Justin Hussar.

Merrimack came out much stronger in the second and took advantage of a chippy period featuring 10 penalties. Asked about the chippiness of the game, Dennehy was unsurprised, stating “that’s just Northeastern and Merrimack…gritty hockey at both ends.”

Sophomore Quinn Gould put Merrimack on the board just 4:20 into the second with a transition 4 on 4 goal on assists from John Heffernan and Justin Hussar. In the minutes before, the Warriors were controlling possession during a 3 on 3 and a brief 4 on 3 Power Play. After ripping several hard shots, Gould finally scored on a one timer coming off a cross-ice pass.

A questionable interference call to Justin Mansfield midway through the second led to an NU power play, eventually killed by the Warriors. Just seconds after Mansfield got released from the box, he ripped a one timer from Josh Myers that rebounded, which he followed, and eventually squeezed past goalie Chris Rawlings for Merrimack’s second goal of the night.

“We clawed ourselves back in,” said Dennehy, but the Huskies had already clawed away at the Warriors too much.

In the end, a back and forth final period ended with just one empty net goal scored, and Northeastern pinched out a 4-2 win.

Something to note: both Merrimack goals came off of penalties from Northeastern freshman Cam Darcy, who was in the penalty box to watch both. Madigan highlighted this in his post game press conference, reminding everyone “you don’t win in this league without senior leadership.”

Mark Dennehy knows this all too well, as this year’s squad features only four seniors, three of whom were inactive tonight.

“We kind of shocked them,” said Huskies Captain, senior Vinny Saponari.

Shocked was an understatement. Said Dennehy about tonight’s game, “I felt like the guy on the top of the Titanic screaming ‘iceberg!’”

Well coach, the good news is that once you’ve sunk and reached rock bottom, the only place to go is up.

At least we hope.