St. Lawrence University's men's hockey team will be out to continue a strong start to the 2013-14 season when it hosts Northeastern University in a two-game set as part of Saint Hockey Alumni Weekend at Appleton Arena.
In addition to the two hockey games with the Huskies, the weekend program includes a talk about hockey by former Saint All America and Hockey Hall of Fame member Brian McFarlane. McFarlane, who is still the all-time leading goal scorer in Saint program history, went on to an outstanding career as a broadcaster and author following graduation from SLU and was a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada. McFarlane, who is also a member of the Saint Athletic Hall of Fame, will speak at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Winston Room at the Sullivan Student Center. McFarlane's talk is free and open to the public. Another former Saint All America, the late Bob Perani, will be remembered with the dedication of the Perani Bench in a 2 p.m. ceremony at Appleton Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints head into the weekend with a 3-1 overall record after a road split at Ferris State last weekend, winning 3-2 on Friday and dropping Saturday's rematch 5-3. Saint freshman Drew Smolczynski, who scored two goals including the game winner in Friday's win, was named ECAC Rookie of the Week for his efforts. Smolczynski scored the two goals in his first collegiate game and became the fifth Saint newcomer to score a goal and the first to have a multi-goal game.
The Saints and Northeastern will square off for the 28th and 29th times in the history of each program when they meet at Appleton this weekend. SLU won last year's meeting in Boston 5-2, snapping a two-game losing streak against the Huskies. Northeastern, 4-0 with two wins each over Alabama-Huntsville and Holy Cross, will make its first visit to Canton since 2002-03 and the Saints will be out to gain their first home ice win over Northeastern since the 1992-93 season. Northeastern holds a 14-11-2 series lead.
The games will be the third and fourth against a Hockey East opponent this season and the Saints have a sweep of Maine to continue a solid record against HEA teams over the past three seasons. The Saints went 3-2 against Hockey East teams last season, winning their first three before a 4-0 loss at Boston University. The Saints built an eight game unbeaten streak against Hockey East opponents prior to the BU loss. It started with a win over Boston College on Jan. 1, 2010. The Saints beat Vermont 6-4 and edged UNH 2-1 in the 2010-11 season and beat Vermont 2-1 and tied Merrimack 6-6 in 2011-12 before sweeping Maine and beating Northeastern 5-2 to start last season. SLU will play six games against Hockey East foes with a home-and-home series against Vermont coming up in December and January.
The Northeastern series is the final set for the Saints before the start of league play with SLU slated to open ECAC competition at defending national champion Yale on Nov. 1. The Yale game will start a four-game road trip which includes a Nov. 2 meeting at Brown and games at Harvard and Dartmouth on Nov. 8-9 before the ECAC home openers against Colgate and Cornell on Nov. 15-16.