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Div. II Boys' Hockey: Merrimack trying to rewrite the script

Last year, Merrimack racked up a 14-4 regular-season record and finished second only to bow out of the Division II boys' ice hockey tournament with a first-round loss to Spaulding of Rochester.

"The season ended in a way we didn't want it to," said Merrimack coach Kurt Mithoefer. "It was really bittersweet. But this year our team, especially our seniors, want to reach the finals and win it all. Right now, Bow is in our path of reaching that goal."

The top-seeded Tomahawks (17-2-0) will battle fourth-ranked Bow (12-3-4) at 7:30 p.m. today in the Division II boys' ice hockey tournament at The Rinks at Exeter. In the first semifinal game at 5:30 p.m., third-ranked Bedford (14-3-2) will skate against second-seeded Spaulding of Rochester (16-2-1).

"All four teams are deserving of the honor of reaching the semifinals," said Mithoefer. "The team that has hot goaltending, a solid defense and an opportunistic offense over the next two rounds will emerge the champion."

Dom Valluzzi (20 goals, 24 assists), Connor Powell (32 goals, 23 assists) and Mark Feeney (12 goals, eight assists) will lead the Tomahawks, who have amassed a 47-7-1 record over the last three years combined.

The Division I semifinals will be held tonight at Manchester's JFK Coliseum at 5:30 p.m. when No. 2 Manchester Central and No. 3 Londonderry collide. The 7:30 p.m. game pits No. 1 Manchester Memorial against No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover.

Everett Arena in Concord is hosting the Division III semifinals today. John Stark/Hopkinton, seeded second, will meet No. 3 Souhegan at 5:30 p.m., and, No. 1 Berlin and No. 5 Kennett of Conway clash at 7:30 p.m.

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