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Merrimack No. 1 surprise at the break

No longer the league doormat, the Merrimack College Warriors have cracked the hallowed hall of Hockey East — breaking into the top four historically reserved for Boston University, Boston College, New Hampshire and Maine.

Currently fifth in the 10-team league — a first in team history this deep into any season — Merrimack began December with a short stint in fourth, behind New Hampshire, BC and BU.

“It’s an incredible league,” said senior captain and Calgary native Chris Barton, who became the team’s career scoring leader this season. “We’ve been trying to rebuild the program. We haven’t missed a step or (been) jumping ahead of ourselves.”

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