NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Needing a win to retain fifth place in Hockey East standings, the Merrimack College women's ice hockey program netted four goals in the final 20 minutes of action, handing Connecticut a 7-1 loss inside Lawler Rink. It was the largest marginal victory in program history, and was fueled by six points from senior Katelyn Rae.
Merrimack lit the lamp with an early power play goal in the first period, using a goal from senior Dominique Kremer to enter the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. After Sophomore Courtney Maud doubled the lead midway through the second, the Huskies got on the board. With under two minutes remaining in the second frame, junior Mikyla Grant-Mentis was on the receiving end of a UConn turnover, and rifled a shot that rung the crossbar before crossing the line, giving Merrimack a 3-1 lead after forty minutes. The Warriors proceeded to tally four more goals in the final frame, putting an exclamation mark into the final box score while picking up its 16th win of the season.
Despite the six goal victory, senior Samantha Ridgewell was as busy as ever - her 14th win of the season required 34 saves.
Score: Merrimack 7, UConn, 1
Records: Merrimack (16-10-5, 12-9-3 HEA) | UConn (14-15-3, 9-13-3 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
Goal #1 (1-0 MC) - On the first penalty of the afternoon, the Warriors converted its 22nd power play goal of the season to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Emily Volpe fed sophomore Megan Fergusson; her pass through traffic hit the tape of a wide open Dominique Kremer, who blasted a shot into the top right corner.
Goal #2 (2-0 MC) - The Warriors struck again at the game's midway point. Sophomore Courtney Maud found the puck on her stick during a two-on-one and tucked it in, doubling the lead.
Goal #3 (2-1 MC) - The Huskies responded two minutes later; Natalie Snodgrass led a breakout, and was able to backhand a shot that snuck under the pad of Ridgewell.
Goal #4 (3-1 MC) - With less than two minutes left in the second period, junior Mikyla Grant-Mentis put the Warriors back up by two. Maud forced a defensive turnover, and senior Katelyn Rae was able to find Grant-Mentis, who went bar-down for her 12th goal of the season.
Goal #5 (4-1 MC) - Rae picked up her 22nd goal of the season with the game's fifth goal. Senior Jessica Bonfe led a two-on-one, and fed her line mate for the easy finish.
Goal #6 (5-1 MC) - Junior Chloe Cook recorded her third goal of the season after a faceoff win; a shot from the blue line was never seen, rippling the net for the team's fifth goal.
Goal #7 (6-1 MC) - Madison Morey tallied her first of the season with the sixth Warrior goal of the game, back-handing a shot just outside the crease that got past Fisher's stick.
Goal #8 (7-1 MC) - Merrimack put another in just moments after the sixth team goal; Rae picked up her second of the night, making it 7-1 with five minutes left in the period.
Notes and Numbers
- Merrimack officially owns the tiebreaker over the Huskies, going 2-0 in the first two matchups.
- The duo of Grant-Mentis and Rae combined for eight points in the win.
- Merrimack has never beaten a team by more than five goals entering Friday's contest.
- Goaltenders: Samantha Ridgewell (34 saves, 14-8-4) // Morgan Fisher (20 saves, 13-14-4)
- Power Plays: 1-2 // 0-4
- Shots on Goal: 12-7 // 6-18 // 9-10 - 35-27
The Warriors will host UConn Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., in the series finale.