PPRINCETON, N.J. - It took five goals for #6 Princeton to topple the Merrimack College women's ice hockey team Monday afternoon, despite a late multi-goal surge by the Warriors in the final eight minutes. Merrimack's first non-conference loss of the season came by a 5-3 final, with sophomore Megan Fergusson highlighting the afternoon with her first multi-goal game of the season.
The Warriors got on the board just 17 seconds into the game on an unassisted finish by Fergusson; from there, the Tigers took the next five goals, scoring four in the first 40 minutes and another in the third period.
Merrimack made it interesting late in the third period, as Princeton's penalty kill unit spent six of the final 20 minutes on the ice. Senior Katelyn Rae scored on a power play goal with just over three minutes left in the game. Then, with 52 seconds left in regulation, Fergusson tallied her second of the afternoon, pulling the Warriors within two goals. The Tigers were able to hold on for the final seconds of the game, giving Merrimack just its seventh loss of the season.
Score: Merrimack 3, Princeton 5
Records: Merrimack (11-7-3, 7-6-1 HEA) | Princeton (10-3-3, 8-0-2 ECAC)
Location: Hobey Baker Rink | Princeton, N.J.
Goal #1 (1-0 MC) - It was one of the fastest goal of the season and it was exactly what the Warriors needed after Sunday afternoon's tie. Sophomore Megan Fergusson buried her sixth goal of the season 17 seconds into the first period, giving Merrimack its first lead of the season over the Tigers.
Goal #2 (1-1) - Both goals came in the final three minutes of regulation in Sunday's contest; Monday was the opposite. Princeton's Carly Bullock recorded her 13th goal of the season at the 7:08 mark in the first period, and taking Merrimack's early momentum away.
Goal #3 (2-1 PRIN) - It took just three minutes for Princeton to take its first lead of the game. Sarah Fillier, the Tigers' lone goal scorer in Sunday's matchup, found the back of the net for the second straight game and fifth time this season to give the hosts a one goal advantage.
Goal #4 (3-1 PRIN) - A Merrimack penalty late in the first period set up Princeton's third goal of the afternoon, taking a commanding lead into the first intermission. Stephanie Sucharda lined up a shot from the blue line with 29 second left on the power play, and was able to find the back of the net through heavy traffic to give the Tigers a 3-1 advantage.
Goal #5 (4-1 PRIN) - A big rebound off the pads of netminder Lea-Kristine Demers led to Princeton's fourth goal of the afternoon; after an off-balance shot from Fillier, Maggie Connors buried the Tigers' fourth goal on the back post eight minutes into the second period.
Goal #6 (5-1 PRIN) - Fillier continued her excellent afternoon by picking up her second goal of the game seven minutes into the third period. After making a handful of saves, Fillier received the puck on the back post, and was able to tuck it past the outstretched Ridgewell for the fifth Tiger goal of the game.
Goal #7 (5-2 PRIN) - The Warriors managed to get one back in the third period, making things interesting for the final 10 minutes of regulation. Senior Katelyn Rae buried her fourth power play goal to bring Merrimack within three goals at the 16:32 mark in the third period.
Goal #8 (5-3 PRIN) - With less than a minute left in regulation, the Warriors were able to find the back of the net one last time. Fergusson came on as the extra attacker, scoring her second of the game to pull within two goals late in the final frame.
Notes and Numbers
- This is the first loss against Princeton in program history; the Warriors are 2-1-1 all-time against the Tigers.
- Merrimack's seventh loss of the season is just the first against a non-Hockey East team, going 4-1-2.
- Fergusson is now tied for the second-most points on the team (14).
- Goaltenders: Lea-Kristine Demers (17 saves, 1-2-0) // Stephanie Neatby (35 saves, 10-3-3)
- Power Plays: 2-7 // 0-1
- Shots on Goal: 5-15 // 15-13 // 18-8 - 38-36
Merrimack returns to action January 11, as the team will play the first of a two-game set at Vermont. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.