PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's hockey team defeated the Merrimack Warriors, 2-1, in game two of the Hockey East Quarterfinal series on Saturday, March 2 at Schneider Arena. The Friars completed the sweep of Merrimack and will advance to the Women's Hockey East Championship weekend for the first time since 2013.
Providence - 2 | Merrimack - 1
Providence: 24-10-2 (16-9-2 HE) | Merrimack: 16-13-7 (12-10-5 HE)
Schneider Arena | Providence, R.I.
GAME FLOW & NOTES
- The first period featured back-and-forth hockey and over ten minutes of play without a whistle.
- Neve Van Pelt (Mitchell, Ontario) buried a rebound with under five minutes remaining in the period to give the Friars a 1-0 lead.
- Emily Landry (Orangeville, Ontario) took an initial shot that was saved by Samantha Ridgewell. Annelise Rice (Excelsior, Minn.) put the rebound on goal, which Ridgewell saved again. Van Pelt's attempt hit the back of the net, giving her five goals on the season.
- Landry's assist was her seventh of the season and Rice's was her ninth.
- A flurry of penalties near the midpoint of the second period landed six players, including four Friars in the box. Providence killed off over a minute of 5-on-3 before the teams skated 4-on-3 and then 4-on-4.
- Mikyla Grant-Mentis' penalty for the Warriors during that stretch was a five-minute major, leaving Providence with about 2:30 of power play time.
- The Friars converted on the man-advantage, scoring at the 10:02 mark. Hayley Lunny
(Bedford, N.Y.) played a pass up to Sara Hjalmarsson (Bankeryd, Sweden). She then found Maureen Murphy (Buffalo, N.Y.) at the back post for a tap in.
- Murphy's goal was her 22nd of the season. Hjalmarsson's assist was her 12th and Lunny's was her ninth.
- Murphy has now posted nine points in the five games against Merrimack this season. She has scored five goals and added four assists in the meetings this season.
- The Friars controlled play in the third period, outshooting Merrimack 10-3 in the first 18 minutes of the period.
- Merrimack poured on the pressure in the final two minutes, registering five shots, while they had the extra attacker. The Warriors finally got on the board with under 30 seconds to play, as Katelyn Rae shoved the puck home on the doorstep.
- Madison Myers (Colchester, Vt.) made 23 saves for the Friars, while Samantha Ridgewell had 21 for Merrimack.
- With the win, Myers is now in sole possession of second-place all time for wins by a goaltender. She has 23 this season and 59 in her career.
- Tonight's win pushed the Friars to 24 total victories on the season. It ties the program-best for wins in a season, which was set in the 2002-03 season.
- All four top seeds finished with series' sweeps over the weekend. That marks the first time all four quarterfinal series' have ended in two games since Hockey East went to the three-game model in 2015.
HOW THEY SCORED
1-0 (Providence) - 15:12/1st - EV - Neve Van Pelt (Rice, Landry) - Rebound goal
2-0 (Providence) - 10:02/2nd - PP - Maureen Murphy (Hjalmarsson, Lunny) - Pass to the back door for a tap in
2-1 (Merrimack) - 19:35/3rd - EX - Katelyn Rae (Voight, Sorensen) - Scramble in front
Providence: Madison Myers, 23-9-2: 23 saves, 1 goal against
Merrimack: Samantha Ridgewell, 16-13-7: 21 saves, 2 goals against
Power plays: 1-2 (50%)
Penalty kill: 3-3 (100%)
Power plays: 0-3 (0%)
Penalty kill: 1-2 (50%)
PC GAME HIGHS
Shots: Rickard, Murphy (4)
Goals: Van Pelt, Murphy (1)
Assists: Rice, Landry, Hjalmarsson, Lunny (1)
Points: Six different players (1)
The Friars will face first-seeded Northeastern in a semifinal game next Saturday, March 9.