|2nd||9:00||STC||1-0||EV||Hanna Brodt (1)||Lexi Slattery/1, Christa Moody/1|
|2nd||15:14||STC||2-0||EV||Lexi Slattery (1)||Hanna Brodt/1|
|2nd||17:57||MER||1-2||PP||Katelyn Rae (1)||Dominique Kremer/1, Paige Voight/1|
|3rd||1:29||MER||2-2||PP||Paige Sorensen (1)||Madison Morey/1|
|3rd||3:27||MER||3-2||PP||Jackie Pieper (1)||Beatrice Dufour/1, Madison Morey/2|
|3rd||8:45||MER||4-2||PP||Paige Voight (1)||Beatrice Dufour/2|
|3rd||12:58||STC||3-4||PP||Lexi Slattery (2)||-|
|3rd||14:17||STC||4-4||PP||Lauren Hespenheide (1)||Lexi Slattery/2|
|3rd||14:49||STC||5-4||PP GW||Christa Moody (1)||Brittney Anderson/1, Lauren Hespenheide/1|
|3rd||17:09||STC||6-4||EV||Caroline Markström (1)||-|
|St. Cloud State||0||2||4||6|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||11||12||21||44|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (1-0-0)||3/7||6/12||0|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Katie Fitzgerald (W, 1-0-0)||59:27||4||6||6||7||19|
|Samantha Ridgewell (L, 0-1-0)||60:00||6||11||10||17||38|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Merrimack College women's ice hockey team drew the biggest crowd an inaugural game a Hockey East school has seen, but fell to St. Cloud State, 6-4 despite a very formidable effort in their first-ever game at Lawler Rink on Friday night.
From the early minutes of the game, the Warriors showed they were not going to be taken lightly in their first season as a Division I team. Merrimack competed with St. Cloud State for the entire first period, winning battles and putting quality shots on goal. Freshman goaltender Samantha Ridgewell (Outlook, Saskatchewan) started in net in the program-opener and impressed in the opening period, making 11 saves in the scoreless first.
St. Cloud would get on the board first come the second period, as Lexi Slattery would score two goals for the Huskies. Her second came with less than five minutes remaining in the second, taking some wind out of the sails of the Warrior crowd. But with just two minutes until the end of the period, freshman forward Katelyn Rae (Courtice, Ontario) would score the first goal in Merrimack College women's ice hockey history to cut St. Cloud's lead in half heading to the third. The program's first-ever goal featured assists from freshman defenseman Dominique Kremer (West Fargo, N.D.) and freshman forward Paige Voight (St. Michael, Minn.).
The final period would be the most action-filled and entertaining period of the game, as the teams would combine to score seven goals in the last 20 minutes. The game-tying goal would come just a minute and a half into the third period, when freshman defenseman Paige Sorensen (Plymouth, Minn.) received a pass right on the blade from freshman forward Madison Morey (Fairbanks, Alaska) and fired rocket of a slap-shot from the point that blew past the goalie top-corner
With the tying goal, the energy in Lawler rose and the momentum completely shifted toward the Warriors. Two minutes after Sorensen's goal, Jackie Pieper (Edina, Minn.), one of the original four recruits, would score her first career goal two years in the making to give the Warriors the lead.
Merrimack continued to apply the pressure offensively in the third, sensing they had St. Cloud on their heels. At 11:15 in the final period, Voight would put a snapshot top corner just seconds after being turned away on a great opportunity, putting the Warriors up by two scores nearing the end of the game.
As the game entered the final half of the third period, St. Cloud State began to show the experience and chemistry they have built over years of playing together. In just over a four-minute span, the Huskies would score four unanswered goals, including the third of the game from Lexi Slattery, and retake the lead 6-4, where the game would finish.
Inside The Numbers •Morey and freshman defenseman Beatrice Dufour (Sarnia, Ontario) would both notch two assists in the inaugural game, helping get their team and their personal careers off to an impressive start. •All four of the Warriors' goals came on the power-play, going 4-6 with the man advantage in the game. Merrimack also impressed on the other side of special teams, killing off the first four penalties they faced. That was until the third period, when the Huskies netted three consecutive power play goals in their four-unanswered stretch. •While St. Cloud State was able to find the net six times, Ridgewell made 38 saves in her first time out, including some great close-range stops. •The official attendance count for the Warriors' inaugural game was 1781, shattering the attendance numbers of recent college women's hockey inaugural games and setting a new attendance record for inaugural games at Hockey East School's
The Warriors are back at it tomorrow afternoon against St. Cloud State, returning to Lawler Rink for a 2:00 p.m. puck drop.