|1st||3:12||MER||1-0||PP||Paige Voight (11)||Dominique Kremer/8, Paige Sorensen/11|
|3rd||6:33||MER||2-0||PP GW||Paige Sorensen (7)||Dominique Kremer/9, Madison Morey/5|
|3rd||11:30||VER||1-2||EV||Bella Webster (2)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Madison Litchfield (L, 5-14-2)||58:36||2||10||7||4||21|
|Samantha Ridgewell (W, 5-19-2)||60:00||1||8||14||3||25|
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - Hosting their first annual Hockey East Skating Strides game in front of excited crowd, the Merrimack College women's ice hockey team topped Vermont by a score of 2-1 for the second time this season thanks to two power-play goals and solid goaltending from freshman Samantha Ridgewell (Outlook, Saskatchewan).
Score: Merrimack 2, Vermont 1
Records: Merrimack (5-26-2, 3-18-2 HEA) | Vermont (8-23-2, 6-15-2 HEA)
Location: Lawler Rink | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Merrimack, who has found some incredible success on the power play as of late, would get a power-play opportunity just 1:43 into the first period. Freshman Paige Voight (St. Michael, Minn.), who was responsible for the overtime game-winning goal at Vermont on January 4, would take the puck from just inside her defensive end up the left boards. As she entered the zone, she cut to the middle of the ice to give herself a better look, which paid off in the form of her 11th goal of the season to give Merrimack an early 1-0 lead. That score would until the second period, with Merrimack outshooting Vermont 11-8 in the opening period.
Despite being the only scoreless frame, the second period was one of the more exciting periods of the game, especially for Ridgewell. Vermont would fire off a game-high 14 shots in the period, forcing the freshman goaltender to make some outstanding saves, including a beautiful glove save on a hard shot from the point to hold Merrimack's lead at 1-0.
Freshman Katelyn Rae (Courtice, Ontario) would get a great breakaway look shorthanded after pickpocketing a Vermont puck carrier. Rae fired a hard snap shot by the goaltender but the shot would hit the post and the score would hold at 1-0 after two.
Vermont would take its second penalty of the game 5:29 into the final period, and the Warriors would once again capitalize. After some nice cycling in the offensive zone, freshman defenseman Dominique Kremer (West Fargo, N.D.) would feed a smooth pass to her partner at the point, as freshman Paige Sorensen (Plymouth, Minn.) was ready and waiting to launch her signature slap shot on a one-timer. With some traffic in front of the net, the puck deflected off a Vermont defender's stick and by the tender to extend the lead to 2-0 6:33 into the third.
The Catamounts would net their only goal of the game just five minutes after Sorensen, making for a tense second half of the third period. But the Warriors' defense would play great in the third, allowing just four shots on goal from Vermont and maintain their 2-1 lead until the buzzer sounded.
Inside The Numbers
- The Warriors entered Friday with a 17.5% success rate on the power-play. They were 2-3 on the man advantage on Friday. The last six goals scored by Merrimack have all come on the power-play.
- Vermont just edged the Warriors in SOG by a margin of 26-23. Both teams had three penalties for six minutes, with Merrimack going 2-3 on the power-play, while Vermont was 0-3.
- Sorensen now has four points in her last two games and improves her team-leading assist total to 11 on Voight's goal. The freshman leads all rookie defenseman in Hockey East in scoring.
- The Warriors also beat Vermont by a score of 2-1 back on January 4, though that victory came in overtime. Merrimack has the opportunity to sweep the season series with Vermont on Saturday after losing their season series with all other Hockey East teams.
The Warriors go for the season sweep of Vermont tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. at Lawler Rink in their inaugural season finale.