No. 9/9 Boston College women’s hockey team split their series with Merrimack over the weekend, moving to 13-1-0 all-time against the Warriors. The Eagles took a 4-3 overtime victory at home on Friday afternoon before suffering a 1-0 loss on Saturday at Merrimack.
Although BC was never down in Friday’s game, Merrimack consistently fought back to keep both teams battling to the end. Megan Keller opened the scoring for the Eagles at 2:20 in the first period, capitalizing on a solid pass from Serena Sommerfield. A few minutes later, BC increased their lead to two on a Caitrin Lonergan goal at the right post.
It looked like BC had total control of the game until 20 seconds later when Merrimack took advantage of a power play, getting a shot past Maddy McArthur to bring the score to 2-1. Neither team could get anything going for the rest of the first period, but the energy and competitiveness of the game was high and kept things interesting.
Merrimack tied the game 2-2 at 4:37 in the second period, forcing the Eagles to reignite their offense—it was clear that the Warriors were not backing down.
Erin Connolly got the Eagles going again in the second period, firing a pass off a Merrimack player’s skate to Daryl Watts, who then passed it off to Caitrin Lonergan; Lonergan notched her second goal of the night at 7:29, putting BC back on top, 3-2. The Eagles were able to maintain this lead for only another seven minutes, as Merrimack tied it up yet again at 15:24.
After Maddy McArthur reigned as heroine of the third period, making big saves left and right, the Warriors and Eagles went into overtime. At 1:58 in OT, Watts found Keller, who found the back of the net on a slap shot just beneath the crossbar to give BC the victory—their first in three games.
“Honestly, it’s good to get a win,” said head coach Katie Crowley. “We’ve struggled in that category over the last week, so it’s really nice to get a win. I thought we played much better offensively, being able to put some of those goals in...overall, it’s great to get a win.”
The Eagles outshot Merrimack 49-23 on the night; however, the defense was not at its best, as they continued to let Merrimack hang around and keep the score close. Nonetheless, McArthur was able to tally 20 saves on the afternoon, while Watts increased her point streak to four games.
The Eagles traveled to Merrimack on Saturday looking to secure a series win over the Warriors. Kelly Pickreign made her first start of her career for BC and certainly did not disappoint. She totaled 29 saves, with 14 coming in the first period.
BC dominated in the shots category, forcing 51 shots on Merrimack, but unfortunately none amounted to a score. Merrimack took 30 shots, with their lone goal coming with 5:21 left in the second period on a power play. The Eagles fiercely tried to even the score throughout the third period, putting up 26 shots on goal, yet they were unable to get anything in the back of the net. Throughout the game, they had seven power play opportunities, but could not convert on any of them.
Although this was BC’s first loss to Merrimack all-time, there were still some positives that came from the game. The freshman goalie Pickreign played solid in goal, and Makenna Newkirk had three blocks in the game. On offense, Watts and Lonergan amassed ten shots on goal each; 13 Eagles had at least one shot on goal, proving their ability to work together and move the puck around.
The Eagles have some time off as they head into the winter break, giving them an opportunity to rest. They’ll also go back to the drawing board to figure out how to recover from an uncharacteristically rough patch in the last few weeks and dominate in the second half of the season. They will be back in action on January 5, 2019 at 2 p.m. at UNH.
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