PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team would score two unanswered power-play goals and see yet another 40-save performance from freshman goaltender Samantha Ridgewell (Outlook, Saskatchewan) on the way to posting a hard-fought tie, 2-2, at Providence on Sunday afternoon.
Score: Merrimack 2, Providence 2
Records: Merrimack (4-26-1, 2-18-1 HEA) | Providence (10-20-1, 6-14-1 HEA)
Location: Schneider Arena | Providence, R.I.
How It Happened
With a win clinching them a seventh seed in the Hockey East playoffs to avoid a first-round date with undefeated Boston College, Providence had a lot more to lose in this game then the Warriors, who lost their chance for a playoff berth in Saturday’s loss. But who that fact benefited more in this game is hard to decipher with the outcome of a tie.
The Friars played like a team with something to lose in the first period, controlling the puck and firing off a game-high 15 shots. Merrimack created some chances late in the period, but would head to the second down one after netting a power-play goal, which at that point made them 2-2 on the man-advantage on the weekend.
Providence carried that momentum over to the second period and extended their lead to 2-0 just under four minutes into frame. A penalty to the Friars at 6:02 of the period would halt that moemtum, and another Providence penalty just 52 seconds later would shift all that momentum towards the Warriors, giving them a 5-on-3 opportunity. Freshman Paige Sorensen (Plymouth, Minn.) would fire a bomb on net from the point that left a big rebound, and freshman Paige Voight (St. Michael, Minn.) would be the one who eventually put it home to cut the deficit to one, where it remained into the third.
The Warriors found a second wind in the third period, sensing an opportunity to avoid the season sweep from Providence. The Friars, the most penalized team in the nation, would take another penalty just over eight minutes into the third give Merrimack a great chance to tie. The man-advantage would play out like the previous one did, as the Warriors worked the puck to Sorensen at the point who fired a bomb on net. Freshman Madison Morey (Fairbanks, Alaska) was in great positioning to the left of the goaltender and was able to put the rebound in to tie the game in the third.
Merrimack would face some penalty troubles late in the game as they would find themselves on a penalty kill for the final 1:37 of the game, and then a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation for the final 16 seconds. The Warriors would get through regulation, but the penalties would carry over to overtime.
Providence began the overtime with a 23 second 5-on-3 into a 1:21 5-on-4. Thanks to some outstanding saves from Ridgewell, who arguably played her best five minutes of the game in overtime, the Warriors would kill of both penalties and skate out of Providence with their second tie of the season.
Inside The Numbers
- Ridgewell’s 40-save performance is now the seventh of such kind for the freshman in her rookie season. She now ranks fourth in the nation with 849 saves on the year, while she ranks fourth in Hockey East in conference save percentage (.923)
- Voight’s goal is her team-leading 10th of the season, while Sorensen’s two helpers now bring her to a team-leading 10 assists. Voight’s eight goals in conference play ranks third among rookies, while Sorensen’s 12 points rank third in the same category.
- Morey’s goal is her third of the season and is also her first-career power-play and game-tying goal. She also handled most of the faceoff work for Merrimack, going 16-34 on draws.
The Warriors will host Vermont for two games next weekend at Lawler Rink to close out the inaugural season. The first game with be Friday at 7:00 p.m. and will be Merrimack’s Hockey East Skating Strides Night.