HAMDEN, Conn. – Thanks to four unanswered goals across the first two periods including two from sophomore Katelyn Rae (Courtice, Ontario), the Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team defeated Yale on Friday evening by a score of 4-3 to win the 2016 Nutmeg Classic Championship at Quinnipiac.
Score: Merrimack 4, Yale 3
Records: Merrimack (5-10-2, 2-7-0 HEA) | Yale (4-6-2, 2-5-1 ECAC)
Location: High Point Solutions Arena| Hamden, Conn.
How It Happened
- Saturday’s Nutmeg Classic Championship game began as a back-and-forth battle that saw both sides playing well but neither side getting much of a scoring opportunity. The Warriors would change that pac and break the game open just over 13 minutes into the first, scoring two goals in just a 37-second span to hop out to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came of the stick of sophomore Dominique Kremer (West Fargo, N.D.) for her first of the season to give Merrimack a lead they would keep for the remainder of the game.
- The second goal just 37 seconds later would be the first of Rae’s two scores, as a scrum in front of the net would result in the puck popping right out to Rae who was able to easily put it into an open goal to give Merrimack a 2-0 lead heading to the second with her tenth of the season.
- The Warriors would see their lead extended to three goals just past the midway point of the second period, beginning with a nice play in the neutral zone from freshman Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Brampton, Ontario) the resulted in a 3-on-1 opportunity. Grant-Mentis would find sophomore Emily Volpe (Whitby, Ontario) streaking to the net alone, who then made a beautiful deke to her backhand around the goaltender to net her second of the season.
- Rae second of the game and Merrimack’s fourth would come just under seven minutes later on an impressive effort from the Courtice, Ontario native. Rae would bring the puck in the offensive zone up the right side, skating around a defender and getting in close for a shot that the sophomore somehow managed to squeeze between the goaltender and the post for her third mutli-goal game of the year.
- The momentum would shift come the third period as Merrimack quickly saw Yale become the aggressor in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Bulldogs would finally get on the board at the 8:05 mark of the third, scoring on their second of two power play opportunities in the game to cut their deficit to four goals.
- The Warriors were able to fend off an attacking Yale following their first goal, but saw that change once the Bulldogs pulled their goal from the net with about 3:30 remaining in the game. They would need just 10 seconds with the extra attacker to strike again and cut the lead to 4-2 with 3:20 to play in regulation.
- Yale would continue to pressure with the extra attacker and again managed to net another goal in garbage time to cut the Warriors’ lead to just one, but with just 06.8 remaining on the clock the third goal would not be enough as the Warriors took home the 2016 Nutmeg Classic Championship.
Inside The Numbers
- Merrimack’s win in the Nutmeg Classic Championship snaps a seven-game winless streak and marks the first time they have scored four or more goals in a game in their last 10.
- Rae’s two scores on Saturday snap a five-game scoreless streak for the sophomore and improves her team-leading total to 11 on the season. That number has her tied for third in Hockey East.
- Kremer registers her second multi-point game of the season while netting her first goal of her sophomore campaign after she registered two assists in the season-opener at St. Cloud. This season she boasts a stat line of 1g-5a-6p.
- Goaltenders: W – Demers (5-7-0, 34 saves) | L – Rossman (10-5-1, 18 saves)
- Power Plays: Merrimack (0-1) | Yale (1-2)
- SOG: MC – 26 | Yale – 37
The Warriors will continue non-conference action on the road on Tuesday when they travel to Brown for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Bears.