ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Led by the first hat trick in program history from sophomore Katelyn Rae (Courtice, Ontario), the Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team skated to the first win of its sophomore season on Saturday, beating St. Cloud by a score of 4-1 in Minnesota to split the season-opening series with the Huskies.
Score: Merrimack 4, St. Cloud State 1
Records: Merrimack (1-1, 0-0 HEA) | St. Cloud State (1-3, 0-2 WCHA)
Location: Herb Brooks National Hockey Center | St. Cloud, Minn.
How It Happened
- The first period would go by scoreless in the second and final game of the weekend for the Warriors at St. Cloud. Merrimack’s offense saw itself favored in the opening frame as they outshot the Huskies by a margin of 10-8.
- After a penalty late in the first period to St. Cloud that would carry over to the second, the Warriors would see the strong start for their offense pay off as Rae scored the first goal for Merrimack for the second straight game to give her team a 1-0 lead early in the second. It was also her second power play goal of the season.
- The Huskies would tie the game back up at one apiece at the nine minute mark of the second period as Julia Tylke netted her fourth of the season and third in two games against the Warriors to put St. Cloud on the board.
- Merrimack would get another power play opportunity just over five minutes after St. Cloud knotted the game up, giving Merrimack a chance to take the lead. The Warriors would again capitalize on the man advantage as sophomore Jessica Bonfe (Woodbury, Minn.) would need just 15 seconds on the power play to score her first of the season and eventual game-winner, giving the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
- St. Cloud would respond in the third period with a potent attack, but freshman goaltender Léa-Kristine Demers (Repentigny, Quebec) would impress in net in just her second-career start, making eight saves in the third on the way to her first-career victory.
- With time winding down on the third and the Warriors still holding a 2-1 lead, St. Cloud would pull their goalie from the net with 2:10 remaining in a late effort to again tie the game. But in the final minutes, Rae would find the vacated net twice to cap off her first-career hat trick and the first three-goal game in the history of the program while lifting the Warriors to their first win of the season.
Inside The Numbers
- Rae now has four goals on the season through two games, including two power play goals to lead Merrimack’s scoring attack. Her three goals Saturday now also put her at a program-leading 12 career goals.
- Freshman Mikyla Grant-Mentis (Brampton, Ontario) registered a couple firsts in just her second-career game as a Warrior. The rookie assisted on both power play goals for Merrimack, picking up her first career assist, point, and mutli-point game on Saturday.
- Bonfe also registered an assist on Rae’s first goal of the game, making for the sophomore’s first-career multi-point game after seven one-point games in her freshman campaign. She also scored her first-career game-winning goal.
- As they did early in their inaugural season, the Warriors have opened up the year with a strong power play, posting a 50% success rate through two games (4-8).
- Goaltenders: W – Demers (1-1, 25 saves) | L – Crosby (0-2, 19 saves)
- Power Plays: Merrimack (2-4) | St. Cloud (0-3)
- SOG: MC – 19 | SCSU – 26
The Warriors season-opening road trip continues when they travel to Colgate next weekend for two games with the Raiders on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m.