By Itai Merlin
Coming off a tough two-game stretch against arch rival Boston College, Boston University Women’s Hockey (2-5-0, 1-4-0 HE) lost their fourth straight game, falling to the Merrimack Warriors (2-6-1, 1-5-1 HE) by a final score of 5-2 on Friday.
This was the Terriers’ first loss to the Warriors since a 2-1 defeat at Walter Brown Arena on Sept. 23, 2017.
“Merrimack just wanted it more tonight,” BU Head Coach Brian Durocher said. “They won too many of the physical battles… we just have to manage the hockey game better and bring 20 percent more energy to tomorrow’s game.”
The Terriers broke the ice early, getting an early power play opportunity as Merrimack junior defender Bree Bergeron was sent to the box for hooking.
On the advantage, BU freshman forward Sydney Healey was stopped at the left slot area, and junior forward Lacey Martin fired a rebound into a crowd of skaters around the goal crease. The puck deflected off sophomore forward Christina Vote, and Healy poked in the rebound for the early 1-0 lead.
BU’s lead lasted all of 28 seconds, as Merrimack forced a turnover in the neutral zone, and senior forward Katie Kaufman beat BU sophomore goalie Callie Shanahan at the far post to tie the game. Kaufman’s goal was her fourth goal of the season, extending her team lead.
Junior defender Madison Cardaci gave BU the lead back with just over one minute left to go in the opening frame. Martin picked up her second assist of the game after she received the puck from senior forward Julia Nearis, and sent a pass over to Cardaci for the easy tap-in goal, the first of her colligate career.
BU’s second and third periods saw multiple defensive breakdowns, several of which led to Merrimack’s goals.
The Warriors ended up tying the game around seven minutes in as sophomore forward Tara Blackburn got her second goal of the season. A little over 10 minutes later, Kaufman picked up her second goal of the game to give Merrimack a lead they would not relinquish.
As the Terriers tried to push for the tying goal in the third period, junior defender Julia Shaunessy went to the box for a holding penalty. On the ensuing Merrimack power play, senior forward Allison Reeb tapped in a deflected shot to double the Warriors’ lead.
Junior forward Ally Qualley sealed the win for the Warriors with an empty-net goal with just over two minutes left to go.
Merrimack outshot BU 29-24, and Shanahan had to make some big saves to keep BU in it, registering 24 saves.
The Terriers and Warriors will face off tomorrow at Walter Brown Arena, with puck drop scheduled for 3 p.m.