In the first clash of newly-minted Hockey East rivals, the Boston University Terriers (9-6-0, 7-3-0 Hockey East) defeated the Merrimack Warriors (2-11-0, 1-6-0 Hockey East) 5-1 at Lawler Arena. Merrimack is playing its first season as a NCAA Division I program. The team had played the previous two seasons at the club hockey level before transitioning to D-I this year.
The first period passed qiuetly for the first ten minutes until Dakota Woodworth hammered home a juicy rebound left by Warrior netminder Kate Kowalchuck. It was Woodworth’s second goal of the year and second in as many games.
The BU power play doubled the advantage three minutes later when Victoria Bach finished the passing of Sarah Steele and Kayla Tutino. After one period, shots were 15-4 in favor of BU and five of those BU shots came on that power play.
With the Terriers maintaing possesion deep in the Warriors’ zone, Kowalchuck tried to cover the puck for a faceoff. Bach fidgeted the puck out from underneath her and slid it behind the line for her second of the game. Sarah Lefort and Alexis Crossley assisted on the goal.
Just over two minutes later, Samantha Sutherland found Maddie Elia at the blue line on the BU power play. Elia slid the puck over the Rebecca Russo for a one-timer that hit the twine and bounced out before Kowalchuck could get in position to block it. After 40 minutes, BU led the game 4-0 and 40-9 in shots.
Bach rounded out the BU scoring with her third goal assisted by Sarah Steele, her third helper of the night, and Kayla Tutino. The goal marked Bach’s first colligiate hat trick in 51 games played.
Paige Voight spoiled Victoria Hanson’s shutout bid early in the third, beating her on a semi-breakaway for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Paige Sorensen had the lone assist, her fourth of the year, to spring Voight up ice.
Hanson only needed to make 16 saves in the one-goal win; Kowalchuck stopped 45 in a valiant effort.
Tomorrow afternoon, the teams will square off at Walter Brown Arena for a 3 p.m. rematch. BU will be going for its fourth consecutive win and Merrimack will hope to avoid its sixth straight loss. Erin O’Neil is likely to start in net for the Terriers.