By: Jarett Leonard
After the Merrimack men’s hockey team swept BU in a home-and-home series this week, the women’s team continued an impressive stretch for Warrior hockey with a 4-1 win over the Terriers on Saturday night.
With the game tied at one in the second period, freshman Mikyla Grant-Mentis scored two goals in just ten seconds to cap her first career hat trick and give Merrimack its first win over BU in program history.
BU senior goaltender Victoria Hanson (28 saves) was unable to locate the puck in a lengthy net-front scrum, allowing Grant-Mentis to slide the loose puck over the line for the eventual game-winning goal.
After Merrimack won the ensuing faceoff, Grant-Mentis took an outlet pass from sophomore Dominique Kremer, stepped around Terrier freshman Breanna Scarpaci and fired a wrist shot past Hanson for her third of the game.
The Terriers outshot Merrimack 37-32 but freshman goaltender Lea-Kristine Demers made 36 saves, including 17 in the third period alone, to stall BU’s eighth-ranked offense and avoid a season sweep.
Grant-Mentis’ first of the game came five minutes in when sophomore Annie Boeckers won a battle in the corner and found her streaking down the slot for a wrist shot that beat Hanson. Sophomore Katelyn Rae capped the scoring with an empty net goal after BU coach Brian Durocher elected to pull Hanson while on the power play for a 6-on-4 advantage with over four minutes remaining in the third.
BU’s only tally of the contest came late in the first period when senior Maddie Elia, who returned from an injury that kept her out of five games, spun along the goal line and centered the puck. From there, junior Victoria Bach jammed it past Demers to extend her point streak to three games. Senior Samantha Sutherland’s assist on the play also moved her own point streak to three games.
With the win, Merrimack (9-17-3, 5-14-0 Hockey East) leapfrogged Maine for eighth in the conference standings, and the two teams are set to meet this weekend in a series that could decide the final spot in the Hockey East tournament.
The Terriers, now 13-9-5 overall and 8-8-4 in Hockey East, remain in third place but are just one point clear of New Hampshire and Vermont, which are tied for fourth. The top four teams in the standings will earn home-ice advantage in the first round of the conference tournament.
BU will now turn its attention to the 39th Women’s Beanpot and a fourth meting with Boston College on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena. BC won the first meeting 5-3 at Conte Forum on Nov. 4 before BU topped the Eagles by the same score the next day. A Jan. 7 contest between the two teams resulted in a 1-1 tie.