By: Matt Dresens
BOSTON — Thanks in large part to two second-period goals from Katelyn Rea and Megan Fergusson, Merrimack walked out of Walter Brown Arena with a 2-1 season-opening win against the Terriers, who mustered just one goal on 31 shots in the first game of the 2018 campaign.
“All in all I like the majority of what we did tonight,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “Scoring is sometimes skill, determination and a little bit of luck from time to time and we didn’t seem to get that tonight.”
BU controlled the play for the majority of the opening frame, pumping nine shots on Merrimack netminder Samantha Ridgewell, one of which found paydirt. On the power play, Reagan Rust slammed home her first of the season from Victoria Boch and Abby Cook. Rust started the play with the initial shot and followed her rebound in the slot, where she beat Ridgewell glove side to get the Terriers on the board 11:30 into the opening period.
“Regan’s calling card is that she is very competitive and very athletic,” added Durocher. “She played a lot of forward before college hockey. She’s got a real good wrist shot and a real good slapshot from the blue line.”
The tide quickly turned in the second period. Merrimack picked up a power-play goal from Katelyn Rae to knot things at 1-1, 9:49 into the second stanza. From out of the near corner, Mikyla Grant-Mentis tried a centering feed, but it deflected off a BU defender out in front and redirected on goal. Terrier goalie Erin O’Neil couldn’t cleanly cover up the loose puck and Rae was there to bang it home. The goal took just seven seconds of power play time.
MC gained a lot of momentum from the goal and in addition, BU started taking penalties, eventually leading to an extended 5-on-3 for the Warriors.
“The first shift after the goal we did a pretty good job of taking the momentum away,” stated Durocher. “Then we took a took a penalty and while were killing the penalty, we bump into somebody down low and we get a second one. Then they capitalize on the five-on-three. We have to find a way to avoid that.”
With less than a minute to play in the period, freshman Megan Fergusson notched her first collegiate goal, and eventual game-winner, at the side of the cage. From the point, Paige Sorensen fired a low slapper that O’Neil kicked out, but Fergusson was able to poke home the loose change to give the Warriors the lead.
BU made a strong push in the third period to even things up, but time and time again Ridgewell had an answer.
The Terriers best chance rang off the post on a Nina Rogers shot and the ensuing rebound kicked out to Jesse Compher, who was stonewalled by a flashy Ridgewell left pad save.
The Terriers are off for two weeks until October 6th, when they take on Northeastern.