Playing its first home games in more than a month, the women’s hockey team dropped two tough contests to No. 10 Mercyhurst 4-1 on Saturday and 4-0 yesterday. The Red (1-11-1, 0-5-1 ECAC) could not tack on another win after breaking a 12-game winless streak last weekend at Findlay. Mercyhurst (19-5-1) extended its winning streak to nine games and has not lost since the end of November.
The Lakers got on the board first when Samantha Shirley put one past senior Sanya Sandahl at 8:22. With junior Anita Khar in the box for roughing, Shirley notched her 10th goal of the season at 10:28 to put Mercyhurst up 2-0.
The Red would answer back at the end of the period. Freshman Caitlin Warren scored her second goal in as many games, with assists going to junior Sarah Carter and freshman Andrea Skinner. Warren’s goal accounted for the Red’s only shot of the period.
Neither team was able to light the lamp in the second period, as the Lakers outshot the Red 8-7. The game would remain 2-1 until the last two minutes of play, when Sara McDonald scored her 11th goal of the season at 18:46.
Sandahl was pulled after the Mercyhurst goal to bring out the extra attacker, but Jessica Dillabough was able to put a shot into the empty net to give the Lakers a 4-1 win. Sandahl finished with 17 saves and Desirae Clark made 10 saves for the Lakers
Both teams started different goalies yesterday, as senior Liz Connelly was in net for the Red, and Tiffany Ribble started for Mercyhurst. The Lakers would grab the lead in the first on a power play. K.C. Gallio knocked a rebound past Connelly for her second gnew of the season at 12:43.
“We knew what they were going to come at us with. They made some adjustments on the power play, and we didn’t adjust as we should have. That hurt us early on,” commented head coach Melody Davidson.
Britney Millar added another score for Mercyhurst on the power play, blasting a shot from the high slot by a screened Connelly at 18:38.
“[We needed to work on] adjusting from one type of power play to the other, and that’s just experience and we talked about it between the first and the second periods,” remarked Davidson. “We made the adjustment and kept them off the board after that.”
Lyndsay Barch netted Mercyhurst’s third goal at 3:23 after collecting a rebound on a wraparound shot. Davidson called a timeout shortly after the goal to try and regroup, but Mercyhurst came right back and scored its fourth goal. A shot from the high point was deflected to the right side of the net, and an open C.J. Ireland put the puck past Connelly at 8:18.
The Red had trouble on defense, as players were left open in front of the net on several occasions.
Connelly robbed Mercyhurst of another goal in the third, making a diving save with the Lakers on a man-advantage.
“[Liz] stood in there. She faced a lot of screened shots, a lot of different plays. I’m really happy with where she’s at. She played an outstanding game last weekend as well, so she’s settling in nicely,” said Davidson.
Connelly made 37 saves for the Red, while Ribble stopped 13 for Mercyhurst. The Red was outshot 69 to 23 on the weekend.
“We need to work on the offensive side of the game. We graduated a lot of offense, and it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone we have right now,” commented Davidson. “Mercyhurst outshot a team last weekend 133-20 and outscored them 10-1, so we’re pretty pleased with the effort we put forth. We’d like to put some more pucks in the net, but we’re getting there,” she continued.
The Red will hit the road again next weekend when it travels to No. 6 St. Lawrence for a weekend series in Canton. The icers will be home again to face No. 8 Princeton and Yale on Feb. 8 and 9.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach