Press "Enter" to skip to content

UMaine Women’s Hockey Battles Merrimack to Overtime

The first round of the Hockey East playoffs descended upon Alfond Arena on Wednesday evening as the eighth-seeded Black Bears hosted the nine-seeded Merrimack Warriors. Fourth-year goalie Jorden Mattison got the start for the Black Bears, and she opposed second-year goalie Calli Hogarth. 

The game started quickly, with both teams getting chances early. A tripping penalty committed by Merrimack’s fourth-year forward Emily Oosterveld just a few minutes into the game put the Black Bears on the power play. The power play was filled with chances, including two from fifth-year forward Ida Kuoppala, but could not capitalize. While there was no score after one, the highly entertaining affair had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Both of the teams opened the second period, flying around the ice. With both teams committing penalties in the first minutes of the period, it was only a matter of time before the game’s first goal was found. The crowd anxiously awaited a goal as the puck rang the post of each side just three minutes apart. Not too long after, Merrimack’s fifth-year forward Celine Tedenby committed a cross-checking penalty, sending the Black Bears to the power play. Just twenty seconds into the power play, the Alfond exploded. Kuoppala, on a feed from first-year forward Sam Morrison, put the Black Bears in front with seven minutes to play in the second. It gave all the momentum to the Black Bears, who were now playing with the crowd fully behind them. As the Black Bears got ready to enter the second intermission with their lead, a penalty committed by Morrison as the clock was expiring would allow the Warriors to tie the game when the third period opened. This mistake would prove to be very costly. 

In the opening minutes of the third period, the Warriors brought the game even. A goal by Tedenby and an assist from third-year defenseman Hayley Chang tied the playoff game with 18 minutes to go. The intensity only increased, and the tension could’ve been cut with a knife. Both teams did an excellent job in the third period, valuing puck control and staying out of the penalty box. As the game dwindled into the final minutes, tensions grew. All players on both sides had a hyper-focus on returning to the defensive end, as a goal from either side would end the other’s season. The two squads would have to wait at least another 15 minutes as the third period expired, signaling this one was headed to overtime. One way or another, someone’s season was ending in heartbreak. 

Unfortunately, the Black Bears found themselves on the wrong side of that heartbreak. It was not even two minutes into the overtime period when fifth-year Merrimack forward Allison Reeb put the finishing touches on the Black Bear season. Fourth-year defenseman Raice Szott of the Warriors set up Reeb nicely, making the potential save for Mattison near impossible. 

After an unfortunate end to the season, the Black Bears have nothing to be ashamed of, fighting down to the final buzzer.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...