The women’s hockey team allowed three third-period goals in a 5-2 loss to non-conference foe Merrimack Tuesday night at Meehan Auditorium.
The Bears (3-10, 1-7 ECAC) entered the final frame tied with the Warriors (6-10-2, 2-7 Hockey East) after erasing a 2-0 deficit but let the game slip away after Dominique Kremer scored from the point 7:23 into the period to take back the lead. The loss is the eighth straight for Bruno after the team started the year 3-2.
“We played 40 minutes of good hockey,” said Assistant Coach Katelyn Parker. “We were right with them. The girls are trying hard — that’s what we can ask for.”
Slow starts have contributed to the team’s recent losing streak. Coming off a 7-3 loss to rival Providence in which the Bears allowed four goals in the first period, Brown fell behind early once again Tuesday.
Merrimack scored goals 2:29 apart in the first period after eight minutes of back-and-forth play. The Warriors’ second goal came on the power play after Abby Niewchas ’19 was called for hooking.
But the second period proved a different story for Bruno. Lucinda Quigley ’20 notched her first collegiate goal to get Brown on the board 9:17 into the second frame. The play was set up with a pass out of the corner by Samantha Swanstrom ’18 to Sena Hanson ’20, who found Quigley in front.
Swanstrom and Hanson, along with linemate Alley Rempe ’20, continued to pressure the Warriors late in the period. With 1:38 left, Swanstrom buried her second goal of the season after collecting a pass from Hanson, giving them both two points on the night and knotting the score.
After making seven saves in the first, Julianne Landry ’18 blanked the Warriors in the second period, posting nine saves.
Parker was pleased with the team’s play in the second considering the first period’s difficulties.
“It shows the resiliency of our group,” she said. “We’re never going to give up no matter who we’re facing or what the score is, and that comes from a lot of character.”
Quigley and Hanson are among several first-years seeing substantial playing time for the Bears this season. Brown lost captain Maddie Woo ’17 to injury at the beginning of the year and played without Erin Conway ’17 and Katie Swanstrom ’18 Tuesday, leaving the team with just one active senior.
“A lot of our freshmen and sophomores are getting thrown in positions they might not normally be in,” Parker said. “They’re really taking it full stride and giving their best effort.”
After Merrimack retook the lead, Annie Boeckers scored just over two minutes later, pushing the puck past Landry, who appeared to have it covered. Paige Voight scored in the final minutes for the Warriors to put the game well out of Brown’s reach.
Merrimack narrowly outshot Bruno in the contest, 29-27. Landry finished with 24 saves.
The Bears will wait a month before returning to the ice Dec. 30 at Robert Morris. The team can use the long break to get healthy and reset after a rocky start, Parker said.
“We can just focus on team bonding, build each other up, get back to the drawing board and just focus on that second half of the season,” she said.