MINNEAPOLIS - In anticipation of the upcoming season, GopherSports.com will take a closer look at each of the 2017-18 opponents that the Gopher women's hockey team plays. Up this week is the Merrimack Warriors.
About the Series: Minnesota vs. Merrimack
The Gophers and the Warriors face off for the first-time ever at Ridder Arena to kick-off the 2017-18 season. In 2015-16, Merrimack joined Hockey East and the NCAA for its inaugural season.
Scouting the Warriors
Merrimack concluded its season with a record of 11-22-3. They were eliminated by Boston College in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
Freshman Mikyla Grant-Mentis led the team in scoring, tallying a total of 27 points (9g-18a). Léa-Kristine Demers and Samantha Ridgewell split time in net for the Warriors. Demers played 24 games, posting a .913 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average, while Ridgewell played 14 games, earning a .907 save percentage and 3.34 goals against average.
Merrimack graduated two seniors following the season, but welcomes three new faces to the team. Maddy Burton (Aurora, Ill.), Megan Fergusson (Kitchener, Ontario) and Courtney Maud (Georgetown, Ontario), have all committed to the Warriors for the 2017-18 season.
Merrimack has a bright future ahead, as all of the top-10 scorers were underclassmen this season. The team posted a total of 212 points on the season, with only nine points coming from upperclassmen.
The Gophers and Warriors will meet for the first time in program history on Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The games mark both teams' season-opening series.