This Week in Women’s Hockey: November 20-27

Nara Elia works against a Bulldog defender earlier this month. Photo by Rachel Sharples.

This past week was full of positives for the BU women’s hockey team, including three wins against Boston and Hockey East foes.

Playing on a Tuesday night for the second week in a row, the Terriers (10-4-1, 5-4-1 Hockey East) met Harvard (5-0, 5-0 ECAC) in a rematch of the 2019 Beanpot championship game. The Crimson went into Walter Brown Arena undefeated in all competitions, while the Terriers entered off a loss to then-No. 6 Boston College.

BU’s domination in special teams play made all the difference against the crosstown rivals, going four-for-four on the power play. Junior forward Jesse Compher cashed in with goals both shorthanded and on the power play while BU also scored on the woman advantage through redshirt senior forward Sammy Davis, junior forward Nara Elia, and freshman forward Julia Nearis.

Kristina Schuler also found the back of the net for the hosts to extend her goal streak to three games, and junior goaltender Corrine Schroeder made 32 saves in the 6-2 victory.

Prior to the weekend’s series against the University of Vermont, the United States Women’s National Team announced their winter training camp roster, and Davis and Compher made the cut to represent the Terriers in red, white and blue. Davis currently leads the Terriers with 17 points (5g, 12a), and Compher, despite missing the first nine games of the season, sits third on the team in goals with six.

BU head coach Brian Durocher is not surprised that Davis and Compher were invited to attend training camp, commenting that it is their competitive nature that sticks out the most.

“I keep leaning on the competitive nature of the both of them,” said Durocher. “You can have talented and skilled people that may not always fit that mold, but these two, besides talent, are very competitive, hard-working and they set the bar very high for our team.”

Not only was Compher recognized for her hard work by the USWNT, but Hockey East announced Monday that she was named Hockey East Women’s Player of the Week. Compher has five goals and three assists in three games for the Terriers.

In Burlington over the weekend, the Terriers swept the UVM Catamounts (5-5-5, 2-5-3 Hockey East).

Durocher split the doubleheader between his goaltenders. Sophomore goaltender Kate Stuart got the start for Saturday evening’s game, while Schroeder took Sunday afternoon’s contest.

Durocher has talked about starting Stuart more and more, as her “great body-of-work has warranted a bit more play”.

Stuart helped lift the Terriers over the Catamounts in overtime Saturday, making 35 saves in regulation and three in overtime. Freshman defenseman Nadia Mattivi tallied her first collegiate goal, while Compher scored a shorthanded goal – her second shorthanded tally in two games – as part of the 3-2 win. It was Nara Elia who would score with 1:06 remaining in overtime to take the victory.

Sunday saw a slow start for BU, as Vermont scored just six seconds into the game to grab the 1-0 lead.

“You gotta give credit to your opponent,” said Durocher on the Catamounts’ play in the opening period. “They played well [Saturday]: got some wind in their sails.”

Despite the early tally, it would be all BU from there-on-out. Late into the first period with about five minutes remaining, freshman forward Julia Nearis tied the score at one apiece. Then, just two minutes into the second period, senior defenseman Abby Cook scored on the power play to give the Terriers a 2-1 lead.

Compher would go on to extend BU’s lead 12:46 into the second stanza with the first of two power-play goals, while junior forward Kristina Schuler lit the lamp just over a minute later. Compher concluded the scoring frenzy just 1:18 into the third for her second-career four-point effort, sealing the 5-1 victory for the Terriers and concluding the weekend sweep.

BU finished 7-for-7 on the penalty kill, and this game was only the second time all season that the Terriers gave up the opening goal. Schroeder backstopped BU with 21 saves.

BU will have this weekend off before hosting the Boston College Eagles (11-3-1, 10-3-1 Hockey East) at Walter Brown Arena on December 6 and traveling to BC’s Conte Forum on December 7. The Eagles will be participating in the Country Classic in Nashville, Tennessee against Minnesota and Wisconsin before taking on the Terriers.

BC is currently led offensively by freshman forward Hannah Bilka who has 21 points on the season so far, and also leads in goals with 11. Sophomore forward Kelly Brown leads the team in helpers with 14 assists.

Coach Durocher said that BU will use the next two weeks to rest up.

“It will be a good time for a couple people who are banged up to hopefully get healthy,” said Durocher. “Hopefully it will give the kids some space for academics and rest, and prepare for the last two games before break.”

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.