The Boston University women’s hockey team (17-5-3, 12-5-3 Hockey East) earned three out of four possible points against the Merrimack Warriors (4-19-4, 1-15-4 Hockey East) last weekend, and if there was one lesson that the Terriers learned in the series, it was the significance of avoiding penalties late in a game when up by less than a goal.
Hosting the Warriors on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena, the series opener did not go the way BU had wished it had.
Halfway into the opening period, redshirt senior Abbey Stanley opened the scoring for Boston with her first goal of the year. BU kept the lead for the majority of the game, until sophomore defenseman Alex Allan took a tripping penalty with less than seven minutes to play in regulation. The Terriers were on the penalty kill three separate times in the final period of play – not ideal when having a one-goal lead late into the game.
As a result, Merrimack levelled the score at one apiece on the woman advantage when junior forward Courtney Maud capitalized on a rebound. The game would go to overtime, eventually ending in a 1-1 tie. BU sophomore goaltender Kate Stuart made 23 saves in the contest.
“Whether the score was 6-5 or 1-0 game, it’s a one-goal situation and you want to close out properly,” said head coach Brian Durocher. “The thing that got to us … was that we ended up taking three penalties in the final period. That’s six minutes of hockey that you got to kill penalties, and it’s something that you don’t want to have in your plan.”
The second game of the home-and-home series saw an offensive improvement for BU at North Andover’s Lawler Rink, and Durocher believed his team responded well to his message about taking unnecessary penalties when leading.
“I think [Saturday] we had a couple timely goals. We scored on the power play to put the game away,” said Durocher.
Six different Terriers scored in a 6-3 victory over the Warriors Saturday afternoon. Freshman forward Julia Nearis, senior forward Natasza Tarnowski, junior forward Nara Elia, senior forward Deziray De Sousa, freshman defenseman Nadia Mattivi, and senior defenseman Abby Cook all lit the lamp, and junior goaltender Corinne Schroeder made 13 saves to earn her 12th victory of the season, and improving her record to 12-4-2.
BU’s unbeaten streak is now up to five games, and they are 4-0-1 during that stretch.
Splitting the weekend series among his goaltenders is not something uncommon this season for Durocher, as the coach has expressed that getting Stuart more time has been his plan since game one.
“Both of them have played extremely well,” said Durocher. “They each want to be as good as they can possible be, show what they can do, and we are really lucky that we have two excellent goalies.”
Up next, the Terriers are set to take on Northeastern (21-3-1, 18-2-0 Hockey East) this Tuesday at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies are coming off a dominant weekend against the University of Vermont, winning 4-0 their first game, and 10-2 in their second.
Northeastern is led offensively by sophomore forward Chloe Aurard who has 17 goals on the season, while sophomore forward Alina Mueller has 44 points.
“[We need to] be a little more thorough defensively,” said Durocher on what needs to be improved before BU takes on Northeastern. “I think late in the game we got a little too casual. A couple of times we sort of vacated the middle of the rink, and we talked about it a lot. We need discipline in the middle of the rink, let people gain some ground on the wide-side, and don’t give up the rink in the middle very easily.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28.