After last night’s win, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team (2-3-0) split the two game series with the University of Maine Black Bears (5-6-0), losing 0-2 this afternoon at Walter Brown Arena.
Loryn Porter, Maine’s senior goaltender, had an outstanding performance and earned herself a shutout with 37 saves when the buzzer sounded at the end of the third.
Still skating without senior forward and captain Jesse Compher and sophomore forward Julia Nearis, the Terriers took the ice for only their second time this season having games on consecutive days.
Head Coach Brian Durocher noted the effect the two forwards’ absences had on the play of his team in the post game press conference.
“Those are kids who could be the difference makers. Just a little more accurate shot or a little stronger cut to the net, whatever it might be that makes the difference,” Durocher said.
Senior netminder Corrine Schroeder started in net for BU after posting her first shutout of the season yesterday night, and looked solid throughout the opening period of play in this afternoon’s game.
The Terriers got going right as the puck dropped, wasting no time to get into the offensive zone and apply pressure early. Junior forward Kaleigh Donnelly was all over the ice, leading with a very opportunistic mindset. She found junior forward Mackenna Parker at the doorstep for a good look, but no goal less than five minutes in.
BU held the momentum as they cycled Maine in their defensive zone with crisp passes and decisive plays; it looked like the women had not missed a beat after not playing for over five weeks.
Junior defenseman Ida Press got called for interference at 6:35 and was joined in the penalty box by her teammate and sophomore defenseman Nicole Pateman at 5:01 to give the Terriers 26 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. BU was unable to produce on this man advantage, but freshman defensemen Julia Shaunessy and Tamara Giaquinto looked good running the power play from the points.
After leading the conference in the 2019-2020 season with special teams, BU is still working to find their groove after star power play duo Sammy Davis and Abby Cook graduated last year.
The home team ended the period with 14 shots on goal to the Black Bear’s 7 and also led in faceoff wins 7-3. Although a scoreless first, BU created chances for themselves and dominated in all three zones for a majority of the 20 minutes.
BU’s effort in the first was seen throughout the entire game, but they had little reward for their hard work.
“I could make a case that today was just as good a performance as yesterday, maybe even in some ways a little bit better. But unfortunately the Maine goaltender has had a tremendous start to the season and only added to it today,” Durocher said.
The Black Bears came into the second period a little more energized after an unimpressive show in the first. The squad had an opportunity to get on the board when BU got called for too many women on the ice at 12:35––senior forward Rachel Allen sat for the two minute minor––but they did not capitalize on this woman-advantage.
The Terriers got on the power play at 6:22 as junior forward Celine Tedenby headed to the box for hooking, but had little luck finding the back of the net. With most of their shots coming from above the face-off circle, Porter was easily able to track the puck.
Maine shifted the momentum of the game with just under three minutes left in the period with a wrister from freshman defenseman Kennedy Little. The tally marked her first collegiate goal and gave her team a boost of confidence as they scored again a minute and a half later with 0:45 to go.
BU had tired legs on the ice after icing the puck and the Black Bears took full advantage of this. After having two assists to the season, freshman forward Rahel Enzler also scored her first collegiate goal and doubled Maine’s lead going into the third.
With two power plays in the last period of play, the Terriers had their chances to kickstart a late comeback. Durocher even pulled Schroeder while his team had the woman-advantage with around four minutes left. However, this 6-on-4 hockey had no offensive production for BU and left the score at 2-0.
The Terriers will have a probable Friday – Saturday series coming up this weekend, so it is a short turn around for the team to get in the winning column again.
“I told the kids that nobody’s being punished, but because of COVID and because of our schedule over the past forty days, we can’t necessarily take two days off,” Durocher said.
Hockey East has yet to announce the matchups for this weekend, but @BOSHockeyBlog on Twitter will have updates on BU’s future opponents as soon as the schedule is released.