In true 2021 fashion, Hockey East announced a schedule change just minutes after the BC series preview was posted, and so, the women’s team has a new matchup for this weekend. The battle of Comm Ave has been postponed once again. The Boston University women’s hockey team (2-3) will instead face the Merrimack College Warriors (1-11) for a single Friday game at Walter Brown Arena.
Although Merrimack has played twelve games this season and BU only five, the Terriers actually have one more tally in the win column than their opponents. The Warriors have come out with only one victory thus far and are currently on a ten game losing streak.
Senior forward Megan Fergusson leads the Warriors in points with two goals and two assists. Her team has not produced much offense this season seeing that their goals per game average is 0.9 to BU’s 1.4. Merrimack carries two goaltenders, sophomore Emma Gorski and freshman Aries Mustoe. Gorski has the higher save percentage between the two, so she will most likely get the start on Friday.
Merrimack has not won a game since December 12, 2020 against Holy Cross where they garnered three points in a regulation 3-2 victory.
On the Terrier’s end, they’re coming off a promising performance after they split the series against Maine before the athletics pause. They had a 1-0 win on Saturday and 0-2 loss on Sunday. Although there was minimal offensive production on the scoreboard, BU created some impressive chances for themselves after 43 days without playing.
Freshman forward Catherine Foulem––who didn’t play in the second game of the Maine series––will be back, as well as junior forward Courtney Correia who leads her team with 4 points, all of which are assists. Most notable, though, is the return of captain and senior forward Jesse Compher.
“I was never a math major but I think that’s a plus three which is a good sign for depth, for volume, and also the ultimate conditioning side of things,” Head coach Brian Durocher said of Compher’s ability to play.
It seems sophomore forward Julia Nearis may still be out after also missing the series against Maine.
Senior forward and captain Nara Elia netted the Terrier’s only goal that weekend, stepping up for both matches. But with only one tally in two games, the squad is going to have to get more shots on and in the net to start winning again.
In terms of defense, Durocher spoke about the confidence level of specifically the freshman defensemen on the team and how it is something they will have to gain along the way.
“Their confidence doesn’t just start in one week or in three games or five games. It takes a little while to gather because of the quickness, the speed, the strength, and just the compete,” he said.
Corrine Schroeder, the senior netminder, has been the scarlet and white’s go-to starter this season earning herself a 0.950 save percentage and a goals against average of only 1.03. Her shutout against the Black Bears in the Saturday game came up big for her team and she continues to give BU a chance to win game in and game out.
The Terriers need to take advantage of this weaker opponent to get some points and reboot their season. Both teams have faced challenges this year whether it be COVID-19 pauses or losing patches, but BU has the elements needed to come out on top against the Warriors.
The puck will drop on Friday at 3:30pm in Walter Brown Arena. The match will be aired on NESN+ as well as TSN2.