Women’s Hockey posts second consecutive shutout, tops Merrimack 2-0 for weekend sweep

NORTH ANDOVER, MA — After picking up a 6-0 win on Friday, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team (4-3) traveled to Lawler Rink to play the Merrimack Warriors (1-13), earning a 2-0 victory in a game where both goaltenders stood on their heads. BU goaltender Corinne Schroeder stopped all 18 shots she faced, while Merrimack netminder Emma Gorski made 31 saves and allowed just one goal.

Today marked Schroeder’s second shut out of the season, and it was the team’s second shutout in a row after junior goaltender Kate Stuart backstopped the team to their 6-0 win Friday.

“I’m gonna give credit to two good goaltenders there,” BU associate head coach Liz Keady Norton said about Stuart and Schroeder posting back-to-back shutouts, “I thought they played excellent both nights and you always have a chance to win when your goalie gets a shutout.”

Play started out sloppy in the Sunday matchup, with neither side able to establish possession right away and each side exchanging turnovers. Less than five minutes into the game, junior forward Emma Wuthrich was able to establish possession in the defensive zone and quickly start the rush up ice. 

She passed it up to junior forward Courtney Correia, who skated towards the left corner, backhanded it back to Wuthrich, and Wuthrich skated in and got the puck past Gorski to put the Terriers up 1-0 early. The score was Wuthrich’s first goal of the season in her fourth game back from offseason surgery.

“I think we have a lot of depth. It’s been difficult with the on and off with COVID, but I think we’re getting into a little bit of a rhythm and getting more people involved and it’s nice to see more of them contributing,” Keady Norton said.

The Terriers power play woes continued through the first period, as the team entered today’s game with just two power play goals on 21 attempts (9.5 percent). The team had two five-on-four opportunities in the first period. They were able to settle in the offensive zone and get close with good shots on net, but no cigar.

Despite the ongoing struggles to execute on the power play, the Terriers still dominated offensively and kept things clean for Schroeder, holding a 15-2 shots on goal advantage after one period.

BU picked up right where they left off in the second period, generating some more shots on net, but Merrimack became much more aggressive on the forecheck, pinning the Terriers in their own defensive zone to try and force a turnover.

Merrimack picked up a two-on-one rush opportunity less than six minutes into the period, where a streaking Courtney Maud found fellow forward Dominika Laskova on a cross-ice pass. With Schroeder still shifting over, Laskova had an open look at a gaping cage, but she whiffed on the attempt. By the time she could get her stick back on it, Schroeder was in position and able to secure the puck.

Merrimack had another chance to tie the game when Correia was called for tripping 5:52 into the period to put the Warriors on the power play for the first time of the game. The Warriors managed six shots, but couldn’t break through. The Terriers quickly took back momentum when the game returned to even strength, throwing everything at the Merrimack defense without giving up too many chances on their end.

A tripping penalty from senior forward Kristina Schuler put Merrimack on the power play again with 6:35 left in the second, passing by without a score, and soon after BU went back on the five-on-four advantage, but couldn’t sneak any pucks past Gorski.

The Terriers got their fourth power play opportunity of the game just 29 seconds into the third period, and still couldn’t capitalize, dropping them to 0-for-4 on the day. 

“The scoring chances are there, so to be honest I don’t think we’re gonna change a whole lot. I think we’re hoping to execute a little bit more and catch a few more breaks,” Keady Norton said about the team’s performance on the power play.

BU continued to dominate possession, and captain Jesse Compher got a prime scoring chance in front, but Gorski was quick with her glove to prevent the Terriers from doubling the lead.

Both sides created solid chances down the stretch, but Gorski and Schroeder continued to keep pucks out. The Terrier defense tightened up and gave Merrimack a hard time on zone transitions, quickly forcing turnovers anytime the Warriors tried to enter the offensive zone.

Merrimack pulled Gorski to bring on an extra skater with 2:24 left, and after a minute of back-and-forth play, freshman forward Catherine Foulem found the puck right outside the offensive zone blue line along the boards and dumped it into the empty net to score her first collegiate goal. With just 1:35 remaining, the Terriers had a 2-0 lead.

Gorski was pulled again, as Merrimack strung together a few more offensive chances, but Schroeder and the defense held strong as time ticked down to seal the victory and weekend sweep.

“Happy with the win for sure,” Keady Norton said, “I thought Merrimack played a good, solid 60 minutes of hockey, and I thought it was backed by good goaltending on both ends.”

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