Boston University women’s hockey (4-3) is set to face off against the University of Vermont Catamounts (5-1) for a two game series this Friday and Saturday. Both games will be played at Walter Brown Arena with the Terriers getting the home ice advantage.
The Catamounts are the only team in Hockey East who have played fewer games than BU. This Friday’s matchup will mark their first competition since January 9 when they won 3-2 over the University of Connecticut.
Vermont’s women’s hockey program paused all team activities on January 14 following a positive COVID-19 test from a “Tier 1” member. Catamount Athletics soon after went on a department-wide pause due to a general increase in cases on campus, noting the shutdown to last until February 4.
Before this stoppage in play, the Catamounts had garnered a four game winning streak, sweeping both Holy Cross and UConn in consecutive weekend series. They’ve had success in their small sample size of a season, dropping only one game to the University of New Hampshire in December.
The group is led in points by junior defenseman Maude Poulin-Labelle who has one goal, eight assists, and averages 1.5 points per game. Junior forward Corinne McCool has earned a team high of three goals thus far and will be a player to watch for Vermont.
Freshman netminder Jessie McPherson has gotten the most starts out of the Catamounts’ three goaltenders this season. Her last time in the crease she made 29 stops on 31 shots to seal the sweep and lift her team to a six point weekend.
The Terriers are coming off an offensively productive series against the Merrimack Warriors, winning Friday’s game 6-0 and Sunday’s game 2-0. For the first time since the beginning of December, the women’s team has games on consecutive weekends after constant COVID-19 cancellations.
“It gives us at least a little bit of a look at what it used to be like, number one. Number two, you hope that maybe it gives you another chance to get some momentum, some confidence in certain areas––it’s real easy to identify the power play,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said of the consistency in the schedule.
A full roster is also something new for BU. Senior captain and forward Jesse Compher returned last weekend and made up for lost time with a three point series (1g, 2a). Junior forward Courtney Correia also had a big comeback after netting two goals in Friday’s competition.
In terms of getting more players back, Durocher said sophomore forward Haylee Blinkhorn should be back in the lineup against Vermont, putting the Terrier’s bench at 19 skaters.
On the goaltending side of things, both junior Kate Stuart and senior Corinne Schroeder earned shutouts against the Warriors. Schroeder has been BU’s go-to between the pipes this season with a .950 save percentage, but isn’t guaranteed to start in net on Friday.
Junior forward Emma Wuthrich is getting the chance to get back into the groove of things after recently returning from an offseason surgery recovery. She had a solid performance against Merrimack, but Durocher said he doesn’t think anyone has seen her best hockey yet.
“Last year’s injury just sped up too quickly. While she dressed and was in the lineup most of the time last year, she was about 62 percent of what she is and this year she had to go through a long process to get healthy and now she’s probably just finding her rhythm,” he said.
The Terriers will look to extend their two game winning streak and find some consistency this weekend starting with a 6:00pm puck drop on Friday, and 5:00pm game time on Saturday.