The Boston University women’s hockey team (4-4) got shut out 4-0 by the University of Vermont Catamounts (6-1) in the first of two games in the weekend series. Hitting the ice for the first time since January 9, UVM appeared to not miss a beat.
Tonight’s game was played in the memory of BU’s honorary teammate Sarah Duval. Duval began her fight against leukemia in May 2020 and sadly passed away earlier this week. She is remembered for her energetic personality and the brave battle she put up. The Terriers held a moment of silence before the puck dropped and played with “SD” stickers on their helmets. It’s safe to say Sarah will always be part of the BU community.
The opening period brought a fast paced tempo and high intensity play from both groups. The Catamount bench was buzzing with energy right as the puck dropped, filling an empty Walter Brown Arena with plenty of noise.
Freshman Jessie McPherson started in net for Vermont, earning her third shutout of what’s been just a seven game season for her team. The netminder made a total of 22 saves by the last buzzer in the third, along with some key saves throughout the sixty minutes.
Vermont got on the board early with a tally at 18:09 in the first period from redshirt freshman forward Tynka Pátková for her first collegiate goal. Senior goaltender Corinne Schroeder looked like she made the initial save on the shot from sophomore forward Hailey Burns, but it trickled past her and was tapped in.
Freshman forward Natálie Mlynková took junior defenseman Alex Allan down behind the net and spent two minutes in the box for tripping. Junior forward Mackenna Parker had a stellar opportunity in front of the crease on the power play, but the Terriers did not capitalize on the woman-advantage.
UVM used their speed to get to loose pucks and dominated for most of the first period but only had one goal to show for it. Head Coach Brian Durocher said he was impressed with the opponent’s play.
“Vermont probably showed to be the better team today. My staff complimented them on playing as a five person unit which I think allowed them to play quicker, play a little bit more cohesively,” Durocher said in the post game press conference.
It was a scoreless second with power play chances for each team but no offensive production. BU started driving right for the net instead of relying on far-out shots to get past McPherson who tracked the puck effortlessly. Junior forward Courtney Correia almost broke the drought for the Terriers in their first of two woman-advantages in the second, but had no puck luck.
The power play is an aspect of BU’s game that, earlier this week, Durocher said he wanted to see worked on tonight. Ultimately unsuccessful, the squad went 0-3 in the matchup.
“As a group, we didn’t collect enough pucks, didn’t handle enough pucks well and just didn’t get it where you needed it on a pass a number of times. I thought there was something threatening coming up, but we didn’t make it happen,” Durocher said.
The last twenty minutes of play started with the Terriers only down by one, but UVM quickly changed that. A little under three minutes in, freshman forward Maddy Skelton netted her second goal of the season off a cross pass from Pátková.
Exactly two minutes later, at 15:16 in the third, senior forward Val Caldwell snapped one from just below the left faceoff circle. The shot hit top shelf and lifted the Catamounts to 3-0. UVM strongly protected their lead, shutting all BU offense down at the blue line and throwing themselves in both passing and shooting lanes.
The Terriers ended up taking one more penalty at 9:13, a tripping call on freshman defenseman Andi Calderone, but Vermont waited until there were forty seconds left to play to dump their fourth goal into BU’s empty net. Salt in the wound.
A 4-0 defeat is not typically Schroeder’s forte, but like a team win, tonight was truly a team loss. Durocher said that he was not disappointed in any of the goals the senior netminder let in. In terms of heading into the next competition, Durocher said it’s all about the basics.
“In the end, it’s up to them to execute. They’ve played an awful lot of hockey and to make a tape-to-tape pass, to be a good receiver, it’s well within their ability. But again, you have to do it and you have to do it under a little bit of stress knowing that you didn’t score the night before and knowing that Vermont is playing a pretty quick brand of hockey.”
BU will have a chance to redeem themselves tomorrow evening with a 5:00pm start time for another game at Walter Brown Arena against the Catamounts.