The BU women’s hockey team (5-4) is hoping third time’s a charm as they head into their weekend series against the Boston College Eagles (13-3) that has previously been cancelled twice. The Battle of Comm Ave will finally be revived for the first time this season after BU went 3-1 against their rivals on Chestnut Hill last year; their 4-0 victory on February 4, 2020 knocked BC out of the 42nd Annual Women’s Beanpot in the preliminary round.
This weekend marks the last regular-season series for both teams as Hockey East playoffs have their opening round games on February 24. Seeding for this year’s tournament is being calculated by the “Hockey East Power Index” because, due to COVID-19, all teams qualified for the 2021 postseason. The index is a mathematical formula that I’m not sure anyone other than its creators understand, but we do know it results in hockey.
The Terriers only have nine games under their belts compared to the thirty plus games they would’ve played in a non-pandemic world. However, Head Coach Brian Durocher said his group has “been at it for five months in all kinds of different ways,” so there hasn’t been a total void in play.
This season presents an entirely different storyline for the two teams––the Eagles have played seven more games than BU and are on a nine game winning streak, most recently beating Providence College 2-1 last Friday.
Although the Terriers have the disadvantage of a smaller sample size due to the recent gap in their season, BC’s stats thus far give a new challenge to the BU squad. BC sits at number 2 in the Hockey East standings while the Terriers are 7th. The Eagles have averaged 3.3 goals per game to the Terrier’s 2.1 and also lead in shots per game at 31.9.
Junior forwards Kelly Browne and Savannah Norcross top their maroon and gold crested team with 18 points each. Norcross holds a team high of ten goals and will be a player BU needs to keep an eye on in the offensive zone.
Both junior netminders, Maddy McArthur and Abigail Levy, got a start between the pipes two weekends ago against UConn. McArthur came out of Saturday’s game with 37 saves and just two goals against––a save percentage of .921. Levy, who is the Eagle’s strongest goaltender, posted a shutout on Sunday with 33 saves and boasts a save percentage of .961.
Levy got the nod in BC’s most recent game last Friday and continued her impressive performance. The goaltender made thirty saves and only let the puck cross the goal line once in the more than three periods as the game went into overtime.
The Eagles have been dominant thus far, but the Terriers are up for the challenge.
BU is coming off last weekend’s series against the University of Vermont where they displayed little energy on Friday but had one of their best sixty minutes of play on Saturday winning 4-1. The squad collected three out of six points in the split and have finally found some consistency and health in their roster.
Although they have a full bench, the Terriers will be playing without sophomore forward Julia Nearis and freshman defenseman Madison Cardaci.
“While it would be great to have those two players, you got to battle with who you have and I like our chances,” Durocher said.
Captain and senior forward Jesse Compher has been a big asset on the ice, per usual. She came out of the UVM series with two goals and an assist and continues to be a driving force for the Terriers. Compher and junior forward Courtney Correia lead their group with seven points a piece thus far.
Senior Corinne Schroeder and junior Kate Stuart both got time in the crease last weekend, and Durocher said there’s a good chance the two netminders will split this BC series too. Saturday night is BU’s senior game so you could bet on Schroeder getting the start for that matchup. That would mean Stuart, who made 27 saves last game and a shutout the weekend prior, may be between the pipes on Friday. Key word, may.
For the senior game, Jesse Compher, Kristina Schuler, Rachel Allen, Nara Elia, and Corinne Schroeder will be celebrated at Walter Brown Arena before the puck drops for their achievements on and off the ice.
“We’re lucky that we have another group here in these five that have made great contributions academically, successful contributions on the ice, and all throughout the community. They do a lot of unselfish work that we can all be proud of and are super happy they were Terriers for the last four years,” Durocher said of the seniors.
The squad will rally around those players in their quest for victory in these upcoming competitions. The Battle of Comm Ave will kick off this Friday at 2:00 p.m. on Chestnut Hill, and BU will return to Walter Brown Arena for a 4:30p.m. start on Saturday. Post game coverage will be up on the blog after each game.