Game Recaps, Women's Hockey

Women’s Hockey Takes Win over Holy Cross in Exhibition Game

Photos by Caroline Fernandez

The Boston University women’s hockey team was back in action this afternoon at Walter Brown Arena for an exhibition game against the Holy Cross Crusaders. The group collected a 2-0 win and displayed a new physicality and offensive drive that seems promising as the regular season approaches. 

Senior goaltender Nicole McGuigan started in net for the Terriers and played the first half of the competition, then giving freshman Callie Shanahan some time between the pipes for the remainder of the game. The two netminders played well with no goals against and some key saves.

The expected starter, senior goaltender Kate Stuart, was deemed medically unfit to play today. However, head coach Brian Durocher emphasized she’ll be an important piece of the BU squad moving forward. 

“She’s expected to be a big part of our team. [She’s] somebody who’s been around for three years, but if you look at her track record, she’s put up all-american numbers,” Durocher said in the post game press conference. “She’s going to be the person probably for an awful lot of the season.” 

The Terriers have three solid goaltending options this season and Durocher was sure to point out the impact McGuigan has on the team while not being a consistent starter throughout her career. 

“One of the real unsung heroes over the years probably is Nicole McGuigan because she’s such a team presence, locker room presence––just one of those people who brings great pride to what she does, but brings great pride to our program and to Boston University.”  

BU got off to a quick start right as the puck dropped with energy on the bench and on the ice. The squad was very offensively minded with a strong forecheck and hustle to get to open pucks. They claimed the momentum in the opening minutes of the game and got time on the power play a little over four minutes in.

Holy Cross’s sophomore forward Millie Sirum laid a big hit on senior forward Courtney Correia coming into the offensive zone at the blueline. The body checking penalty gave BU the woman-advantage for two minutes, but they couldn’t get on the board despite moving the puck around with control and confidence. 

Junior defenseman Grace Parker headed to the box for the Terriers a couple minutes later with a tripping call at 12:24. BU’s penalty kill looked good––they got in shooting lanes, limited chances, and added a greater physicality to their play with a sturdy hit from junior defenseman Nadia Mattivi. 

The home team didn’t allow Holy Cross to get much in in the first period, smothering the Crusaders whenever they entered the zone. The opening twenty minutes ended with a 0-0 score, but BU had some good rushes and kept Senior netminder Jada Brenon on her toes with 11 shots-on-goal. 

Holy Cross played all three of their goaltenders, having senior Sarah Street start the second, and sophomore Madison Beck finish out the game in the third. The Crusaders had an early chance to get ahead in the middle frame with a 18:11 penalty called on BU for too-many-players-on-the-ice, but could not capitalize. 

The Terriers applied good pressure in the offensive zone and were cycling Holy Cross towards the middle of the period. Sophomore defenseman Andi Calderone looked strong on the backend and held her ground against some aggressive forwards. 

Both BU and Holy Cross took penalties in the last two minutes of the second, leaving 22 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey to be played in the beginning of the third period. 

The Scarlet and White finally broke the ice at 10:25 in the final frame with a goal from junior forward Julia Nearis. Nearis missed a majority of last season due to injury, but acted as an important leader in today’s match. Collecting a cross crease pass from Correia, Nearis tucked the puck past the goalline to give her squad the one-tally advantage on the power play.

Just over a minute later, the Terrier’s lead doubled as freshman forward Liv Haag––who had been playing with a lot of spunk and purpose throughout the game––snapped one from the left side that went fivehole on Beck. 

Durocher spoke to the confidence a goal like that can give a freshman while transitioning from a high school environment and the importance of sticking to one’s game. 

“While you’re still a talented player here, there’s a lot of them around you. So as soon as you can understand where you’re supposed to go and then just bring the game that got you here, the better off you’ll be,” he said.  

BU’s effort was consistent through the Crusader’s pushback as the final twenty minutes of play dwindled, and earned them a 2-0 victory when the buzzer sounded at the end of the third. This exhibition held a lot of positives for a group looking to better their last year’s performance and makes the countdown to opening night feel that much closer. 

“It’s good to get started again. It was good to get the team out there, to put the jerseys on, get used to playing against somebody else, and giving us just a little bit of a sense of who we have, what we got, and where the season might be going,” Durocher said. 

The Terriers will face the University of New Hampshire for a home-and-away series to open their regular season on October 1 and 2. The puck will drop at 6:00 pm on Friday in Durham, and at 2:00 pm on Saturday at Walter Brown Arena.

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