Women’s Hockey to Start Regular Season Against New Hampshire

The Boston University women’s hockey team will break into the regular season this weekend with a home-and-home series against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. Heading to Durham for Friday’s 6 p.m. match, the Terriers will then make it back to Boston for a 2 p.m. matinee at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday. 

BU is coming off of a solid showing in their exhibition game against Holy Cross last weekend where they garnered a 2-0 victory over the Crusaders. Freshman forward Liv Haag and junior forward Julia Nearis got the Terriers on the scoreboard while both senior Nicole McGuigan and freshman Calli Shanahan held it down in the crease throughout the 60 minutes of play. 

Senior goaltender Kate Stuart is the expected starter for the team this season, but was sidelined with an injury last Saturday. Head coach Brian Durocher did not give a timeline for her return in the Holy Cross postgame press conference, but did confirm she would be a big part of the group in their upcoming campaign. Accordingly, if she’s healthy, she’ll be starting in net. 

The Terriers had a strong offensive presence against the Crusaders and capitalized on shottaking which was a struggle of theirs last season. They seem to have a much more opportunistic mindset––granted it was one game––and used their physicality and strength to their advantage when battling for 50/50 pucks. Hopefully this carries over against New Hampshire. 

BU started their 2020-2021 season against the Wildcats in a two-game series that they split. That weekend in December was the last time the two teams faced off. New Hampshire had a fairly long season of 22 games compared to the Terrier’s 12 last year and made it to the Hockey East Quarterfinals. 

The Wildcats will lean on players like sophomore forward Nicole Kelly who led her squad in points last season with 14 (5g, 9a) and senior netminder Ava Boutilier who maintained a .888 save percentage––which was dragged down by the group’s 7-0 loss to Northeastern in the quarterfinals. 

New Hampshire did not play in an exhibition game so Friday will be their first time hitting the ice at Whittemore Center for competition since February. It’s hard to judge both these teams based on their performances in the unpredictable and altered reality of last year’s Covid season, so it will be exciting to see how these women respond to having a regular schedule and loosened protocols. 

The puck will drop at 6 p.m. in New Hampshire on Friday evening, kicking off the long awaited 2021-2022 season opener. The game will not be streamed as of now, but we will post updates on Twitter @BOShockeyblog if anything changes.