Game Recaps, Women's Hockey

Women’s Hockey Falls to Merrimack in Shootout

Written by James Garrison

The Boston University women’s hockey team (3-0-2, 3-0-2 Hockey East) returned to Walter Brown Arena last night to face off against Merrimack College (1-5-0, 1-1-0 Hockey East) for their first of three matchups against the Warriors this season. Coming off of a 1-0-1 campaign last weekend, the Terriers were looking to extend their four-game season-opening undefeated streak and continue to build off of their thrilling victory against No. 2 nationally ranked Northeastern University.

Merrimack has had a rocky start to this season, dropping their first five games with an overall goal differential of -19. The Warriors lost their first conference game of the season last weekend at home against Boston College 2-1, their closest contest thus far. 

Junior forward Julia Nearis entered the game riding an eight-game point streak that carried over all the way back to the 2019-20 season finale. With her goal last night, Nearis brought her point streak to nine games. Nearis currently has seven points in five games so far this season. 

Senior goaltender Kate Stuart made her third start of the season last night after missing the first two games of the season. Stuart entered the game with a 1.92 goals-against-average and a 0.942 save percentage. Stuart stopped 23 out of 27 shots faced against the Warriors.

Despite a rough start to the season, the Warriors frustrated the Terriers throughout the first period, outshooting them twelve to eight. BU caught an early break with a no-goal call on a play that still resulted in junior defenseman Grace Parker heading to the penalty box. 

Merrimack had the ice tilted in their favor for the majority of the first period. The ice broke when junior forward Kate Kaufman put home the rebound off of a point shot by sophomore defenseman Raice Szott to put the Warriors up 1-0. 

For the Terriers, it was not the same team as the one last weekend facing off against Northeastern. There was not as much of a sense of urgency or intensity when the puck was dropped. 

Merrimack was able to frustrate the Terriers by playing tight defense and blocking a number of shots. This led to frustration where the Terriers tried to force a lot of plays that resulted in turnovers.

It was more of the same during much of the second period for the Terriers. Despite outshooting the Warriors and being granted two power-plays, BU was unable to produce many dangerous scoring chances.

BU and Merrimack traded two tallies each during the second period, starting off with Merrimack junior defenseman Teaghan Inglis streaking down the right side of the ice, making a great move on Terriers defenseman Alex Allan and going top-shelf on the glove side of goaltender Kate Stuart at 5:29 of the second. 

The Terriers were able to finally get some offense going when junior forward Haylee Blinkhorn was able to get one past Merrimack goaltender Emma Gorski. BU quickly gave up their momentum though, when graduate forward Dominika Laskova blasted a one-timer past Stuart to put Merrimack up 3-1 with 3:13 remaining in the second period.

In the final minute of the period, senior forward Courtney Correia was able to get a shot off from the high slot that deflected off of a Merrimack defenseman to put the Terriers back within one goal, capping off an improved but still lackluster period. 

With 11:52 remaining in the third period, Warriors forward Hannah Corneliusen and Terriers defenseman Julia Shaunessy took matching penalties and both sides played four on four briefly until BU defenseman Nadia Mattivi took a penalty as frustration was starting to set in for the Terriers. The Warriors capitalized on that power-play opportunity, as junior defenseman Teghan Inglis blasted home her second goal of the game to put Merrimack up 4-2. 

The Terriers were able to show resilience to close out regulation by scoring two goals in three minutes and fifty-one seconds with tallies from Correia and Nearis. For Correia, it was her second of the game, giving her four goals, five assists, and nine points in five games. For Nearis it was her ninth consecutive game with a point, her third goal and seventh point of the year. 

After an overtime with some close calls, the game remained undecided. It was only until the seventh round of the shootout where Merrimack graduate forward Courtney Maud sniped it high on the glove side of goaltender Kate Stuart, giving the Warriors their first win of the season. 

For the Terriers, it was a combination of potential overconfidence after a big win last weekend against Northeastern and a solid defensive game by Merrimack that led to mistakes and frustrations for BU. Although the Terriers were able to muster a point out of this matchup, it would not be the same against superior opponents like Northeastern. 

BU struggled to find their footing throughout the game after a lackluster start but was able to stay within striking distance and grab a point last night, staying undefeated in regulation through five games this season. 

The Terriers will be heading on the road next weekend, where they will face R.P.I on Friday night and Union college for a matinee on Saturday. The puck will drop at 6:00 pm in Troy, New York on Friday and 3:00 pm in Schenectady, New York on Saturday.

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