Women’s hockey picks up 5/6 points on weekend victories

The Boston University women’s hockey team (5-1-3, 3-0-3 HE) took on the University of Vermont Catamount (4-2-1, 0-0-1 HE) on October 29 in a low-scoring but fast-paced game at Walter Brown Arena in Boston, before heading south to face the Providence College Friars in a Halloween match up.

Worth noting is the absence of junior forward Julia Nearis, who had a goal last weekend against RPI. The first period saw cycle exchanges from both teams, with UVM applying a consistent amount of pressure throughout the opening frame. The Terriers started the first period matching the Catamounts aggression, but were unable to capitalize with a penalty-less and little-whistled opening frame.

“I think for two periods you have to extend the higher level of success probably to the visitors,” head coach Brian Durocher said after the game. “Vermont plays a quick game, a paced game.” 

After about eight minutes, the Terriers began to show their flair and talent with senior forward Courtney Correia’s toe-dragging and senior defenseman Alex Allan’s fakeouts, but ultimately their zone entries and shot attempts were unsuccessful.

At 11:07 of the period, graduate student Alyssa Holmes’ shot on Terrier senior goalie Kate Stuart led to a scrum in front of the net, allowing senior blueliner Maude Poulin-Labelle to pick up the rebound and slap the puck in from a tough angle to put her squad ahead with nine minutes remaining.

Despite a few solid chances from sophomore forward Lacey Martin, UVM’s consistent puck pressure dominated the opening 20, and the period would come to a close with the Catamounts up by one.

The second period began with just as much aggression as the first, and 34 seconds in, freshman forward Christina Vote was sent to the penalty box on a hooking call. The team was able to complete the kill with only one shot opportunity for Vermont.

Both teams spent time on offense, trading zone entries and exchanging pucks for the middle frame, with little success past each netminder. The closing three minutes of the middle period was the first time the squad applied steady pressure on Vermont senior goaltender Blanka Skodova, but the increased shot attempts were kept to attempts as Skodova finished the period having saved all of the shots on net.

 As the time wore down though, tempers ran high and Catamount senior defender Ellice Murphy received two minutes for a hooking call, giving the Terriers the woman-advantage to start the final frame.

Starting the period up a player, the Terriers continued to have little puck luck on the powerplay, but their momentum carried on after the penalty expired. Sophomore defender Julia Shaunessy carried the puck past the blue line and into the offensive zone, making room for senior forward Emma Wuthrich to pick up a pass from the corner and sneak the puck past Skodova in a wraparound goal to knot the score at one apiece.

After the goal, another ten minutes of seamless hockey ensued with both teams keeping five players on the ice until Vote received her second hooking call of the game at 14:29 of the third period. Despite being down a player, the Terriers maintained their competitive style of play with a shorthanded chance by Martin. 

The final 20 came to a close and the score remained 1-1, going down in the record books as a tie, but with an additional five minutes of three-on-three overtime. Sophomore forward Natalie Mlynkova had a breakout attempt, but Stuart remained composed as ever, gloving the shot down and keeping the score even. 

The Terriers kept up the same level of pressure from the third period, but the five minutes of overtime winded down and the team headed into another shootout. Correia opened up the shootout with a goal between the legs of Skodova, followed by a save by Stuart on UVM’s Tynka Patkova. Without goals from other Terriers, Stuart’s three saves in the shootout proved enough to secure the victory, and the ladies in scarlet and white were able to pick up the extra point.

“We’ve probably had seven or eight [shootouts] up to this point. But we haven’t gone too extensively past that [in practice],” Durocher said.

After an even-keeled shootout victory against the University of Vermont Catamounts on October 29, the Terriers took the day off on Saturday before heading down to Providence to face the Friars. The Terriers, who struggled to produce offensively on Friday, found their stride early in the Sunday matchup, getting on the board twice in the first period.

“It looked like a completely different team than on Friday night,” Durocher commented after the game. “Right from the get-go we started collecting passes and confidence sort of built from there.”

In a much more aggressive start to their play, the Terriers came out with arguably more energy than they had to start any game this season with improved zone time and intensified puck pressure. Despite an early penalty on senior defenseman Alex Allan, the squad worked seamlessly to protect their net and keep the score at zero in the opening minutes of play.

Just over a minute back to even strength, sophomore forward Clare O’Leary’s pass from the corner bounced off of graduate goaltender Sandra Abstreiter’s pad and onto the stick of sophomore forward Catherine Foulem, who was able to snipe the puck over the shoulder of Abstreiter and into the net. Foulem’s second goal of the season put the Terriers ahead by one, and the assist was O’Leary’s first point of two in the game.

“I thought she played very well,” Durocher said of the forward. “She protects the puck well, she’s strong with the puck, and whatever speed she plays the game at, it doesn’t drop when she gets the puck.”

The first frame continued to see exchanges from both sides right until the finishing seconds of the period, when freshman forward Christina Vote upped the Terrier’s lead to two. The goal–– which came thanks to assists from former goal scorer and primary assistant O’Leary and Foulem––came from a two-on-one breakaway. Vote snuck in front of both defenders to shoot the puck gloveside high over Abstreiter at 19:53 of the first period, securing a two-goal lead and a morale booster heading into the locker room.

“Vote has been probably the most consistent along the way,” Durocher said.

The second period saw no goals but four penalty minutes on both sides, as Vote took a matching tripping penalty with Providence’s senior forward Sara Hjalmarsson and spent two minutes in the box. Despite the four-on-four woman-disadvantage, the Terriers continued to dominate in zone time and create plenty of opportunities for themselves. 

At 13:26 of the second, Friar senior forward Ciara Barone was sent to the sin bin for two minutes on an interference call, but the Terriers couldn’t capitalize on the woman-advantage and the penalty came to a close. Five minutes later, Vote received her own penalty for interference––her second call of the game. The Terriers killed off the penalty with a strong defensive effort led by senior goaltender Kate Stuart.

Arguably Stuart’s best save of the game came when leading Friar goal-scorer and graduate forward Hayley Lunny stormed the net on a breakaway and had her first attempt bounce off of Stuart’s glove. Lunny then picked up her own rebound and again tried to tuck the puck past Stuart who was ready to glove the puck out of play.

“You have a pretty good chance to get some wins or points when you only give up one goal,” Durocher said of Stuart. “She just continues to be super steady and strong and gets to some backdoor plays that always seem like they’re impossible, but she finds a way.”

The Vote penalty expired 42 seconds into the third period, and the game shifted towards the Friars who outshot the Terriers 19-12 in the final 20 minutes. Three minutes back to even strength, Hjalmarsson gave PC their best opportunity of the night with an impressive breakaway shot that bounced off the post.

Despite not getting the puck in then, Hjalmarsson would be back five minutes later, picking up the puck from freshman forward Ashlyn Garnett and sniping it over Stuart’s shoulder from the top of the left circle to cut the Terrier’s lead to one. Two minutes after the goal, senior forward Mackenna Parker took what could have been a game shifting penalty for slashing, giving the Friars two minutes with an extra player.

Terrier sophomores Tamara Giaquinto and Andi Calderone ensured that the score remained 2-1 by throwing themselves in front of their competitors attempts and blocking shots until the penalty expired. As time winded down, the Terriers maintained their intensity getting eight shots on goal to the Friars nine, to secure their 2-1 victory over a top-10 ranked team. 

“I think the biggest difference was that we collected pucks,” Durocher noted. “[We] just played at a different tempo because we were catching passes.”

Next week, the Terriers will face the University of Connecticut Huskies in a home-and-home battle beginning in Storrs, CT on Nov 5 before returning to Walter Brown Arena on Saturday Nov 6 for a 3pm puck drop.