The Boston University women’s hockey team (5-3-3) hit home ice this afternoon for a matinee game against the University of Connecticut Huskies (10-1-0) where they lost 1-0, getting swept for the first time this season. Following their 2-1 loss in Storrs on Friday, the Terriers had some jump in their response, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
“Gotta give a lot of credit to UConn for a big weekend, a successful weekend for them,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said in the post game press conference.
Junior forward Julia Nearis was back in scarlet and white for the series after missing the entirety of last weekend due to injury. As a leader on and off the ice, there’s no doubt the BU bench was excited to see her get going again.
Both senior netminders Kate Stuart and Samantha Carpentier-Yelle started in crease for their squads in the back-to-back games. Although the goalies were not significantly tested in the first, the Terriers and Huskies came out with an opportunistic style of hockey and created chances on both sides of the ice. The competitive spirit made for a pretty even opening 20 minutes with fast paced back-and-forth play.
UConn got on the board first at 7:42 with a goal from forward graduate student Natalie Snodgrass. The Husky leader in points always makes her presence known as an offensive force and released a snapshot past Stuart to garner the 1-0 lead for her fourth of the season.
The Terriers had an opportunity to find the equalizer on the power play when junior defenseman Kaitlyn Yearwood got two minutes for tripping. BU had a good cycle but ultimately no luck on the woman-advantage with a little less than half the period remaining.
BU had their turn on the penalty kill at 16:29 as freshman forward Christina Vote was sent to the box for slashing. Stuart stood tall on some tricky shots and the opening frame winded down, ending with the same 1-0 score and UConn up in SOG 8-4.
UConn gained a slight edge in the beginning of the second period, using their size and speed to create some early momentum. The Terriers held their own, though, keeping their compete level high and working hard to counter the Huskies’ rush.
BU had a flurry of chances at 12:58 where they displayed a strong netfront presence, jumped on rebounds, and were relentless with pushing the puck forward. They couldn’t get one past the goal line, but the sequence gave energy to the bench and fans in the crowd at Walter Brown Arena.
“I like the spirit, I like the fight our team had,” Durocher said. “We were keeping ourselves in the game, we weren’t giving up too much.”
Sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy took her third penalty of the weekend, a cross checking call this time, at 15:47. The Terrier’s PK remained successful and senior defenseman Alex Allan worked notably hard to dump pucks out of their zone during the two minute minor. The second soon ended the same as the first, with UConn up 1-0.
The third period was scattered with penalties for the Terriers as they were back in the box three times, giving themselves less of a chance to get one to the back of the net while awarding the Huskies with opportunities to build on their lead.
Junior defenseman Nadia Mattivi was dealt two for cross checking after laying a big hit on a UConn forward entering the BU zone. There was a heightened physicality from both sides in the last frame with frustration rising for the home team.
Allan then got called for tripping at 7:39, but her group’s penalty kill came in clutch once again. With just over two minutes remaining in the competition, Shaunessy headed to the sin bin for the second time this afternoon for cross checking, somewhat sealing the fate of the game.
BU needs to play with a greater level of discipline, specifically when down by only one with 20 minutes on the clock. Overall, they had a pretty solid performance but beat themselves on sloppy calls, getting swept for the first time this season.
“Simple execution changes the game,” Durocher said. “Sometimes it’s that one opportunity you need to change the complexion of the game or at least put pressure on them, but we didn’t do a great job there.”
The Terriers will be back in action this week with a series against Holy Cross. The puck will drop at 6:00p.m. in Worcester, MA on Thursday and 7:00p.m. at Walter Brown Arena on Friday. We will have a preview for the series up later this week. Per usual, follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for future updates.