The Battle of Comm Ave was reignited for the first time this season at Walter Brown Arena with a matinee matchup against the Boston College Eagles (8-5, 6-4 Hockey East). The Boston University women’s hockey team (7-5-3, 6-4-3 HE) came out on top with a 5-4 victory, and defended home ice with pride.
“This team shows they can play against quality teams with BC, Providence, and Northeastern already finding ways to beat those three teams,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said in the post game press conference. “It sets the bar a little higher for them and probably puts a little more pressure on everybody to answer the bell throughout the league and every single night.”
Captain and senior forward Kaleigh Donnelly was out for the second game in a row after suffering what’s thought to be a hand injury. The group has a break here for Thanksgiving so the leader will hopefully rejoin the lineup in the Merrimack series.
Senior netminder Kate Stuart had the afternoon off as freshman goalie Callie Shanahan got the start between the pipes. Shanahan made her first appearance since the Oct. 1 series against New Hampshire where she was an important factor in the team’s sweep and held her own in the crease against big competition this afternoon with 32 saves.
“You want to get people’s feet wet and without a doubt we did that with Callie today,” Durocher said. “Kate, up at Maine, was not really to be at fault but probably had a couple of those ones that maybe it could’ve been a big save or should’ve. But we know we have two really good goaltenders.”
The Terriers had a quick start to the first period, scoring two goals in the opening four minutes. Assisted by sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy––who went on to collect a total of four apples in the game––junior defenseman Nadia Mattivi got BU their first tally with a power play slap shot from the blueline at 1:53.
Less than three minutes later, Shaunessy was back driving the offense, throwing one on net that trickled out in front of senior goaltender Abigail Levy who couldn’t collect the loose puck. Senior forward Emma Wuthrich was there to knock the rebound past the goalline for her fifth of the year, giving her squad a 2-0 advantage.
After only scoring one goal in their game against the University of Maine on Friday, it was important the Terriers come out with some jump today and they did just that.
“Knowing you’re playing BC, everyone is just so hyped up for the game so I think we came out super fast, which we have been struggling with this season,” Shaunessy said in the post game press conference. “With the fans, and playing your biggest rival, you’ve just got to come out fast.”
BC came back to knot that game at two a piece by the end of the opening frame with goals from junior forward Caroline Difiore on the breakaway and a collegiate first for sophomore defenseman Sydney Fess. The Eagles led 18-13 in SOG going into the second period, but the two groups maintained a similarly high compete level.
Senior Mackenna Parker regained the lead for BU at 14:35 in the second thanks to her stellar netfront presence. Shaunessy dished Parker a centering feed that the forward slipped glove side to make the competition 3-2. The Terriers were able to defend the one goal advantage for the remainder of the period and continued to counter BC’s aggressive play.
The Eagles found an equalizer early in the closing frame, getting one past Shanahan just 22 seconds in. Off a two-on-one rush, sophomore forward Caroline Goffredo picked up a pass from sophomore defenseman Maddie Crowley-Cahill and dumped it into the back of the net. This didn’t deflate BU’s play, though, and freshman forward Christina Vote stepped up minutes later.
Picking up her fourth assist of the afternoon, Shaunessy sent a long pass through the neutral zone that Vote controlled at the blueline and released a snapshot from the left side to lift the Terriers to their third lead of the matchup at 4:32.
“Julia’s one of those people that’s an interesting mismatch on the ice. If she gets any type of leverage on you, you’re not going to knock her off the puck or deter her from where she wants to go,” Durocher said. “She passes it hard, passes it like a pro––if I can use that expression––and today the four assists were big.”
Once again, the Eagles clawed their way back into the game. BU took two penalties at once––Lacey Martin for slashing and Jesse Devito for cross checking––which gave BC a 5-on-3 woman-advantage. Senior forward Kelly Browne made sure to capitalize on the opportunity at 7:56, evening the score at 4-4.
Continuing to be a top producer on the BU roster, senior forward Courtney Correia was the hero who garnered the game-winning goal with 3:17 remaining on the clock for the game. The team leader in points skated into the BC zone hot, and deked a defenseman which earned her the perfect position to snipe the puck past Levy.
The Terriers held strong through a late onslaught of rubber on net from the Eagles, and added a tally to their win column at the buzzer at the end of the third. Nothing’s more exciting than beating BC on home ice, so BU gets to go into Thanksgiving break on a high note after an outstanding effort.
“It’s going to be nice to rest our bodies,” Shaunessy said. “Going from last year only having ten games in the whole season, to already playing 16 games––or however many––in the first two or three months, it’s definitely nice to have a break.”
BU will be back in action on Dec. 2 for a series against Merrimack University. Game start is 2:00p.m. on that Friday in Andover where the Terriers will take on the Warriors for the first time this season.