After a week off, the Boston University women’s hockey team (7-5-3, 6-4-3 Hockey East) will get back to work in their series against the Merrimack College Warriors (5-12-1, 4-8-1 HE) this weekend. Coming off an electric 5-4 win over Boston College on Nov. 21, the Terriers will look to maintain a high compete level against Merrimack.
The Warriors are a team BU should beat, but consistency has been a problem this season. The Terriers have proven they can match up against top-tier groups like Northeastern and BC, but have also dropped games to struggling squads like Holy Cross.
Friday will be a good test for BU to carry over their spirited and organized play from the BC game, and translate it against a new opponent. The Terriers last faced Merrimack on Oct. 15 where they technically tied, but BU lost the shootout.
Senior forwards Courtney Correia and Mackenna Parker, as well as junior forward Julia Nearis continue to lead the team offensively, each in the double-digits for points thus far. Sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy was also an important presence against the Eagles, garnering four assists on five goals––she has really turned into a key playmaker.
The crease is up for grabs for BU as freshman netminder Callie Shanahan put on an excellent performance in her third start of the year two Sundays ago. With 28 stops, Shanahan came in clutch when her group needed her and had a visible confidence throughout the evening.
Usual go-to goaltender, senior Kate Stuart, had a tough night up in Maine before the Thanksgiving break when the Terriers fell 5-1. The loss was in no means her fault, but Stuart didn’t look as sharp and was given a well-deserved break the following competition.
The scarlet and white are lucky to have two––even three––goalies to roll with, and we can assume whoever is in between the pipes on Friday will be ready to go.
The Warriors have found some recent victories after losing eight of their first nine games. Beating Brown University 1-0 on Nov. 26, they then lost to Providence College 3-0 on Tuesday, but put together a four-game winning streak in late October / early November. It seems consistency has also been an area of concern for Merrimack.
Junior defenseman Teghan Inglis leads her squad in points with 11 (8g, 3a), while junior forward Katie Kaufman and graduate student forward Courtney Maud are close behind with 10 points a piece. A significant chunk of the Warriors’ goals come from these three players, so BU will have to keep an eye on them in all three zones.
In net, junior goaltender Emma Gorski has been Merrimack’s usual starter throughout the season. Gorski holds a .906 save percentage and 2.89 goals-against-average––the Terries average 2.5 goals per game, so it should be pretty even competition.
The puck will drop in North Andover on Friday at 2:00p.m. and at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday at 3:00p.m.. The two afternoon games will give BU the opportunity to string together two cohesive wins if they bring the same energy they did against the Eagles. We’ll have recaps of the games up on the blog, and follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and on Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for further updates.