The Boston University women’s hockey team (9-5-3, 8-4-3 Hockey East) hosted the Merrimack College Warriors (5-14-1, 4-10-1 HE) at Walter Brown Arena this afternoon where they completed the weekend sweep with a 4-1 victory. Coming off an overtime win on Friday, the Terriers raised their level of play and put together a shutdown game.
“I thought it was great to have two wins back-to-back,” Associate Head Coach Kerstin Matthews said in the post game press conference. “The girls really did a great job making adjustments last night and then carrying them into today so it was excellent to see the effort all across the board.”
Senior goaltender Kate Stuart reclaimed the crease after freshman netminder Callie Shanahan held it down for BU in Friday’s game and last Sunday’s game against Boston College. Stuart made 17 saves today and her team played solid defense in front of her.
The Terriers were aggressive and intentional right out of the gate. They got to pucks first, were physical in the corners, and threw everything they could on net for some early promising chances.
Senior defenseman Alex Allan broke the ice at 8:12 with her first goal of the season. Collecting the rebound of graduate student forward Ellie Larson’s initial shot, Allan snapped it past junior goalie Emma Gorski from a couple feet out to give her group a 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute later senior forward Mackenna Parker doubled BU’s advantage with a laser shot, but the Warriors responded 30 seconds after. Captain and senior forward Gabby Jones tipped a shot from the point past Stuart to make the score 2-1 at 9:20.
BU got some time on the power play at 9:27 as graduate student forward Courtney Maud headed to the box for high sticking. No luck on the woman-advantage, but the Terriers continued to string together opportunistic offensive plays after the two minutes.
The opening frame ended with the scarlet and white up 12-4 in SOG––a strong first 20 minutes to build off of in the second period.
“We had played a pretty complete period so we just reminded the girls of what a complete period they had played and continued to keep that momentum and not let them [Merrimack] take the momentum back from us,” Matthews said.
Sophomore forward Catherine Foulem was dealt a minor for holding 58 seconds into the second period and the Terriers’ penalty kill did its job. Disrupting passing lanes and tight coverage protected the BU lead.
The Terriers dominated a majority of the rest of the period. They were swarming in the offensive zone, maintaining possession for prolonged time, and really tested Gorski with shots from all over. The group held the momentum going into the closing frame.
BU kept their foot on the gas in the third, widening their lead at 1:16 with a wonky goal from junior defenseman Nadia Mattivi. Her shot from near the blueline deflected off senior forward Courtney Correia’s leg as she stationed herself stickside on the doorstep.
Larson garnered her second apple of the afternoon on the Terriers’ fourth goal. The graduate student forward sauced it from the wing to junior forward Haylee Blinkhorn who was netfront and released a point blank shot at 5:06 to make it 4-1.
The third period had a collective eight penalties––we saw 5-on-3, 4-on-3, and 4-on-4 hockey, making for a shuffled 20 minutes. Through the chaos and consistent occupancy of the sin bin, BU stayed focussed and continued their detail-oriented hockey.
“There were a couple minutes that got away from us here and there but on the whole they kept coming back to the game plan,” Matthews said. “I thought they did a really good job and like I said we were able to help them with some small reminders just to keep them focused.”
The buzzer at the end of the third marked not only a 4-1 win, but the first time the squad has put together a two-win weekend since their first series of the season against the University of New Hampshire in the beginning of October.
It was great to see consistency from the Terriers this weekend, and the sweep will no doubt give the group a boost of confidence as they play Yale this Wednesday.
“I think this is a good test for us to be able to go down and play Yale,” Matthews said. “They’re nationally ranked and we’d like to be able to show what we can do here. And actually having the momentum after the two wins, I think will give this group sort of the ability to stick to the process and make sure they’re taking care of themselves.”
The puck will drop at 7:00p.m. on Wednesday in New Haven and we’ll have coverage of the game on the blog. As always follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for updates.