By Mark Fraenkel
After Covid protocols postponed the Battle of Comm Ave last weekend, the Boston University women’s hockey team (9-7-4, 8-4-3 Hockey East) is set to host the University of Maine Black Bears (8-13-1, 6-8-1 HE) for two games at Walter Brown Arena this weekend.
The Black Bears travel to Boston on short rest, as they played a two game series with Holy Cross on Monday and Tuesday. For the Terriers, their last game action was in the Battle at the ‘Burgh Tournament in early January. In Pittsburgh, PA, BU tied with Syracuse (losing in the shootout for advancement to the tournament’s championship) and lost to Penn State. BU’s last regulation win was 39 days ago against Merrimack.
The Black Bears won both of their games against Holy Cross earlier this week. Graduate student forward Maddie Giordano and senior defenseman Ida Kuoppala netted the two goals in the 2-1 victory on Monday. On Tuesday, junior forward Morgan Trimper, freshman defenseman Bailey Oakes, Giordano, and Kuoppala all scored in the 4-1 Maine triumph.
BU and Maine squared off earlier this season in Orono. The Terriers received one of their worst losses of the season that evening. Senior goaltender Kate Stuart allowed five Black Bear goals in the mid-November defeat. Since then, the Black Bears have struggled this season. Maine has gone 3-5 since playing the Terriers.
Two days after the BU game, Maine beat Providence College. Since then, the Black Bears suffered sweeps at the hands of Clarkson and Boston College. Maine also lost a standalone January 2nd matchup with the University of Vermont before their two wins earlier this week.
In the Hockey East standings, Maine currently occupies the five seed with 22 points. In contrast, BU currently has 27 points and holds the three seed.
Richard Reichenbach’s team averages 1.5 goals per game. Heading into Friday’s game, BU averages almost one full goal per game more than Maine, as the Terriers currently average 2.4 goals per game. However, BU also on average allows more goals per game. The Terriers let in 2.2 goals per game, but the Black Bears only allow 1.6 goals per game on average.
Kuoppala leads the Black Bears in goals this season, as she has scored 10 goals in 16 games so far. She is responsible for the bulk of her team’s scoring, as sophomore forward Rahel Enzler (who has scored the second most goals for Maine) has only netted three goals in 17 games.
In net for Maine, senior goaltender Loryn Porter currently boasts a .954 save percentage. She allowed one goal and made 22 saves in the first meeting between the two teams.
The puck will drop at 7:00pm on Friday and 3:00pm on Saturday at Walter Brown Arena. We’ll have a series recap up after both competitions, and follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for further updates.