The time has finally come––it’s Beanpot week! The Boston University women’s hockey team (10-9-4, 9-6-3 HE) will face the No. 6 Harvard University Crimson (15-5, 12-3 ECAC) tomorrow evening at Matthews Arena for the preliminary round of the long-awaited tournament.
Cancelled last year due to Covid-19, the Beanpot is back and comes at an interesting time for the BU squad. Friday’s feat over Holy Cross was the Terriers’ first regulation win since Dec. 4, and although a 4-3 victory, they let the last place Crusaders creep back into the game in the dwindling minutes of the third period.
Sunday’s Battle of Comm Ave was postponed due to weather conditions. Accordingly, the BU group lost the chance to put together a strong performance and perhaps gain confidence against a good team from Chestnut Hill before they entered the Beanpot.
The Terriers have played some solid hockey this season and no doubt have the capabilities to skate with top tier teams, but consistency has been a problem as of late. Preparing to play Harvard who is on a six game winning streak, the scarlet and white need to dig deep and find their groove again.
Senior forwards Mackenna Parker and Courtney Correia, as well as junior forward Julia Nearis and sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy have continued to be the group’s biggest leaders on the ice. They’re playmakers, goal-scorers, and step up in moments big and small.
Freshman forward Kylie Roberts was in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 11, and notched two tallys this weekend against Holy Cross. Hopefully she’ll continue to roll, as well as her freshman classmate forward Christina Vote who has garnered 7 points (5g, 2a) thus far.
In the crease, head coach Brian Durocher has some good goaltenders to choose from. Senior Kate Stuart has been the squad’s starter this season and has proven herself throughout the years. Freshman Callie Shanahan on the other hand has a fraction of experience, but has stood tall for BU against the toughest of opponents this season.
Shanahan had an astounding 53 saves against the Northeastern University Huskies on Jan. 21, and was also an integral part of the Terrier’s 5-4 win over BC on Nov. 21. She seems to thrive under pressure and has been a force between the pipes.
Whoever gets the nod tomorrow will be facing a high-scoring Harvard team. In their last six wins they’ve scored a combined 26 goals and average 3.9 goals-per-game. Senior forward Becca Gilmore tops her group in the points column with 26 (12g, 14a), while junior forward Anne Bloomer leads in scoring with 15 lamp-lighters.
Senior netminder Becky Dutton has started for the Crimson in a majority of their past games––she has earned a .938 save-percentage and has a 1.5 goals against average. The Terriers will have to work hard to beat her and counteract an offensively active Harvard lineup.
Harvard also only played one game last weekend as their Saturday matchup against St. Lawrence University was postponed. I’m sure both sides are anxious to get back to game-action, and this time, with stakes as high as ever.
The Beanpot brings out the best of the best in all four team rosters. It’s the time for new heroes, gritty play, and an exhibit of unwavering school pride that makes the compete level so fun to watch.
This semi-final round will begin at 4:00pm tomorrow at Matthews Arena and will be streamed on NESN+. We’ll be in the building and have full coverage of the matchup. Be sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for all things Beanpot and BU hockey.