By Gillian McMahon
The Boston University Terriers (10-13-5, 10-8-4 Hockey East) headed north to Burlington, Vermont this weekend for a two-game series against the University of Vermont Catamounts (20-10-2, 17-7-1 HE) and came away with a split.
Friday’s 2:00p.m. puck drop started off with a bit of back and forth, and not many shots on goal. Junior forward Nadia Mattivi scored early to put the Terriers on the board first. She cut in front of the net off a give-and-go with sophomore forward Lacey Martin and junior forward Haylee Blinkhorn.
The Terriers got on the power play early but struggled to get anything going. Credit goes to the Catamounts in that department––Vermont currently has the third-best penalty kill in the nation with a 0.933 percentage.
Freshman netminder Callie Shanahan got the nod for both games this weekend and made some strong saves. It is clear from her recent performance that Shanahan has a lot of potential to be a standout goalie for BU in the coming years.
As the first period wound down, Vermont got going on a three-on-one opportunity, resulting in the 13th goal of the year for captain Kristina Shanahan. Her goal tied up the game with under a minute to go in the first period.
Though it might have seemed like the momentum was shifting in the direction of UVM, the Terriers stayed on the attack. After some chaos in front of the Vermont goaltender sophomore Jessie McPherson, BU took back the lead with 25 seconds remaining as senior forward Courtney Correia was able to sneak one in. After some review, the officials counted the goal.
In the second period, Martin gave BU a 3-1 lead on a power play wrister goal through the slot.
The battle continued with a Vermont goal by sophomore forward Maddy Skelton with about 12 minutes remaining in the second period. She patiently held on to the puck, and scored on an open shot from the circle, cutting BU’s lead back to one.
Junior forward Julia Nearis gave the Terriers another two goal advantage by staying active around the net, following up on a missed shot from sophomore Andi Calderone for a 4-2 lead. But the back and forth continued, and the Catamounts’ next trip down the ice resulted in the second goal of the game from Shanahan to get back within one.
Time was against the Catamounts and as the final minutes wound down, the Terriers’ defensive effort looked strong, blocking and clearing shots from Vermont’s forwards.
Vermont had a good opportunity to tie the game with just about two minutes remaining in the third period, but they were unable to capitalize on a couple of good looks, even with a 6-4 man advantage. The final seconds of the game evaporated as Correia looked for the empty netter security goal but just missed, dinging the left post as the Terriers held on for a 4-3 victory.
The Terriers returned to the ice on Saturday on Vermont’s senior day looking to take home a weekend sweep but didn’t come out with nearly as much energy as they did on Friday afternoon.
The game started off with an early powerplay for the Catamounts on a hooking penalty on sophomore defenseman Madison Cardaci and though they didn’t score, Vermont continued to get solid looks at the net. That momentum carried through and after the power play ran out, freshman forward Reagan Miller scored after a steal, all alone in front of Shanahan.
In the second, Vermont scored on a wild play where Shanahan initially saved the goal and after a lot of contact with red sweaters, it seemed that Shanahan snuck one through. After likely an overhead review of the play, the goal was credited to senior forward Theresa Schafzahl.
Schafzahl was on fire on her senior night, scoring again in the second for a 3-0 lead on a wide-open breakaway, simply outskating past BU’s senior forwards Emma Wuthrich and Mackenna Parker.
The frustration was on display for the Terriers who were struggling to get anything going in the offensive zone, and a slashing penalty on Parker showed that. All game long, Vermont had the decisive shots on goal advantage, finishing the game with 33 compared to BU’s 25.
Shanahan also kept the points coming in Saturday’s second matchup and scored at the start of the third period, after circling through the slot to put the Catamounts up 4-0.
The Terriers had quality looks when they had their opportunities at the net––the execution just wasn’t there for the duration of the game. Junior forward Nadia Mattivi put BU on the board first for the second night in a row, only this time it came late in the third period. She’s been solid staying active around the net and got rewarded for being at the right place at the right time.
The goals kept dropping for Schafzahl, as she got the hat trick with a beautiful shot to the upper righthand corner of the net. She’s scored 20 goals on the year.
As time was running out, Parker got her stick on a loose puck in front of the net and put the final goal of the game away for a 5-2 score. Getting those two goals at the end of the third period was too little, too late for the Terriers to dig themselves out of the Vermont hole.
The Terriers’ final three matchups of the regular season include the University of Maine on Feb. 15, and a home and home series with Providence College on Feb. 18 and 19.
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