The Boston University women’s hockey team (12-14-6, 11-9-5 Hockey East) took the ice for their last regular-season matchup against the Providence College Friars (15-13-6, 12-12-3 HE) this evening at Walter Brown Arena. On the Terriers’ senior night they fell 2-1 in a hard-fought overtime game.
“It was another one of those pretty solid performances––a performance that got better and better as the game went on––yet we didn’t have anything to show for it relative to points and that’s frustrating,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said in the post game press conference.
BU boasts seven seniors and one graduate student who have all been an important part of the group’s successes this season while serving a strong leadership role.
In the pregame ceremony, goaltenders Kate Stuart and Nicole Mcguigan, defenseman Ellie Larson and Alex Allan, and forwards Courtney Correia, Mackenna Parker, Kaleigh Donnelly and Emma Wuthrich were honored for what they’ve done for the Terrier program during their time in scarlet and white.
“Back in the summer we had a lot of gatherings and meetings that everybody had sort of a role, everybody was gonna help out––and they did from top to bottom,” Durocher said of the seniors. “Whether it’s community service or team gatherings, warm-up and cool-down, everybody had a piece of the action.”
Following freshman netminder Callie Shanahan’s 42-save performance last night, Stuart got today’s nod for her final start at Walter Brown Arena and made ten stops while in net before McGuigan took over.
The Friars got on the board first after sophomore defenseman Madison Cardaci was dealt two minutes for cross-checking at 11:24. With her second of the season, freshman defenseman Lily Hendrikson gave her squad a 1-0 lead on the power play.
The Terriers maintained their compete level and had the opportunity to find the equalizer on their own man-advantage in the final minutes of the opening frame, but the score remained the same at the end of 20.
BU played one of their best periods of the past couple weeks in the second. They found their legs, sustained control, and strung together threatening plays in the offensive zone––it paid off at 8:49.
Just as junior defenseman Nadia Mattivi’s penalty expired, Larson leapt off the bench to collect a stretch pass from Donnelly and went straight for the net, tucking it five-hole on the backhand to tie up the game. Garnering her second of the season on her senior––or graduate student––day, it was the perfect sequence of events.
“In the second period we started putting pucks on tape, started getting them quick, and if nothing else we got it deep in their end, put pressure on them,” Durocher said. “We got them a little tired and really all they could do was get to the redline, dump it in and make a line change.”
The Terriers continued to shift the momentum to their side and ran a strong power play cycle when junior forward Bailey Burton was sent to the box for interference at 12:35. BU was physical and fought hard for pucks in the corners, showing a grit that’s been missing in some of their recent matchups.
McGuigan took Stuart’s spot between the pipes about halfway through the game to give the senior some time on home ice in her final season as a Terrier. She had an outstanding showing with 11 saves in some big moments.
The two teams headed into the third tied at one a piece and it was a battle from both sides. The Terriers threw a lot of rubber on net in the second half of the period and had some close chances as time winded down. Junior forward Julia Nearis came within inches on the doorstep with less than two minutes left, but no luck.
The Friars thought they ran away with the game at the very end with a soon called-off buzzer beater from senior forward Caroline Peterson. While a sea of black jerseys celebrated in the corner, the refs congregated and determined the clock had struck zero before the puck crossed the goal line––so in last night’s fashion, it was back to overtime.
Peterson had the game on her stick once again in OT as she lined up for a penalty shot following a scrum in the BU crease. McGuigan stood tall with one of her best saves of the night. The bench exploded as the senior kept her group in the game.
Junior forward Isabelle Hardy was the one to secure the extra point for the Friars tapping in a shot that initially hit the crossbar, then dropped to the side of the net. The puck trickled past McGuigan who could not locate it at 3:36 and closed the game with a 2-1 final score.
With the regular-season now complete, BU will look towards the Hockey East playoffs where they’ll face the University of Connecticut next Saturday at 3:00pm in the quarterfinals as the No. 6 seed.
“I don’t think they’re a super explosive offensive team, but they’re a very tested and very tried and true playoff team,” Durocher said of UConn. “We know we have a real tough opponent and one who’s super well coached––we’re just gonna have to go down there and do our best.”
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