The Boston University women’s hockey team was victorious in the 5-1 feat against the Université de Moncton Super Blue in their exhibition game last night at Walter Brown Arena. While the game doesn’t officially count on record, the Terriers were able to work on some systems and show improvement from last year –– especially offensively.
All three goaltenders got time in net throughout the matchup. Sophomore –– and likely starting –– netminder Callie Shanahan guarded the crease in the first period, graduate student Andrea Brändli took over in the second and freshman Allie Cuellar closed out the game for BU in the third.
“Love to give them all a game or a couple games in the preseason but that’s not how college hockey works,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said in the postgame press conference. “So to have them all put the uniform on, get acquainted to Walter Brown Arena; that’s probably the positive.”
Junior defenseman Andi Calderone got the Terriers on the board first with a power play goal. Lobbed from just below the blue line, the floater gave BU a 1-0 lead at 8:27. Five minutes later, senior forward Brooke Ersoy dumped in the rebound of graduate forward Jesse Devito’s backhanded breakaway shot at 13:10 to make it 2-0.
The Terriers, through the 60 minutes, created many odd-man rushes and constantly forced the Super Blue out of their zone. BU was playing a more opportunistic game, getting the puck on net and down low whenever they could.
With 5:02 remaining on the clock, freshman forward Brooke Disher knocked in a cross-crease pass from junior forward Catherine Foulem from the left side. The scarlet and white’s third goal was also a product of an up-ice rush and gave them a cushy 3-0 advantage going into the second period.
Durocher said the freshmen, specifically Disher who got on the scoreboard, were adjusting well to the collegiate level.
“They’re kids who, again, have played their share of hockey,” Durocher said. “They all have enough of the physical strength –– you know, Brooke is obviously an exceptional skater and really covers a lot of ground out on the ice –– but they’re all physically ready for college hockey.”
Moncton got their first and only tally about two minutes into the middle frame. Forward Shani Rossignol lit the lamp by the doorstep to make it 3-1, but the Terriers controlled the flow of the remainder of the second period. BU was skating with more confidence, and their puck movement grew more precise and consistent.
Another freshman got on the scoresheet in the third period. Forward Sydney Healy, who was skating with purpose from puck drop, sniped one over the right shoulder of the Moncton goaltender just 52 seconds in for the 4-1 lead. Healy was slotted into the first line with junior Lacey Martin and senior Julia Nearis –– the group seemed to click, but Durocher said it may not be permanent.
Nearis got her own goal with 8:00 remaining in the competition for the final 5-1 score. Another power play goal, the Terriers were cycling the puck and putting good screens –– this one from sophomore forward Kylie Roberts –– on the Moncton goaltender. Special teams were something the group wanted to work on at the end of last season, and so far, it’s looked good in the 2022-2023 campaign.
“They kept it a little simpler,” Durocher said of the power play. “They did a real nice job of creating opportunities and everybody seemed relaxed, everybody seemed to be sharing it.”
While the game had an expected slower start, BU found their footing as the minutes and periods went on and showed some real positives for what the regular season could hold. The Terriers’ opening night isn’t for two weeks now –– on Oct. 7 against RPI –– so they’ve got time to adjust.
“Bottom line is you spend some time trying to explore, trying to get people ready to go,” Durocher said. “We don’t always know exactly where the chips are gonna fall.”
Junior defensemen Julia Shaunessy and Tamara Giaquinto both sat out of the exhibition game. The two underwent surgery in the off-season and are taking the extra time to heal up a bit more. Durocher said they would be ready to “contribute down the road,” potentially as early as opening night.
An out of league exhibition game obviously will not dictate how a season proceeds, but the Terriers displayed improvements in all three zones and a cohesivity in their game. For full coverage of the team this year, make sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.