By Gillian McMahon
After a two-week-long break in action following their 5-1 victory over Université de Moncton in the Sept. 23 exhibition matchup, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team will officially open their season against the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) this Friday night at Walter Brown Arena.
The exhibition game saw goals from five Terriers, three of which came in the opening period. Junior defenseman Andi Calderone, senior forward Brooke Ersoy, freshman forward Brooke Disher, freshman forward Sydney Healy and senior forward Julia Nearis all lit the lamp in a balanced scoring effort.
Getting pucks on the net and scoring off the power play were two of the most significant challenges on the offensive side of things for the squad last season. The showing against Moncton was a good sign of improvement in those critical areas of the game.
The Terriers will look to use the positives from their preseason showing to start the regular season strong with back-to-back matchups against RPI (0-2-0, 0-0-0) and Union College (2-2-0, 0-0-0), both members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
RPI started their season off with an exhibition matchup against the University of Montreal on Sept. 18 and officially opened the regular season last weekend with a trip to St. Cloud State University where they lost 0-5 Friday night, and 2-3 on Saturday.
The Union Dutchwomen have been competing for the last three weeks. They started preseason play with an exhibition game vs Syracuse on Sept. 17, immediately followed by two regular season Hockey East series splits on the road at New Hampshire and Holy Cross.
All three teams will play two different opponents this week with RPI and Union each playing Providence College once, an early opportunity to size up the non-conference competition.
Junior defenseman Taylor Larsen and senior forward Maddy Peterson are the lone goalscorers for RPI so far this year, both finding the back of the net in their series versus St. Cloud.
Union features a roster of primarily underclassmen who have already been making an impact. First-year forward Riley Walsh was named ECAC Rookie of the Week following a three-goal performance in her first weekend series, including two goals in her debut. Another Union rookie, Stephanie Bourque tallied three assists in Union’s split with Holy Cross.
The start of the season will be an important test for the Terriers who finished 6th in Hockey East a season ago. In the offseason, they had ample time to make adjustments in some of those paint point areas. The Terriers have also gained a talented group of freshmen including Disher and Healy who will look to make an impact right from the opening puck drop.
Though the Terriers’ three goaltenders, sophomore Callie Shanahan, grad student Andrea Brändli and freshman Allie Cuellar split time in the exhibition matchup, Shanahan is likely to get the nod on opening night.
The last meeting between BU and RPI came on October 22, 2021, where the Engineers routed the Terriers 4-2 in Troy, NY. The Terriers have beaten Union in each of their last 12 meetings.
Starting strong this weekend will be important for this Terrier squad to begin to establish the type of team they want to be this season and set a new identity, especially ahead of the returning Hockey East competition, and an early Battle of Comm Ave against Boston College later this month.
Friday night’s matchup with RPI will be a 7:00pm puck drop and Saturday’s matinee vs Union will begin at 4:00pm from Walter Brown Arena. The Boston Hockey Blog will continue to have live coverage of all Terrier hockey action on the blog as well as our social media channels –– @boston.hockey.blog on Instagram and @BOShockeyblog on Twitter. Be sure to follow along!