By Gillian McMahon
The Boston University women’s hockey team (2-2-0, 1-1-0 HE) split their first Hockey East series of the 2022-2023 campaign with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (2-5-0, 1-3-0 HE) in their home-and-home matchup this weekend.
On the road Friday night, the Terriers cruised to a 2-0 victory at Whittemore Center thanks to goals from junior defenseman Tamara Giaquinto and sophomore forward Christiana Vote. Giaquinto’s tally at the 9:40 mark was her first collegiate goal and proved to be the game winner. Giaquinto found space in the slot to beat New Hampshire’s senior goaltender Nicky Harnett. Graduate student forward Jesse Devito and sophomore forward Kylie Roberts were credited with assists on the goal following a hard fought battle for the puck.
“If we’re going to be a little better, offensively, is obviously people stepping to the plate and improving their game individually,” head coach Brian Durochers said in Friday’s post-game press conference. “I think it’s important for our defense to be part of the offense, because I think across the board, we’ve got pretty good quality of puck carrying skills, shooting ability [and] passing,”
The Terriers had a few chances on the power play to gain some insurance while up 1-0, but were unable to capitalize on Wildcat mistakes. Durocher was critical of the second period play
“I thought we really lost our way in the second period,” he said. “We gave up a boatload of odd person rushes in. For us not to come out of that period, maybe three to one deficit, was a small miracle, thanks to some good defense, back checking and some good saves… just too many sort of mental errors and bad reads.”
BU’s “timely insurance” goal finally came in the third period from Vote on a play that developed at the top of the slot on a pass from freshman forward Clara Yuhn. Vote made her way through the left circle before beating her defender and Harnett at the near post with about ten minutes left to go in the contest.
Graduate student goaltender Andrea Brändli had her second straight shutout, with 26 saves on the night, 10 of which coming in the final period as the Wildcats made their final push.
“There’s not a lot of extra activity to her play in there,” Durocher said of Brändli’s composure and poise in net. “She just kind of has herself in that position.”
On Saturday afternoon, in the weekend’s second matchup, the Terriers fell 3-2 in overtime at Walter Brown Arena despite two goals from junior defenseman Andi Calderone and senior forward Julia Nearis. Calderone’s backhander was her first collegiate career goal. Sophomore forward Liv Hagg and Nearis assisted on the play to tie the game in the second period.
Nearis also found the back of the net on a feed from senior defender Nadia Mattivi and junior forward Lacey Martin to tie up the game and force overtime.
Saturday night saw a lineup change with sophomore netminder Callie Shanhan between the pipes. She stopped 39 shots, which was the third-highest save total of her career.
There are positives to be taken away from the weekend’s showing for the Terriers, especially considering the scoring production across the lineup, but consistency and mental toughness remain top priority for the squad.
The Terriers will return to Hockey East action next weekend with the Battle of Comm Ave against the Boston College Eagles. They will travel to Chestnut Hill on Friday at 6:00pm. Saturday’s home game will be a 3:00p.m. puck drop from Walter Brown Arena.
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