By Gillian McMahon
The Boston University women’s hockey team (2-4-0, 1-3-0 Hockey East) will look to break their three-game losing streak this weekend with a home-and-home Hockey East series against the Merrimack College Warriors (1-6-1, 1-4-0 HE). The squad will look to bounce back after two losses in the Battle of Comm Ave against Boston College last weekend, including a 5-4 come-from-behind loss Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend, the Warriors were shut out by the University of Connecticut 3-0 on Friday at home, before tying 2-2 on Saturday. The team’s sole victory this season came on October 1 against Syracuse in the team’s opening weekend series.
Like the Terriers, the Warriors have also struggled in the scoring department, averaging only one goal per game. Senior forward Katie Kaufman is the team’s points leader currently with three goals and two assists for five total points on the year.
The last time these two Hockey East teams met was early December 2021 where the Terriers swept the series with a 2-1 win on December 3 and a 4-1 win on December 4.
The series should be an opportunity for the Terriers to get back in the win column and gain some more confidence, especially considering how the Warriors have struggled early on this season, and make some adjustments following the BC series.
In his postgame comments Saturday night, Terrier head coach Brian Durocher discussed one of the most important focal points: the team’s 20-pass rule. He emphasized making smart, quality passes that can set up successful plays.
“We go out and we practice making 20 passes and within the 16th pass, you know, somebody misses a pass or throws a miserable pass, you’d have to start again,” Durocher said.
The biggest positive takeaway of the weekend was to see the Terriers rally in the third period and not just give up despite a daunting 5-1 deficit. Across the lineup, scoring opportunities were created and capitalized on which has been one of the group’s biggest hurdles thus far this season.
Goaltending has been an area of the lineup that has been pretty evenly split between sophomore Callie Shanahan and graduate student Andrea Brändli. Coach Durocher has spoken highly of both players, though it seems neither has decisively earned the starting position.
The Terriers need to be mentally tough and work to put themselves in positions to succeed in order to compete in a tight Hockey East conference.
“Now we have to make it a season-long thing where we can count on ourselves,” Durocher said. “A team blocks a shot or there’s a loose puck, get it and start again.”
This weekend’s matchup is a chance to gain some traction in the Hockey East standings against local competition before a home-and-home series with Providence, a road trip to Burlington, Vermont to face UVM, and a series with the UConn ahead of the Thanksgiving Vegas Showcase. The Terriers currently sit at seventh place in Hockey East.
Friday night’s game will take place in North Andover, Massachusetts from Lawler Rink. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. Saturday’s 3 p.m. matinee matchup will be at Walter Brown Arena.
The Boston Hockey Blog will have continued coverage of Boston University men’s and women’s hockey. Be sure to follow along with our social media channels on Twitter at @BOShockeyblog and on Instagram at @boston.hockey.blog for all the action.