The Boston University women’s hockey team (7-12-0, 6-9-0 Hockey East) will take on the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-18-1, 1-14-0 HE) this Friday under the lights of Fenway Park. For the first time since 2017, Frozen Fenway is back with some conference matchups in an unbeatable setting.
The Terriers last played nearly a month ago against the same opponent they’ll face on Jan. 6. The Crusaders came into the Dec. 9 contest on a 12-game losing-streak and were able to push BU to overtime at Walter Brown Arena. Senior captain Nadia Mattivi scored the extra-time goal to secure the 3-2 victory, but Holy Cross put up a competitive fight.
Nonetheless, this is a team the Terriers should beat. I’m not saying that to be over-confident –– looking at the BU roster, a tally in the win column should be the expectation for the program this weekend. The fifth rendition of Frozen Fenway offers the group an opportunity to kick off 2023 on a high note, and hopefully jumpstart the team for the second half of the season.
While there were bright spots –– like the UConn sweep and elevated performance from players like Julia Nearis and Brooke Disher –– the Terriers struggled in the opening of the 2022-2023 campaign. Offensive production has been a point of concern, but a general sense of consistency is what the squad really needs to find.
We’ve said it all year, BU has the components for success, it’s just a matter of playing as a unit and making sure the buy-in is there up and down the roster. Junior forwards Lacey Martin and Catherine Foulem have been solid leaders on the ice, always pushing the pace and intensity for their team night in and night out.
Head Coach Brian Durocher never solidified a starting goaltender in the first half as graduate student Andrea Brändli and sophomore Callie Shanahan have split the net every weekend. Shanahan –– who has a .906 save percentage and 3.11 GAA –– started the last game against Holy Cross, but it’s hard to say who will get the chance to claim the crease at Fenway.
On the other side of the rink, the Crusaders are looking to put together a win for the first time since Oct. 8 against UVM. The games they’ve dropped recently haven’t been blowout losses and they know what to expect from the Terriers after facing them in December.
Junior forward Bryn Saarela leads her group in points with nine (4g, 5a) and senior forward Mary Edmonds is not far behind with a total eight points (5g, 3a) thus far. Offensive production has been one of Holy Cross’ biggest weaknesses as well –– on average, they only put up 1.1 goals-per-game compared to BU’s 2.1.
Between the pipes, junior Madison Beck has been the Crusaders’ starter this season. The netminder made 27 saves against BU last month and will likely get the nod on Friday. At this point in the year, Holy Cross has to be a pretty desperate team and will likely come out with everything they’ve got.
Participating in Frozen Fenway is no doubt a highlight of the Terriers’ season and it will be exciting to see BU compete in such a historic environment (in some pretty cool throwback jerseys, too). The Boston Hockey Blog will be on the ground at Fenway Park and will have full coverage of the game. The puck drops at 6:30pm. Make sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.