The Boston University women’s hockey team (7-14-0, 6-11-0 Hockey East) headed to Matthews Arena this afternoon for a matinee matchup with the Northeastern University Huskies (19-2-1, 15-2-1 HE) where they were shut out 6-0.
“It was Northeastern’s day today,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said post-game. “And while I liked a few things about our team, I think the one area we need to clean up a little bit is taking care of business in front of the net.”
After dealing the Crusaders their first win since October at Fenway Park on Friday, the Terriers had a tall task at hand in slowing down a hot Husky group. Northeastern came into the game not having played since Dec. 3 but on a six game win-streak nonetheless.
Graduate goaltender Andrea Brändli got her second straight start after putting up 29 stops against Holy Cross in Frozen Fenway. It seems Durocher is leaning more towards Brändli as the team’s go-to in the second half of the season after consistently splitting the crease with freshman Callie Shanahan earlier in the year.
BU came out with good pace in the first period and had jump from puck drop. It was good to see from a squad that usually needs some time to find their footing early on –– they looked prepared and got off some high-danger chances in the opening minutes.
Despite this strong start, Northeastern got on the board first thanks to a two-on-one rush with graduate forwards Maureen Murphy and captain Alina Mueller. Mueller beat Brändli on the left doorstep, tapping in the cross-crease pass to make it 1-0 at 3:17.
“I liked the fact that we were passing the puck well, we were moving it quickly,” Durocher said of the first period. “That’s not a team you’re going to chase, you want to keep it as 1-0, 2-0 type game as you can and that’s hard because they have a lot of fire power.”
Both groups got their turn on the man-advantage due to a 5:33 tripping penalty on senior forward Peyton Anderson and matching 8:40 tripping penalty on senior forward Jesse DeVito. Neither special teams were able to convert. The Terriers put forth a solid PK against a Husky team that has scored 19 power play goals and averages 4 tallies a game.
However, a second call on DeVito –– this time for hooking at 13:34 –– allowed Northeastern to double their lead to 2-0. Graduate forward Chloé Aurard collected the rebound of Anderson’s shot from the slot and dumped the puck in from the right post at 14:20 for her 12th of the season.
While the Terriers headed into the second period with a two goal deficit, the initial 20 minutes were a big turn-around from their flat play on Friday and set a good foundation for their compete level in the middle frame.
The first half of the second saw a lot of good things from BU. Junior defenseman Julia Shaunessy, now back in the lineup after injury, added a physical edge to the Terrier play and freshman forward Sydney Healey showed her growing confidence in the offensive zone.
“I thought Sydney had her legs moving today, was pretty strong with the puck –– had a real good play in the first period that we got a grade A chance,” Durocher said. “She’s strong when she has the puck, strong along the walls.”
However, the floodgates opened in the latter half of the period as Northeastern lit the lamp three times in under three minutes to push a 5-0 gap. Mueller netted her second of the afternoon at 7:40 and sophomore center Taze Thompson and Murphy added two more to the score in the following shifts.
The Terriers’ defensive structure seemingly collapsed in a matter minutes and the onslaught from the Huskies no doubt deflated a BU bench that had put together a pretty cohesive performance up until that point. Shanahan took over the crease for Brändli to start the third period.
“I thought it was good to give Callie a period. Andrea has certainly been fantastic for us this year and we gave her both games this weekend,” Durocher said. “It was a good time to give Callie 20 minutes as she continues to build herself back up.”
Graduate forward Mia Brown resumed the scoring for Northeastern in the third period as she walked into the zone and released a snapshot by the left faceoff circle to make it 6-0 at 3:15. BU couldn’t get anything going for the rest of the final frame and the score remained the same until the ending buzzer.
The Terriers will look to get back in the win column on Jan. 13 in Worcester, MA as they take on the Holy Cross Crusaders once again. The Boston Hockey Blog will have continued full coverage of the team so be sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.