Game Recaps, Women's Hockey

Julia Nearis’ overtime goal powers Terriers in upset of No.11 Vermont

By Brian Foisy
By James Garrison

The Boston University women’s hockey team (10-15-2, 9-12-2 Hockey East) won their fifth straight with an impressive 2-1 overtime upset against the 11th ranked University of Vermont Catamounts (18-10-1, 13-8-1 HE) at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday. 

Senior forward Julia Nearis sealed the deal for BU with an overtime goal, firing the shot through the five-hole followed by a wicked celly.

“Brooke Disher basically did the whole play for me,” Nearis said post-game. “She stood up to that player…there was a split second where I had to lift her stick so I went in, did that, and then found myself all alone and I feel like I’m pretty confident in that area.”

“It was a good team effort today and I’m glad I could put it home in the end.” 

BU head coach Brian Durocher said postgame of the team’s turnaround during this winning streak, “everybody’s trying to take care of business by inches rather than feet or miles.” 

Junior forward Catherine Foulem scored the first goal of the game at 2:53 in the first, sniping a wrister on a tough angle past the farside of junior Catamount goalie Jessie McPherson. 

Sophomore forward Evelyne Blais-Savoie put Vermont on the board at 15:44 of the first period, scoring off a rebound from her teammate Lara Beecher’s missed breakaway chance. 

The Terriers entered the power play after a holding penalty against senior Lily Humphrey late in the period, but failed to cash in. The theme of missed opportunities on the power play carried over into the second frame for both teams. 

BU finished 0-3 on the power play. Durocher said he felt “not super well” about his team’s performance on the man-advantage. 

“We never really got control of it, we were trying to do some things that ended up being odd person rushes or breakaways at the other end,” Durocher said. 

With the exception of one shot by sophomore forward Christina Vote, UVM was the aggressor in BU’s lone power play of the second and continued swarming the Terriers for the remainder of the period. 

UVM outshot the Terriers 14-6 in the second. Without stellar goalie play by Brändli, who saved 22 shots in the game, the Catamounts would’ve buried the Terriers by the end of the second period. 

Of Brändli’s play throughout the season Durocher said, “I think it flies under the radar probably to a lot of people but she’s poised and she’s controlled and has played extremely well for us all year.”

“The thing that keeps showing up for me is how good her hands are to control pucks and really even her body when pucks hit her in the pads or maybe in the chest they just sort of die there.”

The Terriers had a couple cups of coffee in the second intermission and came out on fire in the third period, outshooting the Catamounts 9-2. 

“Points are really important to us right now and that’s basically what’s on the line,” Nearis said. “We try to keep as disciplined as possible in the D zone, that eventually led to the shots…moving forward, we just want to bring that energy all the time.”

Despite their best efforts in the third, the Terriers left the period without any goals to show for it, bringing the game to overtime where Nearis would quickly call game. 

“That’s a good team,” Durocher said of UVM. “For them to get 35 or 38 shots is not impossible, and we kept them to a much more controlled number.”

BU will look to capitalize on this success and hopefully add to its winning streak. The Terriers will face the University of Connecticut Huskies at home next Friday. The Boston Hockey Blog will have continued full coverage of the team so be sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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