By Brian Foisy
Having been unbeaten in their last six games, the Boston University women’s hockey team (10-15-3, 9-12-3 Hockey East) looks to capitalize on their momentum in a Beanpot battle against the No. 5 Northeastern University (25-2-1, 21-2-1 HE) Huskies.
Until recently, tonight’s matchup against Northeastern in the 44th Women’s Beanpot could hardly be viewed as competitive. The Terriers are now riding a hot streak though, where they’ve downed two ranked opponents in Vermont and Connecticut.
“We’ve had some average teams that played extremely well, but our kryptonite is that darn Beanpot,” Coach Brian Durocher said following Friday’s shootout win about his teams’ performance in the Beanpot.
The Terriers will still have a tough time against Northeastern –– who enters the game on a 13-game winning streak, and is ranked fifth in the country –– but the path to a victory in the Beanpot opener seems a little more possible given BU’s recent success.
In this stretch, the Terriers have proven they can hang with the best in Hockey East.
Much of this success comes from the consistency of goalie Andrea Brӓndli, who has only allowed ten goals during this unbeaten streak.
Brӓndli, who transferred to BU from Ohio State this past year, will be playing in her first Beanpot tournament.
“I’ve gotta be honest, I never heard of the Beanpot before I came to Boston,” Brӓndli said following Friday’s game. “I’m so happy to come into a school that has such a huge history, like the Beanpot, and just playing in that tournament means a lot to me.”
Brӓndli’s opponent on the opposite end of the ice is senior Gwyneth Phillips, arguably the best goalie in women’s college hockey. Phillips comes into the Beanpot with Division 1’s best goals against average with 0.79 and save percentage of 96%.
The leaders for goals this season for Northeastern –– which has already clinched the regular-season title in Hockey East –– are graduate forward Alina Mueller and senior forward Katy Knoll.
Senior forward Julia Nearis leads the Terriers in points and goals with 19 and 10 respectively. This is Nearis’ third Beanpot, having played Northeastern in all three of those tournaments.
Junior forward Catherine Foulem figures to also be a big presence in tonight’s matchup, having been a big part of the team’s recent success. Foulem, who scored twice in BU’s 3-1 shootout win over Connecticut, leads the team in plus/minus. Foulem’s line – also consisting of sophomore Christina Vote and junior Madison Cardaci – has been doing a lot of work for the Terriers in this unbeaten streak.
The three are responsible for seven goals across the streak, including a Cardaci hat trick against Merrimack on January 27th.
When asked after Friday’s game what she was looking forward to in tonight’s Beanpot matchup Foulem said, “obviously that win,” and nodded to keeping up the Terriers’ recent success. “Against Northeastern is gonna be a really tough game and we just, again, all have to buy in and give everything that we can to get that W and eventually win a Beanpot,” the junior added.
The Terriers can hopefully avenge the men’s team’s loss to Northeastern in last night’s Beanpot opener with a win tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 pm and the Boston Hockey Blog will have full coverage so be sure to follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.