One of the Boston University women’s hockey team’s top tests of the season comes on opening night this year.
The Terriers will host the No. 5 Northeastern University Huskies (3-1-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East) at Walter Brown Arena on Friday night to kick off their 2023-24 campaign, and head over to Matthews Arena on Saturday afternoon to close out the series.
BU is coming off of a 5-2 exhibition game win last Saturday against McGill University, but this weekend marks its first regular season, conference competition with new head coach Tara Watchorn behind the bench.
Last weekend’s victory didn’t count for the record, but the Terriers saw contributions from up and down the lineup with Sydney Healey, Ani FitzGerald, Catherine Foulem, Clara Yuhn and Brooke Disher all scoring. Offensive production has been a point of emphasis for Watchorn’s squad in the first month of practice, and they’ll look to carry that over to their series against the reigning Hockey East Champions, Northeastern.
Freshman goaltender Mari Pietersen started in net against McGill and made nine saves on 11 shots before graduate Alexa Mates came in for the final 22:21 and saved five shots. It’s unclear what the Terriers’ goalie rotation is going to be this season with junior Callie Shanahan also gunning for the No. 1 spot on the netminder depth chart, so Watchorn’s choice between the pipes this weekend will be telling.
In the 2022-23 season, Northeastern won all four games against BU, out-scoring the Terriers by a 19-2 total. However, the Huskies have a new look this year with their “super line” of Chloe Audard, Maureen Murphy and Alina Muller graduated. They’re still a Hockey East power house, but Northeastern will have to work to find its new identity without its previous stars.
Here’s five things to know about the Huskies ahead of the series:
- Northeastern’s season started on Sept. 23 where they split their opening series against Penn State. Last weekend, the Huskies swept Long Island University winning 6-0 the first game and 2-0 the second.
- Sophomore defenseman Kristina Allard earned Hockey East Defender of the Week this week after netting two goals – the firsts of her career – in the Huskies’ 6-0 win over LIU.
- Fifth-year goaltender Gweneth Phillips also earned Hockey East honors as Co-Goaltender of the Week after posting a cumulative 36 saves through back-to-back shutouts against LIU. Phillips has a .50 goals-against average and .980 save percentage.
- Fifth-year forward Katy Knoll is working to find her offensive groove on the first line after playing behind Murphy, Audard and Muller last season. Knoll posted 34 points (18 goals, 16 assists) her senior year.
- The Huskies have gone 2-for-14 on the power play thus far this season, uncharacteristic of a special teams unit that historically guaranteed a goal on the man-advantage last year.
Puck drop is at 6pm on Friday at Walter Brown Arena and 1:30pm on Saturday at Matthews Arena. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full coverage of the series so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.