Game Previews, Women's Hockey

WIH back in action against Syracuse with two games at Walter Brown Arena

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

The Boston University women’s hockey team (0-2-0, 0-2-0 Hockey East) is back in action this weekend as it welcomes Syracuse University (3-4-0, 0-0-0 College Hockey America) for two games at Walter Brown Arena. 

The Terriers were off last week after opening conference competition against Northeastern University on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 where they got swept, losing 4-1 on Friday and 2-0 on Saturday. While BU wasn’t able to secure a win, its overall team game saw improvements from last season, specifically on neutral zone transitions and detail-oriented defense. 

Nonetheless, head coach Tara Watchorn’s team only mustered one goal through two games against one of the top dogs of Hockey East in Northeastern — that offensive conversion won’t be enough on any night. Freshman forward Alex Law drove play for BU in Saturday’s shutout loss, leading her squad with a cumulative six shots, but they’ll need to start hitting the back of the net for the Terriers to get in the win column. 

Kickstarting special teams production will be a key for the Terriers getting more tallies on the scoreboard. BU went 0-for-5 on the power play over two meetings with the Huskies, and while its penalty kill held it down on Saturday, cashing in on the man advantage is a must. 

Freshman goaltender Mari Pietersen and graduate Alexa Matses split the two-game series. In her first collegiate start, Pietersen made 22 saves in a confident and controlled performance at Wally B. Matses, the former Husky, got the nod at Matthews Arena the following afternoon and posted 28 stops. 

As of now, it doesn’t seem the Terriers have a designated starter, but that’ll be an important decision in the near future in terms of consistency for not only the netminder, but the women playing in front of her too. 

BU has had more than a week straight of practice to build on and learn from the Northeastern series as they prepare to defend home ice against Syracuse. 

Five things to know about Syracuse ahead of puck drop: 

  • Syracuse has lost four of its last five games, most recently falling to Cornell University 7-0 on Tuesday. 
  • Graduate netminder Allie Kelley has started all seven games for Syracuse, and earned a 3.01 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. It’s Kelley’s first season with the team after transferring from St. Anselm College where she played from 2021-23 after spending 2019-2021 with Quinnipiac University. Kelley won consecutive CHA Goaltender of the Week awards at the beginning of the season. 
  • Graduate forward Kate Holmes leads Syracuse in points with five (one goal, four assists). 
  • Sophomore forward Heidi Knoll leads the team in goals with three. Knoll finished the 2022-23 season with just one goal and one assist, already breaking her collegiate record through the first month of the 2023-24 campaign. 
  • Graduate defenseman Alexandria Weiss has been a force on the backend for Syracuse, leading the group with 11 blocked shots thus far. Against Cornell, Syracuse logged a total 14 blocked shots, three of which came from Weiss.

BU and Syracuse will open the weekend series on Friday at 6pm at Walter Brown Arena, followed by a 3pm matinee matchup on Saturday. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full coverage of the games, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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