Game Recaps, Women's Hockey

Terriers put forward strong effort, eventually fall 5-2 to No. 12 UConn

Photo by Belle Fraser.

The Boston University women’s hockey team faced a tall task on Saturday afternoon. Her name was Megan Warrener.

The No. 12 University of Connecticut junior goaltender is among the league’s best with a NCAA-leading 0.766 goals-against average and a 7-0-1 record in eight starts. While Boston’s offense ranks second in Hockey East in goals scored, its production just wasn’t enough to overcome the Huskies’ stellar goaltending. 

The Terriers (9-10-2, 7-8-1 Hockey East) fell 5-2 against the Huskies (14-6-2, 11-3-1 HEA) in a game much closer and much more competitive than the score implies. 

Despite losing 4-1 to the University of New Hampshire Friday evening, the Terriers’ late surge carried into their matinee with the Huskies. BU came out of the gate with strong possession and what assistant coach Megan Myers called “domination mode in the O-zone” after last night’s contest. 

The first four shots on goal came off Boston sticks, but if UConn’s season could be boiled down to one word, it would be defense. The Huskies have only allowed 15 Hockey East goals all season, which is by far the best mark. 

While BU’s pressure was futile, all it took for UConn was a one-timer from sophomore forward Brooke Campbell in the slot on the team’s third shot of the game to take an early 1-0 advantage. 

The Terriers seemed to fall out of rhythm with a weak transition offense, costing the team just over three minutes later when UConn graduate student defender Camryn Wong intercepted the puck at center ice, finding Coryn Tormala. The graduate forward outskated the entirety of the Terriers’ defense, taking the puck to the pot for a convincing 2-0 lead with just over eight minutes left in the first. 

After falling behind 4-0 to New Hampshire the night before, BU’s hopes to upset a top-ranked opponent were quickly slipping out of reach in a similar manner. However, a two-minute minor on UConn’s Jada Habisch allowed BU to halve the lead. Senior defenseman Tamara Giaquinto’s shot bounced off Warrener’s pad for sophomore forward Sydney Healey to tap in, ending the period down a goal, 2-1.

The second period was all BU, highlighted by its Hockey East-best penalty kill and cleaned-up passes. Despite starting the period on the penalty kill, the Terriers still managed to dominate possession. BU netminder Alexa Matses remained largely untested, however, the graduate student kept her composure and made impressive saves when needed. 

BU spent the front half of the period knocking on the door to no avail until Giaquinto, who recorded her second assist of the afternoon, found sophomore forward Lilli Welcke in the slot. Welcke, also recording her second point of the contest, slipped the puck under Warrener’s stick-side pad to knot the game at 2-2. It is just the second time all season Warrener has allowed more than one goal in a game. 

The Terriers killed off three penalties in the middle frame, extending their streak to 13 straight power plays without allowing a goal.

The final period began balanced until UConn junior forward Riley Grimley took the puck behind the Terriers’ net, backhanding a shot toward the crease just under four minutes in. The puck ping-ponged off skates before bouncing off of Habisch’s stick for the late-game lead.

The BU defense held firm with an impressive goalline stand by Matses and Nadia Mattivi. However, Claire Peterson’s backdoor goal at 11:44 was the dagger. UConn also tacked on an empty-netter to walk away with a 5-2 victory.

Next up, the Terriers kick off the Beanpot on Tuesday with a first-round bout against No. 13 Boston College at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center at 4:30 p.m. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage of the tournament, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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