Game Previews, Women's Hockey

WIH to face Vermont in weekend series ahead of Beanpot Championship

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

Coming off an exhilarating shootout victory, only one thing stands in the way of the Boston University women’s hockey team and the bright lights of TD Garden for the Beanpot Championship: a two-game series with the University of Vermont.

The Catamounts (9-12-1, 7-8-0 Hockey East) are trying to play spoiler to BU’s good times with games set for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena. The Terriers (9-10-3, 7-8-1 HE) have been slowly putting it all together with one of their strongest performances of the season against No. 13 Boston College in the Beanpot Semifinals. 

“It goes even further building that confidence that we’re a good team,” BU head coach Tara Watchorn said Tuesday. “I think we feel good that we have a great foundation to still go through adversity and get better to get the opportunities we want down the stretch.”

The Welcke twins have recently been the story for BU, with each playing what Watchorn calls a “200-foot game,” performing on both ends of the ice. Sophomore forward Luisa Welcke scored a crucial goal to put the Terriers up 2-1 against BC on Tuesday. Luisa has scored a goal in five of the last six games. Meanwhile, sophomore forward Lilli Welcke earned an assist as well as the shootout winner.

Junior goaltender Callie Shanahan also played a huge part between the pipes en route to a 27-save victory. Shanahan had been sidelined for the first half of the season with a knee injury, returning against the University of New Hampshire last Friday.

The BU penalty kill has also been crucial in keeping the team in games. The Terriers killed off four power plays on Tuesday with one being a five-minute major. BU has the fourth-best penalty kill in the nation and is currently on a streak of 17 straight penalties killed off totaling 37:00 minutes. 

The key to the Terriers’ success is to play a full 60 minutes, which the team had been building towards and did on Tuesday, staying in control the entire game and forcing the Eagles to play catch-up. Similarly, the team has to take advantage of opportunities, such as the 5-on-3 BU failed to convert during the semi-final tilt. 

Five things to know about the Catamounts: 

  • UVM is currently on a four-game losing streak, getting swept at the hands of both Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Providence College. The Catamounts were outscored 20-5 across that stretch.
  • Boston University will be the first Hockey East action UVM will get in the new year with their previous HEA contest coming on Dec. 8 against Merrimack in a 4-2 win.
  • Senior forward Natalia Mlynkova leads UVM in points (11 goals, 11 assists) in a balanced attack that ranks fourth in Hockey East.
  • Senior goaltender Jessie McPherson has earned most of the starting time in net for the Catamounts this season. McPherson has a 2.38 GAA with a .889 save percentage. 
  • UVM averages 24.6 shots per game, scoring 2.5 goals as well. Their opponents have been barely outshooting them at 24.8 shots and just under 3 goals per game at a 2.9 clip.

Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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