While much of the No. 9 Boston University women’s hockey team’s success this season can be attributed to its trademark stingy defense, as well as the stellar play of senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry between the pipes, the Terrier offense has been equally impressive.
After being blanked in a 3-0 defeat to Robert Morris University on Oct. 19, the Terriers (11-3-1, 7-0 Hockey East) have been on fire offensively, scoring 31 goals over their next eight games, including an astounding four-game stretch from Nov. 2 to Nov. 10 that saw BU find the back of the net 21 times.
While the Terriers offense has seemingly been cruising through the first two months of 2013-14 season, they faced their first real roadblock over the past two weeks, as BU was held scoreless for over 120 minutes of play.
After failing to score in the third period of their 2-0 win over St. Cloud State University on Nov. 15, the Terriers were blanked by a score of 5-0 the following day by No. 2 University of Wisconsin, snapping their eight-game winning streak.
The Terriers were nearly shut out once again in their following game against No. 6 Harvard University Friday night, as the Crimson (7-1-1) kept the Terriers off the board for the first two periods.
BU would finally find the back of the net with a little over four minutes remaining in the contest, as sophomore forward Rebecca Russo fired a shot from the slot for her sixth goal of the season. Unfortunately for the Terriers, Russo’s score would not be enough, as BU fell to Harvard, 3-1.
When asked after the game about his team’s inability to generate offense over its last few games, BU coach Brian Durocher was quick to point out that facing off against two nationally-ranked teams have been a big reason for the team’s difficulties with scoring.
“There’s clearly a significant uptick when you play the No. 2 and No. 5 team in the country,” Durocher said. “You play a team that’s really quick and defends well here with an excellent goalie and Wisconsin, a little bit bigger but also is a very solid team defensively.
“I give a lot of credit to the talent we’re playing, but it’s also maybe a little bit of luck, because without a doubt, you get some opportunities tonight — Rebecca having a real good chance on the breakaway, a puck that hits a crossbar late in the game, some sort of two-on-one situations where we made pretty good shots. … Those are things that you’ve got to get a little bit of luck. “
Thankfully for the Durocher and the Terriers, it looked like BU finally started to turn around its lacking offensive game Sunday afternoon against the University of New Hampshire, as BU received goals from sophomore forward Sarah Lefort and junior forward Kayla Tutino en route to a 2-1 victory over the Wildcats (6-7-2, 2-3-2 Hockey East).
Despite their issues with the puck over the last two weeks, the Terriers still boast one of the more impressive offensive units in the conference, as BU is second in Hockey East with 2.93 goals per game.
While going through a scoring drought, even if it was for just two games, is obviously not an ideal scenario for any team, Durocher admitted that tough stretches are just a part of the various peaks and valleys that any team goes during a long season.
“It all evens out in the wash but not necessarily in the same month,” Durocher said. “Maybe in January or February we’ll get some puck luck or maybe last month we got some puck luck that got us four or five goals in games versus maybe two or three.”