Ice Hockey, Sports

Historic first half ends on a down note

The No. 6 Boston University women’s hockey team failed to end the first half of its season on a high note last night, suffering a 5-0 defeat at the hands of No. 9 Boston College at Walter Brown Arena.

‘Hats off to Boston College,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘They were the winners tonight, and they were the better team. We never got that goal that changes the complexion of the game.’

The Terriers dropped their third result in four games, falling to 8-5-4 overall and 6-2-0 in Hockey East. BC improved to 10-4-3 overall, while remaining atop Hockey East with a 7-3-1 conference record.’ ‘

The Eagles ousted the Terriers with a shutout performance from junior goaltender Molly Schaus and a third-period hat trick from junior forward Allie Thunstrom.

Schaus saved all 25 of BU’s shots on goal during the game, allowing her teammates to build a five-goal lead from which the Terriers would not recover. Schaus’s performance was vital considering BU outshot the Eagles, 25-21, for the night. Both teams were fruitless on the power play, with BU going 0-for-7 and BC 0-for-4.

‘She was seeing the puck really well, and I think that was frustrating us,’ BU co-captain Sarah Russell said of Schaus. ‘She was really on her game tonight. She’s one of the best goalies out there.’

The teams battled up and down the ice throughout the first period. While BU dominated the frame in shots on goal with seven to BC’s three, the Eagles proved more efficient when a score by freshman forward Mary Restuccia put the visitors up, 1-0, with about three minutes left in the first frame.

‘In the first period I thought we had some grade-A chances,’ Durocher said of BU’s solid play in the early going. ‘The second period was a little bit of rope-a-dope where I thought we played a good period but had nothing to show for it. We didn’t give them very many jumps.’

An inability to convert scoring opportunities plagued the Terriers throughout the game. Although they controlled the pace of play during the first two periods, they failed to bend the scoreboard in their favor, especially with Schaus putting together a great night in goal. Then came a third-period defensive breakdown that ‘opened up the floodgates’ for consecutive BC goals, Durocher said.

‘We started the period with a really bad power play and most of it was mental, not physical,’ Durocher said. ‘That was really, really frustrating to me because we had left the locker room with one plan and we absolutely, positively made up our own plan.’

BU went on a power play early in the period, but Thunstrom pulled off a shorthanded goal, flicking the puck home about 50 seconds into the frame. Thunstrom struck again less than a minute and a half later, converting a shot right in front of BU’s net to stretch the Eagle lead to 3-0.

‘Coach always warns us how they score goals in bunches, and they always do,’ Russell said. ‘We kind of had a big letdown after we couldn’t get one and they put a couple past us.’

The Eagles went up 4-0 when senior forward Becky Zavisza knocked in the puck after controlling a rebound left by BU senior goaltender Allyse Wilcox. Wilcox expressed frustration upon letting the puck through.

Thunstrom completed her hat trick with about two and a half minutes left to play, driving head-on toward Wilcox and sticking the puck in the net’s top left corner to finalize a 5-0 BC shutout.

BU will return from the winter break with two away contests at Ohio State University on Jan. 2-3.

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