Ice Hockey, Sports

Offensive struggles plague BU in HE play

Impenetrable goaltending thwarted the Boston University women’s hockey team last week in consecutive losses to Hockey East rivals Northeastern University and the No. 10 University of Connecticut.

‘I think from our end of it we’ve gotten a little bit tight, we’ve gotten a little bit nervous,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘We’re trying too hard to score. That’s part of a long season. That’s part of what can go on in a game of ice hockey.’

Tremendous goaltending from opponents quieted the Terriers (9-7-5, 6-4-0 HE) in both games. BU failed to score Thursday night when Northeastern (8-8-2, 5-4-0) bested the Terriers, 2-0, at Walter Brown Arena. The offense couldn’t correct itself Saturday when UConn (14-6-2, 7-4-0) confounded BU in a 3-0 triumph at Connecticut’s Mark Freitas Ice Forum.

The Terriers now occupy fifth place in the Hockey East standings.

Northeastern’s 2-0 victory Thursday rested on the shoulders of sophomore goaltender Leah Sulyma, who stopped all 31 of BU’s shots on goal. Sulyma’s efforts proved most crucial in the third period, when the Terriers outshot the Huskies, 16-2.

‘There’s no question we’ve run into some fantastic goaltenders,’ Durocher said. ‘My hat’s off to the goaltenders. The other team has done a fantastic job of either defending or allowing their goaltenders to see the puck, stop the puck.’

Northeastern forward Lindsay Berman scored in the first minute of play, beating BU senior goaltender Allyse Wilcox in the low slot. Sophomore Lori Antflick capped off the scoring with a power-play goal in the second period.

Penalties hampered BU throughout the game, as the officials sent a Terrier to the penalty box nine different times. Durocher said the penalty that led to Antflick’s goal produced a shift in momentum in Northeastern’s favor.

On the offensive end, the Terriers could not convert any opportunities despite taking 31 shots on goal-almost double the Huskies’ total of 16. BU also squandered eight power-play chances.

The same problem haunted the Terriers against a different group of Huskies in Connecticut Saturday. BU bettered UConn in shots, 31-19, but Huskies’ senior netminder Brittany Wilson reprised the role of Sulyma, stopping all of BU’s attempts en route to her team’s 3-0 victory.

‘ BU committed 10 penalties in the game, and two of the Huskies’ three goals came during man-up opportunities. The first came in the second period when junior Dominique Thibault netted her 19th goal of the season. Freshman Monique Weber knocked in the second power-play score later in the second.

Weber sealed the deal late in the third frame, flipping a shot into BU’s empty net to secure Connecticut’s eighth straight win. It was the third straight shutout dealt to BU by a Hockey East foe, dating back to their 5-0 loss to Boston College on Dec. 10.

‘I commend our team for the work ethic they had for five of the six periods,’ Durocher said of his team’s play in both games. ‘But if you’re playing five of six really good periods and outshooting teams two-to-one, you’d like to think you’re going to get a goal or two goals or three goals, and we have not.’

‘ On the bright side, the Terriers managed a relatively successful trip to start their second half with two games at Ohio State University. The Terriers beat the Buckeyes 5-3 on Jan. 2, thanks in part to a goal and two assists from sophomore Jillian Kirchner and 28 saves from senior goaltender Allyse Wilcox.

BU finished off the trip with a 2-2 tie in a rematch with Ohio State. Goals came from senior Erin Seman and sophomore Holly Lorms, who netted a tally late in the third period to even the score.

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