The Boston University women’s hockey team will look to extend its two-game winning streak against Providence College in a pair of matinee contests this weekend.
‘Without a doubt, we’ll have a tough time,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said about this weekend’s contests. ‘If we can carry the play and get a good percentage of shots and hopefully continue to keep our power play going good, I like our chances. I like what we’ve done this year.’
At 2 p.m. Saturday, the Terriers will hit the ice at Schneider Arena in Providence for the first time this season, hoping to leave with their third consecutive win. It will be BU’s fourth straight road game after going 2-1 in the previous three. A win Saturday would also give the Terriers their first ever win at Schneider.’
Both squads will then head north for a rematch at 3 p.m. on Sunday at BU’s Walter Brown Arena.
Providence (12-10-2, 7-3-1 Hockey East) heads into Saturday on the tail end of a 5-2 loss to the University of Vermont.’
BU (11-7-5, 8-4-0) will look to build on two consecutive victories against the University of Maine. The Terriers neutralized the Black Bears this past Saturday and Sunday, toppling Maine 5-2 and 5-1, respectively. Senior forward Gina Kearns ruled the weekend with three goals, giving her a team-leading season total of 11.
‘Over the course of three and a half going on four years now, consistency has been a mantra for Gina,’ Durocher said. ‘She doesn’t have the super-duper highs or the super-duper lows. [She] might go a game or two without points, but will rebound and contribute.’
Kearns brought about Providence’s downfall in the two teams’ last matchup on Nov. 1. The Friars had the upper hand late into the third period, with the scoreboard stuck at 3-2 for most of the frame ‘- but BU had Kearns. The senior co-captain netted a shot with 11 seconds of regulation left, knotting up the score and paving the way for a shootout victory and an ecstatic Terrier celebration.
Of course, that was when the Terriers were ranked No. 8 in the nation and still undefeated in Hockey East. They were also in the midst of a program-record 10-game unbeaten streak.
But the hockey season is long and demanding, and the Terriers have since earned the scars to prove it. Their undefeated Hockey East mark now stands at 8-4, and their national ranking has been stripped.
Durocher said he expects his team to bounce back. He said he felt that his team played at a high level in tough losses against Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut, but could not convert scoring chances.
‘We hit a little bit of a scoring wall,’ Durocher said of those two games. ‘Sometimes, you can’t control scoring. I think you control your defense and your work ethic and your intelligence, but you can’t always control scoring.’
Now, in the thick of Hockey East play that will keep up for almost the rest of the season, the Terriers will hope to oust Providence this weekend before two more Hockey East contests at home with Vermont next weekend.
For the rest of this month and through February, the Terriers will be brawling Hockey East foes for a top playoff seed. The only nationally ranked team they will have to face is No. 6 Boston College, which now sits atop the Hockey East standings.
‘We just take care of business, concentrate on one game, one period,’ Durocher said of his team’s quest for the playoffs. ‘I know it sounds like a clich’eacute;, but it’s fact. If we win, we’re going to be in pretty darn good position.’