After a solid outing over the weekend, the No. 5 Boston University women’s hockey team is looking to take on Northeastern University in a game that could have a major impact on the season.
On Saturday, the Terriers (12-2-3, 4-1-3 Hockey East) beat University of Connecticut in their second straight road shutout. Junior forward Jenn Wakefield and junior defenseman Tara Watchorn scored three points apiece to boost the Terriers. Wakefield scored two goals for her team leading fourth power-play goal and fifth game-winning goal. Freshman forward Marie-Philip Poulin also scored a power-play goal.
“Saturday’s game was probably as thorough a game as we’ve had” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “We grabbed the shutout, killed all the short-handed situations and scored a couple of power-play goals.”
The Terrier defense was especially strong during the game as it only allowed 12 shots on goal. Furthermore, freshman goaltender Kerrin Sperry, who was named the HE Co-Rookie of the Month, continued her unbeaten streak with her second straight shutout.
“Kerrin’s play was solid,” Durocher said. “One of those pucks goes in late in the second period and they get momentum and they’re at home, that’s going to be a real, real fight all the way to the end… Sometimes it looks like its 4-0 on the scoreboard, but it was within a whisker or a couple of good saves of being a dog fight right to the end. Fortunately, she made the saves.”
In its last game, Northeastern (10-3-4, 3-2-3) scored four goals in the third frame to overtake University of New Hampshire, 4-0. Sophomore Rachel Llanes scored two goals during the game, and junior goaltender Florence Schelling had 22 saves in her third shutout of the season. Two of Schelling’s shutouts came between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12 when she went 176:08 minutes without giving up a goal.
“I feel like their team starts with goaltender Florence Schelling. She’s a real top notch goaltender,” Durocher said. “The next thing is I think they’re a very opportunistic offensive team. I don’t think they look at one player to do it. They’ve got some kids who have poise around the net, and when they get an opportunity to make a good shot, they make it.”
Northeastern is only two points behind BU in the HE standings and a win will not only give the Terriers more breathing room in their conference, but will also give them more confidence as the season progresses.
“Northeastern is right there,” Durocher said. “They’re a program that continues to be on the rise, and [Husky coach] Dave Flint does a fantastic job as well as his staff. If all of a sudden, we can win what they would call a four-point game, it gives them a loss and it gives us a win in the column… It’ll be a big win for whoever gets it. We’re going to see if we can’t get the job done.”
BU and Northeastern met up four times last season. The first three games the pair played, the teams tied. Northeastern ended up winning the two teams’ final match in the Beanpot semifinals in a shootout.
“I think with Northeastern, they’ve got pretty good quickness, they’ve got pretty good diversity and they got a volume of kids who are scoring goals for them,” Durocher said. “It’ll be a real good matchup to have to deal with not only their quickness but their All-American type goaltender.”