After a season that ended in heartbreak for the Terriers, the No. 6 Boston University women’s hockey team will get back on the ice Sunday afternoon when it plays an exhibition game against McGill University at Walter Brown Arena.
While this game does not count toward the Terriers standings, BU coach Brian Durocher said it will give new players the opportunity to experience playing college-level hockey at BU.
“I think it’ll be a way to definitely take a look at the new people that are here,” Durocher said. “It’ll be great to see [them] put the uniform on, get a feel for what we try to do as a team and certainly get themselves on the ice for the first time.”
The Terriers feature a roster with eight new skaters this season. Seven of these skaters make up the freshman class. Junior defenseman and transfer Shannon Doyle takes up the eighth spot after playing two years at Colgate University.
Although Durocher said he is looking forward to seeing the newcomers play in a game together for the first time, he will not see freshman forward Sarah Lefort. Along with senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk and junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Lefort will miss the exhibition game as she participates in one of Hockey Canada’s camps.
Senior forward Taylor Holze will also miss the game as she continues to recover from surgery she had during the offseason.
According to Durocher, the Terriers will face more of a challenge during this year’s exhibition game. As they enter into their eighth year as a program, the Terriers have only lost in an exhibition game once — their first season against the Bluewater Hawks. In four of its seven exhibition games, BU has held its opponents to just one goal.
This is the first time BU will play McGill University.
“Of all the exhibition games we’ve had, this will probably be the most competitive one because McGill is perennially the Canadian champion, or right there if they aren’t,” Durocher said. “So It’ll be nice to go up against a good team.
“They usually have very good goaltending, so that’s a team that’s going to be a really solid team from top to bottom and one that we know will be well coached.”
During the past few seasons, the exhibition game served as an opportunity for Durocher to watch all three of his goaltenders in action, with each playing a period between the pipes.
This year, however, the Terriers are down to just two netminders, and one is questionable for Sunday’s game.
“We are at the point where we only have two goaltenders this year because Braly Hiller had one surgery already and has another one later on in the year,” Durocher said about who would be in goal on Sunday. “[We’re] playing it a little bit by ear because [senior Alissa Fromkin] is still finishing the final stages of her recovery from her surgery as well.
“It’ll be a little bit of a read and react, but hopefully we’ll get [Fromkin and junior Kerrin Sperry] in there and each will get a little bit of time.”
While it is just one game, the exhibition against McGill is the only thing separating BU from its first official game of the season — a contest with Boston College. The Eagles edged out the Terriers in the Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll that came out on Sept. 20, as they received five first-place votes to BU’s three.
“It takes more than one game or one week to know what you have to work on,” Durocher said. “That’s something that certainly goes on through the better part of the first half of the year, and then it’s kind of tweaking from there. But it’ll be nice to get people out there and break them into some of our systems and certainly get them ready for a big start with Boston College.”