The No. 8 Boston University women’s ice hockey team began its season Saturday with an exhibition game against the University of Guelph. Travelling from Guelph, Ontario, the Gryphons could not tame the Terriers, who rallied points from a total of nine different players en route to a 3-0 victory.
The first period was a constant battle between the two teams, but the Terriers maintained puck possession for the majority of time, outshooting the Gryphons 16-3. While neither team cracked the scoreboard in the first, there were many scoring opportunities generated by the Terriers.
A little over halfway into the first frame, junior defenseman Alexis Crossley took a shot from the blue line, which junior defenseman Sarah Steele attempted to rebound, but Gryphon goaltender Stephanie Nehring made a butterfly save, keeping the score 0-0.
Another opportunity later arose with just over eight minutes left in the period, when freshman forward Sammy Davis skated into the offensive zone from right side and tried to deke Nehring, who barely made the save.
The Terriers finally broke through the Gryphon defense in the second period with an opening goal from junior forward Samantha Sutherland. In the third minute, Sutherland tipped the puck on Steele’s original shot from the blue line, giving the Terriers the 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute later, BU tallied its second goal of the game, this time from senior forward and assistant captain Dakota Woodworth. Freshman forward Mary Grace Kelley skated into the offensive zone with the puck and passed it backwards to junior forward Jordan Juron. Juron made a saucer pass from the point across to Woodworth, who was open in front of the net and shot it in past Nehring.
“I was just really excited,” Woodworth said about scoring her first goal of the season. “It’s nice to get the first one out of the way on the first game, because otherwise you can kind of get stuck. [Kelley] made a really nice pass back to Jordan and I was just wide open and Jordan slid it over. It was a great play all around.”
The Terriers would score one more goal before the end of the second period, giving them a 3-0 lead over the Gryphons. Junior forward Maddie Elia ripped a shot from the point on a pass from senior forward and captain Kayla Tutino, who received the assist. BU finished the period with a total of 14 shots on net, while Guelph tallied four.
Junior goaltender Victoria Hanson switched places with sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil halfway through the second period. Hanson made six saves overall, while O’Neil made ten saves, nine of which came from the third period.
“I still want one of [Hanson and O’Neil] to show me that they’re the number one goalie,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “Victoria had a nice ending to the year last year, but it was a tough decision and when she was called on, she did a real nice job. Both of them, if you look at their body of work in the season of 34 games, they both want to elevate their game and they both have the ability to do it.”
Neither team saw any more scoring action in the third period, but opportunities still lingered. With just over six minutes left in the frame, Elia tried to deke in front of Nehring, who kicked it out of Elia’s possession right in front of the net.
The Terriers finished the game with a 3-0 win in hand.
“For the kids there’s a lot of excitement,” Durocher said. “It gives us a chance to see people play at this level, and we had a great game.”