The No. 9 Boston University women’s ice hockey team had a difficult weekend against No. 4 Clarkson University, losing in both games this weekend on home ice.
The Terriers (3-3, 2-0 Patriot League) suffered a setback in Friday night’s tilt, allowing the Golden Knights (7-0) to score four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 defeat.
Senior forward Kayla Tutino and junior forward Maddie Elia each scored for the Terriers, both of them lighting the lamp for the first time this season, but the offensive attack of Clarkson was too much for BU to handle.
The first period was tightly contested, with neither team gaining a substantial advantage. Both goalies played well in the first stanza, with sophomore Shea Tiley making nine saves for Clarkson, and junior Victoria Hanson saving 13 shots for BU.
“I still think Clarkson was the better team early in the game,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “They had the opportunities, they were carrying the play, but we were opportunistic.”
On their first power-play chance of the night, Tutino gave the Terriers the early lead off a cross-crease pass from senior forward Sarah Lefort with 1:44 left in the first period.
A strong team on the penalty kill, this was the first shorthanded goal the Golden Knights allowed in 19 opportunities. They displayed their penalty kill prowess for the remainder of the game, as BU went 0-for-3 on the power play the rest of the way, registering only one shot on goal.
“I think the only thing technically we didn’t do well on the power play was twice we forced the puck up on a long pass,” Durocher said. “It’s just a little bit of patience, one good unified rush up ice will get it in the zone, but we rushed it a little bit there. Technically we don’t have to do too much, we had some other great chances where they made saves on the power play.”
The Terriers took a 2-0 lead just 37 seconds into the second period, as Elia had an impressive toe drag avoiding a Clarkson defenseman which led to the goal. Lefort recorded her second assist of the night on the play.
It was all Clarkson after that though, as the Golden Knights registered two goals in both the second and third periods.
Minutes after Elia’s goal, freshman Emma Keenan cut the BU lead in half. With eight seconds to go in the frame, freshman Loren Gabel snuck one past Hanson’s glove and knotted the score at two.
Clarkson would add two even strength goals from forwards Kelly Mariani and Cayley Mercer in the final frame to finish the scoring.
Looking to bounce back, the Terriers suffered a similar fate Saturday afternoon when they fell, 4-1, to Clarkson.
Much like Friday’s contest, the Golden Knights overwhelmed Durocher’s side with a thorough performance all the way from Tiley up to the four powerful forward lines. Wasting little time, Clarkson’s forward tandem of Olivia Howe and Genevieve Bannon wreaked havoc across all three periods.
The former got the best of sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil with 4:06 left in the first and 9:43 into the second period. Meanwhile, the latter bested O’Neil twice in the third period, putting the game entirely out of reach. Freshman forward Sammy Davis, who has five goals on the year, lit the lamp for BU with 2:26 left in the second, but her tally could not inspire a comeback.
“We know we’re playing against a real good opponent, probably an opponent that is a better team right now than we are, but you can still win hockey games,” Durocher said. “We got the type of goaltending that can give you a chance to win today.
“Structurally we’re pretty sound,” he added, “but again you’re burning up a lot of energy killing penalties being on the defense and having less time to score goals. It adds up.”
While the Terriers are now at .500 for the first time since Oct. 4 of last year, they’re not getting too down on themselves. After all, Clarkson is a team that likely will vie for a national title and the Terriers have the depth and experience to recover soon.
“We’ve got to put this one on the shelf, take a couple things out of it, and come back a little bit mentally stronger, prepared and ready to go,” Durocher said. “Nobody is going to be pointing fingers. We’re all going to make sure we’re doing the little things that add up to help ourselves. That’s me included, my staff and everybody on the team.”