The No. 13 Boston University women’s ice hockey team continued its up-and-down start to the 2015-16 season this weekend, splitting a set against No. 7 Northeastern University and the University of Vermont.
The Terriers (4-4, 3-1 Hockey East) started off the weekend with a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Huskies (6-1-1, 2-0 Hockey East) on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena, but closed it with a 5-2 victory on Sunday on home ice against Vermont (1-7, 1-1 Hockey East).
“We have good leaders, but we also have a lot of upperclassmen on this team,” said BU coach Brian Durocher of his team’s ability to respond. “We have so many many people who’ve seen the highs and lows, and hopefully they’re able to shelve things, to take a loss like that and deal with it. The only way to deal with it is to get prepared, and that started yesterday in cool-down, [and] that started today in warm-up.”
Northeastern’s high-powered offense was on full display Saturday, as the Huskies scored three goals in both the first and second periods. On the season, the Huskies are averaging an impressive 5.1 goals per contest to go along with 32.1 shots.
Junior Hayley Masters got the scoring going early for Northeastern, with her first goal of the season five minutes into the game.
Forward Halle Silva made it 2-0 Huskies 10 minutes later off an assist from Masters, who capped off her two-point night. Northeastern then got a power-play goal from forward Paige Savage just a few minutes later to put the Terriers in a hole they simply could not drag themselves out of after only 20 minutes of action.
Despite falling behind by three goals after the first, BU had a number of scoring opportunities and carried possession for a good portion of the period.
In the second period, it was more of the same, though, as the Huskies scored two goals in a 10-second span from forwards Hayley Scamurra and Shelby Herrington, respectively. Northeastern capped off its second-period scoring with an even-strength goal from freshman Maddie Hartman, stretching its lead to six.
The Huskies would tack on another goal in four minutes into the third period from defenseman Heather Mottau, but BU got on the board at the 13:06 mark of the final frame.
Junior center Maddie Elia found freshman forward Mary Grace Kelley driving to the net, but Kelley’s attempt at the net was stopped. Senior forward Jordan Juron was there for the rebound, and the Terriers avoided the shutout.
The Huskies had the 39-31 shot advantage, but the newly formed first line of senior forward Sarah Lefort, sophomore center Victoria Bach and senior forward Kayla Tutino played quite well throughout the game.
Although Durocher’s move to swap Bach with Elia on the first two lines did not successfully manifest itself on Saturday, the decision paid great dividends against Vermont.
“The biggest thing we flip-flopped was size,” Durocher said. “Both of them are kids with hands, but Maddie’s the bigger kid who goes with two smaller wings, and the smaller center goes with two strong veteran wingers. Sarah’s obviously the consummate power forward, and then Kayla’s a hard, grinding kid who’s scored goals at this level in her career, so it was a flip-flop that way.
“Yesterday Tutino and Bach and Lefort, even though they didn’t get on the board, had a real good game territorially then tonight they got shots that went in,” he added.
Bach and Elia, who swapped lines this weekend, were a big part of the story for BU in its bounce-back victory against the Catamounts at Walter Brown Area. The Terriers scored early and often in this one, and looked more comfortable offensively than they have all season.
Bach got the first goal of the night for BU just 1:14 into the game. Lefort made a great pass into Bach for a one-timer, her second goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, junior defenseman Sarah Steele squeezed one past Vermont goaltender Molly Depew. The Terriers capped off an impressive first period with senior wing Rebecca Russo’s fourth goal of the season at the 17:08 mark.
Vermont would not be denied, though, as senior Dayna Colang netted a power-play goal at the 18:22 mark that left the Catamounts in a 3-1 hole after the first period.
Elia scored the next two goals for the Terriers, who dominated control of the puck, especially during the second period. With just under a minute left in the second frame, Elia made Durocher’s line change look like a stroke of genius, scoring off an assist from Russo.
BU capped off its five-goal night with Elia’s second goal of the night, and third of the season, at the 10:21 mark in the third period.
Junior defenseman Rachel Ade scored for Vermont not even a minute later, but it was the Terriers who were dominant in this matchup.
BU will look to keep its offense in gear next Sunday when it travels to the University of New Hampshire.