The Boston University women’s ice hockey team had a fine showing at Walter Brown Arena this weekend, sweeping the University of Maine in contests on Saturday and Sunday.
For the Terriers (8-6, 6-3 Hockey East), these victories completed a regular-season sweep of the Black Bears (6-8, 3-6 Hockey East) after defeating the team 4-2 in Orono, Maine, on Oct. 4.
Saturday’s tilt was a back-and-forth affair, with BU eventually pulling away for the 5-3 victory. It was a penalty-laden game, with the two teams combining for 26 minutes in the sin bin.
“I think it kind of slows down the game,” said junior center Maddie Elia. “You can’t really get any groove when you’re playing with that many penalties, either shorthanded or on the power play. They’re a very physical team and I think we handled it well.”
First-line senior forward Sarah Lefort got the scoring going early for the Terriers, tallying her second goal of the season less than a minute removed the opening faceoff. Classmate and linemate Kayla Tutino grabbed her fourth assist of the year on the play.
The Black Bears knotted the score at one with a power-play goal at the 14:43 mark in the first period from defenseman Alyson Matteau.
Following a turnover at the blue line, sophomore center Victoria Bach netted her fourth goal of the season with just over a minute left in the period to put BU back on top.
The second frame saw more of the same, with first-line sophomore Catherine Tufts scoring the first of two Maine goals 8:27 into the period. The Black Bears scored again less than five minutes later, with freshman Carolyn Menges netting her first goal of the season.
Despite being outshot 17-10 in the second stanza, the Terriers got one back, tying the score at three with a power-play goal at the 18:05 mark. A Maine miscommunication led to Lefort’s second goal of the game.
The third period was very tightly-contested, but Elia put BU up for good with just over eight minutes left to play. Following a good forecheck with her linemates, Elia broke free and sent a wrister past Maine goaltender Meghann Treacy.
Sophomore winger Rebecca Leslie and senior winger Rebecca Russo, who are first and second on the team in assists, collected their 15th and 12th assists on the play, respectively.
After the Black Bears pulled their goalie with a little over a minute remaining, Elia forced a turnover and secured the empty-netter to give the Terriers the victory.
“I think we did alright,” said BU assistant coach Allison Coomey. “There are times when our speed is definitely a benefit to us, and when we stop moving our feet and start using our sticks it hinders us. Obviously, penalties are a result of that. You have to play a physical game when Maine comes — it’s harder up there but it’s still tough when they come here.”
Sunday’s contest was equally as physical, with BU coming out on top again by a score of 3-2.
With just over seven minutes to go in the first period, senior forward Dakota Woodworth got the Terriers on the board with her first goal of the season. BU maintained a healthy amount of offensive pressure during the first frame, and went into the second frame with the 1-0 lead.
At the 7:05 mark in the second stanza, junior winger Samantha Sutherland netted her second goal of the year to double the Terriers’ lead. Freshman winger Sammy Davis recorded her second assist of the night on the play, while Woodworth got her second point on the assist.
The Black Bears would not go away easily, though, scoring two goals in a third period reminiscent of Saturday’s contest.
Maine got one back just three minutes into the period off the stick of sophomore Brooke Stacey, who is second on the team in points with 11.
The Terriers soon took a 3-1 when Lefort netted a power-play goal at the 9:30 mark, her third goal in two games. Leslie and Tutino, bouncing back fast after a collision, assisted on play.
Right winger Audra Richards brought the Black Bears back to within one score after her goal with just over six minutes left in the game, but BU held on for the win.
With an important stretch of Hockey East games on the horizon, BU head coach Brian Durocher acknowledges how important the weekend sweep is.
“I like the fact that we, again, had to grind it out against a good, competitive team,” Durocher said. “This is a team that has already played a super game against Northeastern [University] even though they came up short, they played a couple good ones against Quinnipiac [University], so for us to come up with four points is really, really important.”