Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey splits weekend series with Maine

Junior forward Victoria Bach had a hat trick on Friday night. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Junior forward Victoria Bach had a hat trick on Friday night. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Boston University women’s hockey team continued the ups and downs of its 2016-17 campaign this weekend, splitting a pair of games in Orono, Maine against the University of Maine.

The Terriers (5-5-1, 4-5 Hockey East) handled the Black Bears (3-10, 2-7 Hockey East) 5-3 on Friday, but struggled in Saturday’s matinee, giving Maine just its third win of the year.

“We knew that Maine was an improved team,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “They have a very high level of compete on their team right now.”

Friday’s contest featured a strong display of BU’s offensive capabilities, as junior forward Victoria Bach opened the scoring with 42 seconds remaining in the first period, her first goal on her way to a hat trick.

However, Maine was able to tie it up midway through the second frame on a power-play goal after senior forward Maddie Elia was called for hooking.

Senior forward Samantha Sutherland would regain the lead for the Terriers at the 16:23 mark in the frame following a pass from sophomore defenseman Connor Galway.

The Black Bears came right back though, tying the game back up at two less than 40 seconds later. Freshman Tereza Vanišová would then give Maine its first lead of the game with 17 seconds remaining in the second period.

In the third frame, BU took control, scoring three unanswered goals on its way to the 5-3 final.

Bach netted two in the third period, while graduate student forward Mary Parker tallied one of her own. The three goal scorers for the Terriers on Friday are among the team leaders in goals. Parker is first with her nine goals on the season, while Bach and Sutherland follow with eight goals each.

“All three are very talented hockey players,” Durocher said. “They’re all kids who are veteran players and kids who have had plenty of experience and knowledge of what it takes to be a good player. I think when you put that all together, they obviously are an offensive threat at all times.”

Saturday afternoon’s matchup was a different story for the Terriers, as the Black Bears got the best of them, despite BU holding an early lead.

“I think our readiness and compete level has to continue to ramp up,” Durocher said. “We’re generating opportunities, we just have to be a bit more determined to get to a rebound or set up screens.”

The Terriers got on the board first midway through the first period thanks to Parker.

The Milton native opened the scoring after senior defenseman Sarah Steele forced a turnover, giving Bach the chance to pass. Parker sent the puck past Maine goaltender Carly Jackson for the score, while also upping her point streak to four games. Bach’s assist also extended her point streak to three games.

“We come out of the first in pretty good shape and then we make one of the cardinal sins of hockey,” Durocher said. “Those first two minutes and last two minutes of the period are big momentum changers. To give up a goal in the middle of a period is one thing, but when you give one up right out of the gate or right before you go into the locker room, it can change things.”

It would be the lone goal for the Terriers, as Maine would tally four unanswered goals in the second and third frames. Just 23 seconds into the second stanza, forward Brooke Stacey tied the score up at one, beating junior goaltender Erin O’Neil.

The three other goals came from the stick of Vanišová, who leads the Black Bears with eight goals and 14 points.

“We just have to deal with the same reoccurring theme of getting better defensively,” Durocher said. “The game is 60 minutes and there’s too many days where we’re not quite closing the deal or keeping the game simple enough or being competitive enough around the net. We’ve got to learn our lesson.”

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Ranya currently covers field hockey and women’s hockey for the Daily Free Press. As a Biology major at BU, she spends much of her time buried in her Chemistry textbook with the occasional trip to the piano practice room to rehearse her favorite piece, Debussy’s "Claire de Lune." She is an avid ice hockey fan and a proud supporter of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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