The Boston University women’s hockey team came out of its weekend series against the University of Vermont with two more wins and four Hockey East conference points under its belt.
BU (4-6-2, 3-5-2 Hockey East) head coach Brian Durocher said he is glad that the team’s hard work has begun to pay off.
“I feel like we’ve been playing pretty well the past five, six or seven games,” Durocher said. “We just haven’t been getting pucks over the goal line, but we got rewarded for that last night.”
The Terriers faced off for both games at the Catamounts’ (5-9-1, 3-6-1 Hockey) home turf at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington.
On Friday night, BU senior forward Victoria Bach drew first blood with a shorthanded goal 7:09 in the first period. The goal marked the first of five that Bach would score over the course of the two-game series.
Bach saw the back of the net again after the puck bounced off Vermont sophomore goaltender Sydney Scobee’s pad. Sophomore forward Natasza Tarnowski also scored during the period to make it 3-0 in favor of the Terriers.
The Catamounts became more aggressive and was mainly on offense for the remainder of the period, but was unable to get any shots past BU’s starting freshman goaltender Corinne Schroeder who saw four saves.
The opening period ended with the Terriers maintaining a commanding 3-goal lead and holding a 14-4 advantage in shots over Vermont.
BU continued to capitalize on their already comfortable lead in the second, starting the period with another goal from Bach at 1:22, giving her the hat-trick.
Senior captain and forward Rebecca Leslie followed suit, firing the puck between the pipes just under three minutes later to put the score at 5-0.
After a five-goal deficit, the Catamounts were finally able to put points on the board with a goal from Vermont freshman Alyssa Gorecki scoring at the 12:17 mark, making the score 5-1.
However, any momentum Catamounts may have had was quickly nipped in the bud after Bach struck again with yet another goal just 40 seconds later, putting her total at four.
After the Terriers’ sixth goal Vermont head coach Jim Plumer switched out Scobee for backup junior goaltender Melissa Black. Black would start for the remainder of the series.
BU was mainly on the defensive for the remainder of the game.
In addition to strong defense, BU still managed to put points on the board, with sophomore defenseman Abbey Stanley scoring her first goal of the season on a wraparound.
This final score of the game was a blowout 7-1 final, with Vermont able to close the gap on shots with 26 to BU’s 30.
The Terriers and the Catamounts faced off again in Gutterson the next day. Vermont came out with much more pep in its step following its tough loss the night before.
Leslie scored on the rebound late in the first, but the Catamounts quickly returned the favor after Vermont junior forward Saana Valkama beamed the puck past Schroeder with just six seconds left in the period.
Both teams returned to the ice in the second period with the score tied 1-1. That changed when Leslie snuck the puck past the goal line on a wraparound almost halfway through the period.
Leslie would go on to give Bach the assist as Bach scored her fifth goal of the series and in doing so, doubled her total goals for the season.
Following the goal, BU once again found itself playing on the defensive side of the puck. Vermont saw numerous opportunities for goals as the Terriers were hammered with penalties throughout the period.
Despite receiving five power play chances, which gave them the upper hand for the third period, the Catamounts were unable to capitalize on any of them. Even Plumer’s decision to pull Black with less than two minutes left in the game failed to yield any results.
The game concluded with Vermont out shooting BU 36-24, but it ultimately fell short of win, with the final score being 3-1 in favor of the Terriers.
BU is currently more than one third of the way through its 34-game regular season and despite initial difficulties in the season’s beginning, Durocher said he is satisfied with the team’s continuous improvement.
“We may not be as outwardly talented as we have been in the last number of years, but I really like the leadership and the competitiveness and the general makeup of the team,” Durocher said. “Everyone is out there fighting the battle.”