The No. 10 Boston University women’s hockey team traveled to University Park, Pennsylvania this weekend for a non-conference two-game set with Pennsylvania State University.
The Terriers (5-1-1, 2-1-1 Hockey East) rolled over the Nittany Lions (3-4-3) with a ferocious offensive outburst that created 10 goals in just two games.
BU head coach Brian Durocher said the weekend was a success.
“[It was] very positive overall,” Durocher said. “Yesterday, I think there was a whisker of more pushback from Penn State where they kept it close for a little bit longer. We pulled away mostly because of special teams … there was nice composure. Whenever there was a loose puck, a rebound or a puck up for grabs, we went back and got it.”
Friday: BU 5, PSU 2
Five different players scored for the Terriers in the Friday portion of the two-game set. Junior forward and sophomore Kaleigh Donnelly both scored a goal and picked up an assist against PSU, while senior forwards Abby Cook, Sammy Cook and junior forward Kristina Schuler also contributed with goals of their own.
Despite the outburst of offense, the Terriers struggled on special teams, only cashing in on one of the five power plays through the game.
Durocher said players like freshman forward Julia Nearis getting more experience on the ice coupled with a few lucky bounces helped the power-play unit improve from Friday to Saturday.
“It’s nice that Julia Nearis is getting a little more comfortable out there; she’s the young kid who’s been on the power play for a little while now,” Durocher said. “[The players] got a little good fortune in that one of the goals had eyes, it found its way into the bottom corner when yesterday it seemed like some pucks were going just wide.”
Saturday: BU 5, PSU 1
The second half of the weekend series started off much like the first one with an early 2-0 lead for the Terriers. BU continued its offensive explosion with a power-play goal just over three minutes into the game.
PSU sophomore defenseman Jessica Adolfsson was sent to the penalty box for a check from behind, setting up the Terriers with a chance to improve on their power-play performance from Friday’s efforts.
Nearis netted her second goal of the season on the power-play with an assist from Donnelly and Elia.
Just under 10 minutes later, senior forward Deziray De Sousa extended BU’s lead to 2-0 with her second goal of the season.
The second period began with a goal from the Nittany Lions at the 3:23 mark to make it a one-goal game. Penn State began to pick up momentum in this period, firing off a barrage of shots before they earned their goal.
BU took the wind out of the Nittany Lions’ sails with its second power-play goal of the game with a little more than eight minutes left in the period. Nearis picked up her second goal of the game and gave the Terriers some breathing room with a 3-1 lead that they would take into the second intermission.
It didn’t take long for BU to secure the dagger goal in the third period. Donnelly slammed the door shut on the Nittany Lions with a goal two minutes into the period to pick up her second goal of the season and the second point of the day to make the game 4-1.
The Terriers then continued to pour it on with another power-play goal with just under eight minutes left to play. Senior defenseman Abby Cook scored on the man-advantage and picked up her second goal of the season to put the final nail in the Nittany Lions’ coffin.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the Terriers will meet nearby rival Northeastern University for a home-and-home series in Hockey East play.
Durocher said Northeastern is going to play quick, but will offer no surprises to the Terriers.
“The game is going to be just a shade quicker,” Durocher said. “I think Northeastern is one of the better teams in the country; they’re not going to do anything we haven’t seen before but they play at a pretty quick pace … we’re going to have to be a half or a quarter step quicker ourselves, and not only with our feet, but with our hands and certainly with our processing out there.”