Hockey, Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey skates to 3-1 win over UConn, will play Maine in Quarterfinals

The Boston University women’s hockey team completed its best regular season since the 2015-16 season when it won its 24th game after taking down the University of Connecticut, 3-1, in the season finale Saturday.

The Terriers (24-6-4, 18-6-3 Hockey East) completed their weekend sweep of the Huskies (16-16-2, 13-12-2 Hockey East) behind the efforts of three different goal scorers.

The last game of the regular season is dedicated to one thing and one thing only — Senior Day. BU celebrated their seniors prior to puck drop with a ceremony at center ice. The Terriers have eight seniors on their team this season: Alexandra Calderone, Abby Cook, Sammy Davis, Deziray De Sousa, Breanna Scarpaci, Katie Shannahan, Abbey Stanley and Natasza Tarnowski. 

Reflecting on the seniors over the year, BU head coach Brian Durocher said he has been pleased with the constant improvement from them.

“Clearly, it’s the steady growth that this group has had that is great,” Durocher said. “Particularly after their sophomore year when things went a little bit astray. We had so many injuries that year and other things that caused people to miss games along the way. We couldn’t quite get on any run that year, but they were determined.”

Durocher then went on to say that this season in particular is a nice compliment for the seniors, as they have persevered and continue to grow.  

In spirit of the special occasion, Durocher sent out a starting lineup that consisted of three defenders and two forwards rather than the typical two defenders and three forwards. Davis, Tarnowski, Calderone, Cook and Scarpaci started the opening period with junior goaltender Corinne Schroedrer between the pipes.

All it took for the Terriers to open the scoring was 34 seconds. Junior forward Nara Elia potted one past UConn senior goalie Morgan Fisher to give the Terriers the early lead. 

Just under a minute later, Cook scored to extend the lead for BU.

The Huskies were given a chance to cut their deficit in half 8:17 into the first as freshman forward Haylee Blinkhorn was whistled for tripping. However, less than a minute later, UConn squandered their power play when it was called for too many players.

BU did, however, extend its lead further in the final two minutes of play in the first period. Senior forward Tarnowski, from the left face-off circle of Fisher, scored to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Huskies were able to get on the board in the second period of play as graduate forward Jessie Aney got the puck past Schroeder from out front, cutting their deficit to two goals. 

Other than that, a successful BU penalty kill was the only other event of importance in the second period as BU ended with a 3-1 lead. 

Both teams were whistled for two penalties in the final period of play, but neither were able to score. UConn pulled its goaltender with 46 seconds to go in regulation for the extra-attacker on the power play, but BU was able to keep the puck from getting to the back of their net.

Commenting on how the game went overall, Durocher said goaltending played a factor into BU taking the win. 

“Very good goaltending all the way around,” Durocher said. “We certainly needed what we got from [Schroeder] today in those games where you’re in position to put it away with a four, five minute flurry there in the second [when] nothing went in the net and it stayed 3-0.”

The Terriers are scheduled to take on the University of Maine next Friday in the Hockey East QuarterFinals at Walter Brown Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

With the playoffs beginning next weekend, Tarnowski said that she and the team are ready to play after tonight’s performance. 

“It’s huge. It was a great game and we have had great games, but playoffs are a whole new season,” Tarnowski said. “We are definitely looking forward to that. Although it’s said it’s Senior Day, but we know we have a lot of games left, so we are excited.”

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