Ice Hockey, NCAA, Sports

RECAP: Women’s hockey struggles to find consistency throughout season

The Boston University women’s hockey team played through an up-and down season that included stretches of strong play, but also periods of inconsistent production. In the end, the Terriers finished with a 12-15-6 record, and succumbed to the University of Connecticut in the Hockey East quarterfinals on Feb. 26.

BU began its season with a weekend sweep of the University of New Hampshire, but the series ended up as one of only two sweeps for the team all season. After initial strong weekends against Northeastern University, New Hampshire and Merrimack College, the team began to struggle, racking up a series of losses.

The Boston University women’s ice hockey team. With an up-and-down season, the Terrier women’s hockey team finished with a 12-15-6 record, and ended their season with a loss to University of Connecticut in the Hockey East quarterfinals Feb. 26. MOHAN GE/DFP STAFF

“We were a little bit challenged offensively and, without a doubt, that was the recurring theme as the year went along,” head coach Brian Durocher said. “Too many games with shutouts or one goal scored and if you can’t get that second one or maybe even the third one, it became frustrating and we couldn’t change the complexion of a game.”

After playing inconsistently in October and November, the Terriers began their best stretch of the season toward the end of November. After a thrilling 5-4 win over rival Boston College at Walter Brown Arena before Thanksgiving, BU swept Merrimack in the first week of December. 

However, the hot streak ended before the end of the fall semester in New Haven, Connecticut. Despite goals from senior forward Emma Wuthrich and senior forward Mackenna Parker, the Terriers fell to Yale University, a Frozen Four team, 3-2.

“I think we were in a good place, a good position,” Durocher said. “We just couldn’t get the tying goal or get a win but we still went out of the break in pretty good position.” 

After a tough conclusion to the fall semester, BU opened the New Year in Pittsburgh for the Battle at the ‘Burgh tournament. Drawing a tie with Syracuse, a team which reached the NCAA tournament, the Terriers lost in the shootout to determine advancement in the tournament. The next day, the Penn State Nittany Lions shut out the Terriers, 3-0.

“We were in a good place at the break, but we started with a game that you know we tied with Syracuse and lost the shootout so we didn’t get into the championship game,” Durocher said. “We ended up playing Penn State and they squelched our offense and beat us 3-0, but from there I still felt we came ready to play.”

After dealing with some COVID-19-related game cancellations early in January, nationally ranked Northeastern swept the Terriers in a home-and-home series split between Jan. 15 and the 21. 

Durocher said he was impressed by the Huskies throughout their Hockey East championship-winning season. But those two losses represented the final inflection point in the long season. 

“I think that Northeastern was in their own elite this year,” he said. “And credit to them for winning.”

The Terriers, temporarily, bounced back. Freshman forward Kylie Roberts scored two goals and sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy and freshman forward Christina Vote each added goals in a Jan. 28 4-3 win over the College of the Holy Cross. 

However, the struggles only continued during the women’s Beanpot. BU lost to both Harvard and Northeastern by three goals each in its two Beanpot games, finishing in last place. 

From there, the Terriers never found their footing again, leading to the team’s loss to UConn in the Hockey East playoffs. 

Durocher was not ready to announce who would be returning to the roster in the 2022-2023 season. The Terriers do have a young core, including Shaunessy, Vote, sophomore forward Lacey Martin, sophomore defender Madison Cardaci and freshman goaltender Callie Shanahan.

BU will look to rebuild next season and compete both in Hockey East and nationally as the makeup of its roster is still up in the air.

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