They have the talent. They have the speed and conditioning. They can count on a pair of great goalies. They have the coaching and the legacy of a great college hockey school behind them. Despite all that seems to be in place for the Boston University women’s ice hockey program this season, something just seems to be amiss recently for the Terriers.
‘It’s frustrating, and I can’t get down on my team for not working hard,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘They’re doing everything they can.’
Since coming back from the winter break, the Terriers have amassed a record of 3-4-1. All four of those losses came against Hockey East opponents. Although they were still second in their conference before this weekend, the Terriers’ confidence has been shattered, and their Hockey East dominance has become a quickly fading memory.
The weekend series against Providence College showed that the Terriers have taken a step back. In its first game against Providence on Nov. 1, BU banged out a come-from-behind tie in regulation, 3-3, and earned a shootout win.
Their last two games against the Friars did not end nearly so well for the Terriers. Providence blanked BU at home on Saturday, 2-0, before earning a 2-1 win Sunday at Walter Brown Arena.
Sunday’s game saw the Terriers with a resurgent offense that commanded most of the first period, outshooting their opponent through the first 15 minutes. By the end of the game, however, it was clear that Providence had all the momentum in its favor.
‘Either our slight lack of offense or the fact that we’re not getting much puck luck, not getting a screen, all caught up to us again,’ Durocher said. ‘We’ve put up more shots in two games and only had one goal. Two weeks ago, we put up 65 or 70 shots and got zero goals in two games.’
The contest was also the seventh straight in which the Terriers held the edge in shots on the goal. The Terriers have had a huge drop in their offensive output since even before the break. Of its last five losses, four have been shutouts.
Disregarding a very successful outing against the lowly University of Maine (4-19-2, 1-11-1), the Terriers have only scored one goal in Hockey East play in over a month despite outshooting their opponents in most of those games.
The Terriers have been putting up huge numbers in their shot count since the end of the break. BU has played six games in which they have had 30-plus shots on its opponents.
BU has also had trouble on the power play. Before their win against Maine on Jan. 18, the Terriers went through four games without a power-play goal.’ ‘
‘You only score one in every ten shots,’ Durocher said. ‘If all of a sudden you’re not scoring once in every ten or you’re not scoring through 70 shots, it starts to get into your head a little bit.
‘All we can do is go to the net, stop in front of the net, screen the goalie and not pass up on any shots. But it doesn’t guarantee that anyone is going to thread the needle.’