The depth of the No. 5 Boston University women’s hockey team has been constantly tested this season, and it faced another big test Saturday afternoon. Despite playing without three of its top scorers, BU (7-4-1, 2-1 Hockey East) prevailed over the University of New Hampshire 5-2 thanks to goals from four different players.
“It is great when other people get on the scoreboard,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “It is real good for us when multiple people can score.”
While the Terriers did win, it wasn’t always easy.
UNH (4-5-2, 0-3-1 Hockey East) began the game with energy and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Wildcats scored their first goal of the game on the power play, when forward Heather Kashman put away a rebound that was created thanks to a shot from the point by forward Kristine Horn.
However, the second period was a different story, as the Terriers scored three goals and took command of the game.
The scoring started with a short-handed goal by junior forward Jill Cardella, who was set up by freshman forward Kayla Tutino and senior defenseman Kasey Boucher.
Later on in the period, sophomore defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin tallied her first goal of the season on the power play when she deflected in a shot from Boucher that was set up by junior center Isabel Menard.
BU’s power play had an interesting setup on Saturday night with three defensemen and two forwards on the ice with the player-advantage. Many teams prefer to use three forwards and two defensemen, or even four forwards and one defenseman to create scoring opportunities.
“When you are on the flanks, they are all assuming defensemen-like positions,” Durocher said. “They move the puck around pretty well, and they got a good tip-in from Kaleigh.”
Then at 18:47 in the second period, sophomore forward Louise Warren forced a turnover and fed the puck to Menard, who made a nifty deke before sliding it through the five-hole of UNH goaltender Jenn Gilligan.
UNH tightened up the score 5:58 into the third by scoring another power play goal, this time off the stick of Horn.
But less than ten minutes later at 14:46, red shirt freshman defenseman Caroline Campbell tipped in a pass from junior forward Cristina Wiley to give the Terriers an insurance goal. It was Campbell’s first collegiate goal, and it came in a game in which she played forward instead of her usual defense.
“Caroline is a strong skater,” Durocher said. “We weren’t looking for her to score goals but she had a couple days in practice where she was starting to get comfortable there.”
Menard would add the empty net goal to seal the victory at 19:11 to seal the victory.
The junior transfer from Syracuse University has displayed the skill to be considered among the top forwards on the team with her strong skating and stickhandling skills.
In her first game returning from injury, Boucher found the score sheet with two assists on Saturday. The assistant captain showed her ability at both ends of the ice, and saw time on the power play despite recently recovering from a mild concussion.
“I felt good — I think the first period I had to take a few shifts to get back in the swing of things,” Boucher said. “I only missed one game so I would hope one game missed wouldn’t take too much to come back from.”
On the downside, BU let up two power-play goals in the game, matching half of its previous season total of four.
Up next for the Terriers is a game on Saturday against University of Connecticut, which has only won one game this season. BU will get senior center Jenn Wakefield back from her time with Team Canada at the Four Nations Cup, and are looking to get senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk back for that game as well.
“We will need [Jenn] back with games coming up against UConn and [Providence College] because we will need the volume and the depth,” Durocher said.