On Sunday afternoon, the Boston University women’s hockey team hoped to correct its path while facing off against the University of Connecticut, which has faced its fair share of adversity, having just won its first league game of the season on Jan. 13.
The Huskies (7-11-8, 1-10-5 Hockey East) came out of the gate strong, scoring two unanswered goals before the Terriers (8-13-6, 4-10-5 Hockey East) were able to match them for a 2-2 draw, mirroring the last time UConn visited Walter Brown Arena on Nov. 10.
Since returning from winter break, BU has struggled to get its feet under it, having collected one win and a handful of ties since the new year began.
The Terriers made an offensive push early into the contest, forcing UConn senior goaltender Annie Belanger to make eight saves in the first.
Belanger, who started against BU in the teams’ last two matchups of the season, entered the game with 2.26 goals against average and a goal save percentage of .923.
However, the ice tipped in favor of the Huskies in the second half of the period. UConn found five good shots on net, allowing forward Rebecca Lindblad to put the first point up on the board.
The second period began with the Terriers a player down after a tripping penalty was called 30 seconds away from the first intermission. Despite a successful penalty kill, Huskies senior forward Leah Lum lit the lamp a few minutes after, at 6:05 in the second.
“I don’t think we were irresponsible defensively,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “There was one good play by UConn and another lucky bounce that put us behind, but through the game, I think we only gave up 15 or 17 shots, which is a fairly tight defended number. Again, give credit to [UConn] making some things happen.”
The Terriers maintained pressure, putting up 10 shots in the second, including several opportunities on a power play opportunity of their own.
With less than two minutes left in the period, BU’s persistence paid off as freshman forward Jesse Compher netted her fifth goal of the season with a calm, precise shot to the top shelf.
This goal marked a total of six points in the last five games for Compher. She has also earned a point in every showing against UConn.
Another player making herself known is sophomore forward Deziray De Sousa. At 4:58 in the final frame, De Sousa tied the game up at 2-2 after poking in a rebound off of a shot from sophomore defenseman Breanna Scarpaci.
With the goal and primary assist on Compher’s goal, this became De Sousa’s second multi-point showing of the season.
“I think the biggest thing is [Compher is] doing a good job carrying the puck,” Durocher said. “When you look at her, De Sousa and [freshman forward Nara Elia], they’re all good-sized players. They can possess the puck along the walls, make the other team have to defend them and they’re making the other team work hard. Being strong players lets them wear the other team down, and that’s what I think they do.”
Despite freshman goaltender Corinne Schroeder remaining perfect throughout the third and facing continued shots on net, the final score remained 2-2 as the clock ran out through overtime.
Despite having five power play chances during the matchup, the Terriers were unable to find the back of the net on the man advantage.
Durocher said he feels like producing on the power play is an area the team needs to work on looking forward to its upcoming series against Merrimack College.
“Every game in this league is a tough game, but I didn’t think we were talking the initiative during the power play. There was one power play in the third where we did a pretty good job, but couldn’t quite get one in the net,” Durocher said. “That’s going to happen some days, but we lost some of our assertiveness. We could probably improve there, keep doing a good job killing penalties, and hopefully we can combine the two and be good on special teams.”