After a hard-fought advance over Harvard University, Boston University’s women’s ice hockey team will face off against No. 4 Boston College in the 40th annual Beanpot tournament championship game.
This will be the Terriers’ (11-14-6, 6-11-5 Hockey East) fourth championship appearance in program history as a varsity team and their first since 2012.
While still looking to secure its first Beanpot as a varsity team, BU’s only Beanpot victory as a club team came from a 4-0 win against the Eagles (25-3-3, 17-2-3 Hockey East) in 1981.
“All four teams they all go in there with the same thought: you got to get to the second Tuesday at 7:30 … You don’t really want to play in a consolation game,” Terriers’ head coach Brian Durocher said. “It’s all about the championship game and if you do that then you give yourselves a chance to win one, if you don’t it’s onto the following year…”
When the two teams met in last years’ qualifiers, BC drew a 3-2 victory and sent BU to the consolation.
The game will be BU’s first since the qualifiers last Tuesday, where freshman forward Jesse Compher’s game-winning goal extended her point streak, consisting of four goals and two assists, to six games.
Assisting on Compher’s goal was senior forward Victoria Bach, who put up two early goals of her own during the contest.
Bach’s 34 goals is second in the NCAA, behind BC freshman forward Daryl Watts, while her 11 three-point games this season has no match.
In Beanpot history, Bach has notched eight points, putting her one point ahead of fellow senior forward and captain Rebecca Leslie.
Leslie, whose six Beanpot assists leads program history, assisted on both of Bach’s goals against Harvard (11-13-2), making for her 17th multi-point showing this season.
“… For these kids to have a chance to really have their first chance at a championship game, it’s going to be super exciting and hopefully they’ll be super motivated, which I know they will, but they also at the same time they have to find a way to be not too jazzed up and relax so you execute well, you play smart and you finish when you get an opportunity,” Durocher said.
Both players are on the cusp of a centennial breakthrough, with Bach balancing 99 goals and Leslie having 98 assists.
In net, freshman goaltender Corinne Schroeder made several crucial saves to get the Terriers’ through, putting her at a current goals against average of 2.43 and goals save percentage of .917.
Durocher said that he’s “pretty sure” Schroeder will play in between the pipes against the Eagles.
“… Corrine Schroeder has had a good, solid freshman year and she’s going to get her first chance to play against Boston College,” Durocher said. “While I know there will be excitement, there will probably also be butterflies and hopefully it’s something that she’s ready to handle and play well.”
BC will be coming in off a 5-2 Beanpot success over Northeastern University and a 2-1 home upset against the University of New Hampshire Friday night, ending the Eagles’ seven-game win streak.
To bring home the Beanpot, BU will need to break several more streaks of BC’s. The Eagles have won the last two Beanpot championships and hold an at-home victory streak for the tournament dating back to 2004.
BC junior forward Makenna Newkirk, who scored a hat-trick in the team’s qualifying matchup, has earned 12 points in past Beanpot matchups.
In her first Beanpot game, Watts put up two goals of her own. Along with leading the NCAA in goals with 37, her 35 assists have her leading in points with a total of 72.
Also leading the nation in assists is Eagles sophomore forward Caitrin Lonergan with 38.
BC will be looking to senior goaltender Katie Burt in net, who has started every game this season and has a goals against average of 2.05 and goal save percentage of .928.
“Boston College, I still think they’re pretty much the same team as they were early in the year,” Durocher siad. “They’ve got a very talented and senior goalie who’s had a great career. Daryl Watts and Caitrin Longeran are two of the premier forwards in college hockey and have had great statistical years and their depth is still solid.”
Nicole Havens contributed to the reporting of this article.