Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey defeats Brown 5-2 in lead-up to BC series

Senior defender and tri-captain Reagan Rust scored the game-winning goal against Brown University on Tuesday for Boston University. MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

After a puck deflected into the BU net tied the game 2-2 a little over eight minutes into the third, senior defender and tri-captain Reagan Rust scored the first of three late Terrier goals 2:08 minutes later.

On a night where five Terriers recorded goals, BU head coach Brian Durocher said he was impressed by the roster’s consistency throughout the game.

“It was a real solid performance all the way around,” Durocher said. “… At eight [or] nine minutes left, Brown could have had one big play and we’d have been trouble, but many, many people contributed.”

Rust attacked the Brown (5-6-1) defense early, forcing Bears goaltender Calla Isaac and forward Shay Maloney to step in front of her shots early in the first period.

Despite the Terriers’ offensive dominance through the period, outshooting Brown 20-5, the Bears opened scoring first with junior forward Sena Hanson’s shot from the faceoff circle.

BU responded in under five minutes after a pass from sophomore forward Nara Elia assisted on senior defender Connor Galway’s first goal of the season during a delayed penalty against Brown.

Sophomore forward Jesse Compher set the Terriers up for their go-ahead goal with a faceoff win in the offensive zone, setting up linemate and redshirt junior tri-captain Sammy Davis to score her eighth of the season and breaking the two’s tie as top goal-scorers.

BU kept the Bears off of the scoresheet throughout the second stanza, but what Durocher described as a funny bounce put Hanson back on the scoresheet for a 2-2 game.

Rust responded with her game-winner soon after, and the three-goal streak ended with a shot on an empty net extending a four-game goal streak for freshman forward Mackenna Parker.

“We didn’t get down,” Durocher said. “We got a great shot from Reagan to make it 3-2 … I really did like the overall play and the fact that we played pretty close to a real good 60-minute game and showed a little resiliency towards the end.”

The Terriers will start a home-and-home series against No. 4 Boston College this weekend, opening play in the Conte Forum on Friday.

The game comes 10 days after the two teams’ first meeting of the season Nov. 20 where BC (12-4) topped the BU 4-3.

Durocher said that, despite the final score showing only a one-goal deficit, his team underperformed in several areas and committed technical errors, such as going offsides and giving up too many penalties.

“The scoreboard showed a close game, but we didn’t play very well in any real area,” Durocher said. “From a confidence standpoint or a just plain execution standpoint, we didn’t do very much in that game.”

While Durocher said that the Terriers’ production that game came in part due to luck, the four goals are more than twice the 1.5 goals per game that the Eagles allow their opponents on average.

Freshman goaltender Maddy McArthur has started in 15 games for BC, earning a .931 save percentage on a 1.53 goals against average.

The Eagle blueline is also backed by senior defender Megan Keller, who returned to BC this year after taking a leave of absence during the 2017-18 season to represent the U.S. at the 2018 Winter Olympics where she served on the team’s top defensive pairing alongside Eagle alumna Emily Pfalzer.

Currently, Keller is tied with six of her teammates for second-most goals with six and has a +10 rating while on the ice.

The team’s leading goalscorer, sophomore forward Daryl Watts, beat out BU alum Victoria Bach to become the first underclassmen to ever win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award last year after leading the nation in scoring.

This season, Watts’ 1.00 point per game ties her for ninth in Hockey East, while BC forward Makenna Newkirk is tied with Compher for fourth with 19 points.

BC will enter the match having dropped its most recent match against No. 5 Northeastern University in an overtime decision.

In the four games before the Northeastern (12-1-2) loss, the win against BU was the only match that wasn’t a shutout victory.

Confidence will be key in the the Terriers performance against the Eagles this weekend, said Durocher.

“They got keep their head up and execute it,” Durocher said. “We didn’t really play like that last time. I told them, ‘It’s okay to admit you’re playing a good team, but don’t make them look good because you aren’t playing well.’”

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