The Boston University women’s hockey team played the Rochester Institute of Technology to a 3-1 win Friday and another 8-0 victory Saturday after making the six-hour bus ride to Western New York, concluding the two teams’ first meeting in the Gene Polisseni Center.
With the wins over RIT (5-10-4), the Terriers (8-4-4, 5-4-4 Hockey East) extended their winning streak to five games having accrued only one loss and one tie through the month of November.
In a turnaround from earlier concerns about power play production, BU head coach Brian Durocher said that player-up situations have boisered the team in recent games.
“I think our power play is the thing that’s really shielded us this month, particularly in the last four or five games,” Durocher said. “They just kept going in, and I think we demoralized the other team that played a great game right until the end [Friday.]”
Eight different Terriers scored Saturday, including two collegiate firsts for freshmen forwards Courtney Correia and Kaleigh Donnelly. Sophomore forward Jesse Compher racked up a career-high five points during the game from one goal and four assists.
Sophomore goaltender Corinne Schroeder earned her second BU shutout after stopping all 22 shots from the Tigers. Freshman goaltender Nicole McGuigan saw gametime for the first time as a Terrier in the final 10 minutes of the the third period, but was not asked to make any saves.
It took until 12:55 in the first period for junior forward Deziray De Sousa to pick up a rebound off of a shot from sophomore forward Kristina Schuler and get the puck past RIT’s two-time College Hockey America Goaltender of the Month junior Terra Lanteigne.
The Terrier power play came out in the second period and produced all three goals of the period, with Compher earning her first point of the night off a goal within the first minute of action.
The Compher goal was assisted by junior defender Abby Cook, who went on to score the period’s second goal — assisted by Compher. Both picked up their third points of the match on redshirt junior forward and tri-captain Sammy Davis’ tally.
Durocher said that, along with picking up rebounds, increased shot accuracy aided in the Terriers’ productive output Saturday.
“Where [Friday], we shot it wide or it’d go over the net,” Durocher said, “[Saturday,] we talked about executing, shooting on net and making the goalie make the save.”
By the end of the period, the Tigers were on their second goaltender. After goals from Correia and Connelly to start the final period, RIT netminder Jessi O’Leary was sent out as the team’s third.
O’Leary, who had made a career-high 35 saves against BU in a 5-1 Terrier win last season, hadn’t yet seen playing time this year.
She allowed two goals on seven shots Saturday. The goal from sophomore forward Nara Elia was assisted on by senior defender and tri-captain Reagan Rust, who spent two seasons with the Tigers from 2015-17.
Junior defender and tri-captain Natasza Tarnowski’s lamp-lighter tied the Terriers with an NCAA-best six powerplay goals. BU is the first team to do so since a January 2009 match where Dartmouth College went 6-for-8 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Compher’s 13-game assist streak is the longest in the NCAA. The Northbrook, Illinois, native had multi-point showings in eight of her last nine matches, accumulating a total of 29 points.
With their fifth straight win, the Terriers brought their overall win percentage to .625 and away record to 5-2-1.
While the Friday match was also a win, Durocher said he saw some slowness in his team.
“We weren’t as quick as we’d like to be,” Durocher said. “Little things: getting to your backhand from your forehand, taking your first few strides, collecting the puck off the board … that happens, and it made it real even hockey game.”
Tarnowski scored her first goal of the series unassisted Friday, with a top-shelf shot after forcing a turnover in the defensive zone with five minutes left in the first period.
The second period saw another trio power play goals.
With seven seconds left on a tripping call against RIT, Davis struck for her ninth goal of the season.
The play was assisted upon by Compher and Donnelly, a career-first point for the latter player. The Wellesley native ended the series with three points.
Compher scored a goal herself less than six minutes later, assisted by Cook and Elia.
Tiger forward Madison Farrand recorded the final tally of the match and sole RIT goal of the series 14:40 into the second period.
Schroeder made nearly half of her saves in the third stanza, but neither team was able to break through, leaving the score 3-1.
The team will now enter a reading period that will keep its members off the ice until Dec. 30. While Durocher will not be able to work with his players during this time, he said that he trusted his players to maintain their conditioning during the time off.
“It’s a tricky time of year,” Durocher said. “During that time at home, you don’t always have ice at your beck and call, you definitely don’t skate with a team very often. You got to keep yourself in shape off the ice and get out there enough to keep your skating legs, and the team’s been pretty good about that.”