By: David Souza
Coming off of a weekend series in which they were swept by the Clarkson Golden Knights 4-2, and 4-1 respectively, the Boston University Terriers Women’s Hockey Team is looking to return to their winning ways versus the Huskies of Northeastern (4-1-1). BU enters the game at 3-3-0 and will face off against the Kendall Coyne led Huskies Saturday.
Leading the Terriers offensively thus far has been standout freshman Samantha Davis. Davis, a Tabor Academy product, already has five goals on the season despite playing mostly on the team’s third line.
BU will look to its first line of Sarah Lefort, Kayla Tutino, and newly dubbed center Victoria Bach to continue showcasing their scoring prowess. The trio have combined for only nine points on the year; however, all three seemed to find their touch in the first Clarkson game where Tutino slammed home a Lefort pass from across the goal mouth; Bach was also credited an assist on the play.
With the addition of Bach to the first line, junior Maddie Elia will now center the team’s second line with Rebecca Russo and Rebecca Leslie. This line should be familiar territory for all three as the triumvirate played together all of last season and combined for 31 goals over the team’s 37-game season. Currently, Leslie and Russo lead the Terriers in points, with eight and six respectively, while Elia scored her first of the season against Shea Tiley and the Golden Knights last Friday.
In between the pipes for BU against the formidable Huskies will be junior goaltender Victoria Hanson. Hanson hails from nearby Stoughton, Massachusetts and currently holds an even 2-2 record with a 2.80 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.
Coach Durocher has given her the nod in net against a Northeastern squad that has already scored 30 goals on the season, good enough for second in Hockey East behind only Boston College.
While Durocher has #33 penciled in for the Northeastern game, do not be surprised if the 11-year head coach makes the switch to sophomore Erin O’Neil in Sunday’s game against the University of Vermont. Hanson and O’Neil have both seen their fair share in net for BU this season as neither has started back-to-back games thus far.
Defensively for the Terriers, junior Alexis Crossley will look to continue her stellar play on the blue line. The University of New Hampshire transfer currently leads the BU defense in shots and has been a constant on the Terrier power play.
Crossley will be paired up with Lilly Braga on the team’s top defensive pairing. Braga, a 5’3” standout from the Winchendon School, has been a bright defensive light for the past three seasons at BU blocking 123 shots over the past two years.
Opposing Boston University will be their rivals from downtown Boston, the Northeastern Huskies. NU already has four wins on the season over teams such as St. Lawrence and Mercyhurst.
Leading the offensive charge for the Huskies will be American Olympian Kendall Coyne. Coyne, a senior from Palos Heights Illinois, already has 15 points on the season (10g, 5a). Her season has been highlighted by two four-goal performances.
In her first, against St. Lawrence, Coyne registered a hat trick and an assist as the Huskies skated past the Saints 9-5. A few games later, against Mercyhurst, Coyne led Northeastern with two goals and two assists as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Lakers 7-3.
The Huskies will most likely be backstopped by freshman goalie Brittany Bugalski. The 5’9” Floridian has already started in five games for NU and boasts a 2.86 goals-against average with a .908 save percentage. Last year, Bugalski played for the Under-18 Women’s National Team and was the anchor behind the team’s gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships.
Junior goaltender Sarah Foss has made the start in two games thus far for the Huskies, allowing seven goals on only 33 shots, skyrocketing her GAA to a concerning 5.95.
After losing twice to a Clarkson team by a combined score of 8-3 last weekend, the Terriers are hoping to return to their proper form against an NU team that they have beaten pretty handedly in recent memory. Over the past two seasons, BU is 7-2 against the Huskies and has outscored them by a 32-23.
The Terriers hope to improve to 4-3 on the season as they take on Northeastern at 2 p.m. in Matthews Arena.