By: David Souza
DURHAM, NH — After a statement win over a tough University of Vermont team, the Terriers (4-4-0, 3-1-0 WHEA) head up the highway to Durham, NH where they will take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (1-7-0, 1-3-0 WHEA).
BU currently sits at .500 after splitting last weekend’s contests with Northeastern and the aforementioned Catamounts. They will look to extend their three-game winning streak in the Whittemore Center when they faceoff against a struggling Wildcat squad.
Hilary Witt’s UNH team will be headlined by Joanna Curtis, a junior from Elk River, Minnesota. Curtis led UNH in a number of categories last season, including goals (13), points (22), and shots (133). The 5’4” left-winger currently sits atop the stat sheet with 8 points – due to her team leading 5 goals and 3 assists, – and 36 shots.
The question of who will be in net for the Wildcats remains uncertain. UNH currently has four goalies listed on its roster. While Ashley Wilkes, Hillary Cashin, and Kyra Smith have all started in games for New Hampshire, it has been senior Vilma Vaattovaara that has shouldered most of the work in goal. This Finnish born product has 3.73 goals-against average and an .871 save percentage thus far, and is coming off of a year in which she had three shutouts.
The main storyline for Sunday’s matchup will be the return of Alexis Crossley to the Whittemore Center. The junior transfer was a former Wildcat in her first two years of college hockey before making the shift down to Commonwealth Ave last season. After having to sit out all of last year due to a Hockey East league rule, Crossley will finally get the chance to face her former teammates for the first time. The defenseman currently plays on the Terriers’ top pairing and has been instrumental in all of BU’s victories thus far. She currently has one assist and leads all Terrier defenseman with 15 shots.
Unfortunately for BU, they will be without first line forward Sarah Lefort as the junior is currently away at Team Canada’s Four Nation’s Tournament in Sweden. Lefort will once again team up with former Terriers Marie-Philip Poulin and Jennifer Wakefield for the tournament. The senior is currently first on the team in shots and has amassed 152 points in her collegiate career.
Offensively, BU will look to its first line of Victoria Bach, Kayla Tutino, and Sammy Davis – who is currently taking over for Lefort – to put together scoring efforts. Bach is coming off of a game against Vermont where she opened the scoring just 1:14 into the game while Davis currently leads the team in goals with 5.
Most of the Terriers’ points have actually come from the second line of Maddie Elia, Rebecca Russo, and Rebecca Leslie. The trio has combined for 22 total points and makeup three of the team’s top five scorers.
Erin O’Neil will anchor the Terriers as the sophomore goaltender will look to get her second start in a row after allowing just two goals against the Catamounts last Sunday. The Minnetonka, Minnesota native currently boasts a 2.44 GAA and a .917 SV%.
Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. in Durham, New Hampshire.