By: David Souza
After suffering a heartbreaking overtime loss to second ranked Boston College, the Terriers of Boston University look to get back on track versus the University of Maine this weekend at Walter Brown Arena.
Earlier in the season, BU (6-6-0, 4-3-0 HE) overcame an early two-goal deficit to upend the Black Bears in Orono by a score of 4-2. In that contest, Sammy Davis led the offensive charge for BU with two goals while Rebecca Leslie and Rebecca Russo also chipped in a goal apiece.
Not much has changed for the Terriers since that early October afternoon. Davis still leads the team in goals with eight, tied with Maddie Elia, while Leslie and Russo are the top two scorers on the team with 17 and 16 points respectively.
What has changed since their previous matchup is the play of Elia, the now-second line center. When the two teams first did battle, the 5’ 10” Buffalo native was flanked by seniors Kayla Tutino and Sarah Lefort on the Terriers’ top line. Since then, the junior has made the transition to the second trio, reuniting with her two line mates from last year; the impact was almost immediate.
After being held scoreless in the first two games of the season, Elia joined the second line and has since posted eight goals and three assists, putting her tied for third on the team in points with eleven.
Fresh off of her stint with Team Canada in the Four Nation’s Tournament, where Canada ultimately fell to the United States in overtime of the championship game, Sarah Lefort is looking to get back into the scoring mix for the Terriers.
In 2014-2015, Lefort was second on the team in points with 50; the year before that she led the NCAA in goals with 32. This season, however, Lefort has struggled to find her scoring prowess. While she looked phenomenal in her first game back against Boston College on Tuesday night, the Ormstown, Quebec native has only managed four points in her nine games played.
Yet, even though she missed three games, the senior winger is still third on the team in shots with 41, meaning that her scoring deficiency is most likely a result of being the new focal point of the BU offense instead of two-time Olympian Marie-Philip Poulin.
Defensively, juniors Sarah Steele and Alexis Crossley have led the Terriers thus far.
Steele, a more stay-at-home style defenseman from Prince Edward Island, Canada, already has three goals on the season and her +7 rating leads all BU defensemen.
Crossley hails from the Great White North as well, specifically Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The University of New Hampshire transfer leads the defense in shots with 19. Her repeated play on both the penalty kill and the power play shows the Shattuck St. Mary’s product’s versatility and value to the Terriers.
In goal for BU on Saturday, for the second straight game, will be Victoria Hanson. The junior net minder played phenomenal against a potent BC offense this past Tuesday in her first start since conceding six goals to the Northeastern Huskies in late October.
While sophomore Erin O’Neil has been solid in net for BU, with the exception of an eight-goal drubbing at the hands of the Eagles, Durocher looks to ride the hot hand in net just as he did last year.
Hanson currently posts a 3.79 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage. As a butterfly style goalie who likes to tie up the puck down low, look for Hanson to make numerous pad saves this weekend against a Maine squad that peppers an average of 22 shots on goal per game.
Maine will be led offensively by Audra Richards and Brooke Stacey when they take the ice this weekend.
Richards is a 5’8” forward from Maplewood, Minnesota and she currently leads the team in points with nine. One of her six goals came against the Terriers back on October 4. In the Black Bear’s most recent contest against the Big Green of Dartmouth, Richards recorded two goals, including the game-winner early in the second period.
Similarly, Stacey has been on fire as of late. The sophomore from Kahnawake, Québec recently went on a particularly impressive streak in which she netted eight points in just six games. While she was held scoreless against Dartmouth, Stacey’s physical yet finesse style of play makes her dangerous to her opponents at all times. She can be adequately compared to the Terriers’ Maddie Elia.
Between the pipes for Maine will be Meghann Treacy, a senior from Lake Peekskill, New York. Treacy already has two shutouts on the year against the likes of UNH and Brown University; she will take the ice on Saturday sporting a 2.12 GAA and a .934 SV%.
After two emotionally charged losses, look for the Terriers to come out guns blazing against a Maine team that has not posed too much of a threat for BU in their past few matchups.