By: David Souza
This weekend the Boston University Terriers will square off against the Huskies of the University of Connecticut as the teams undergo a pair of home and home games to round out their regular season series.
BU (11-7-0, 8-3-0) will be playing for the first time since the Windjammer Classic where it finished 1-1-0. Similarly, UConn (7-7-2, 3-4-0) is coming off of a 1-1-0 showing at Connecticut’s Nutmeg Classic with a victory over Merrimack College 4-1 and a narrow loss to the fourth ranked Bobcats of Quinnipiac, 1-0.
Earlier in the season, the Terriers narrowly escaped opening night with a 2-1 victory after a Rebecca Russo goal with 0.3 seconds left capped of a furious third period comeback by BU. In that game freshman Sammy Davis scored her first collegiate goal. After an early hot streak, Davis is now third in goals (8) and tied for fifth in total points (14) for the Terriers.
Joining Davis at the head of the offensive charge is junior Maddie Elia, who currently leads BU with 10 goals. Her second line centering of Russo and Rebecca Leslie has rounded out the Terriers best scoring unit, as the triad has amassed 57 points thus far.
Defensively the Terriers will once again rely on the services of Alexis Crossley and Sarah Steele. The duo lead BU in blocked shots with 50, combined and have really morphed into the stout two way defensemen. Coach Brian Durocher keeps Crossley and Steele separated in order to have an advantage when matching up an opponent with one of his top two defensemen.
Erin O’Neil will get the start in net for BU on Saturday after her solid showing at the Windjammer Classic. Up in Vermont, the Minnetonka, Minnesota native played 76 total minutes and made 31 saves on 34 shots. More than likely junior Victoria Hanson will be between the pipes at Walter Brown on Sunday as Coach Durocher is fond of playing both net minders in a weekend series.
They will be opposed by the seven win Huskies, led by freshman forward Jordy Zacharias. The young Manitoban co-leads UConn in points with nine. Right along side Zacharias stands Leah Lum, a sophomore defensemen from British Colombia who leads the team in assists with eight.
In between the pipes for the Huskies will be Elaine Chuli. The 5 7” senior currently posts a 2.06 goals-against average along with a .953 save percentage. Chuli, a butterfly style goalie with an eye for finding the puck, is complemented well by her defense, who play a very conservative collapse style of defense that clog up the middle of the opposing teams screeners and deflectors.
This weekend will be a tough one for BU as their quick passing style of offense will be hardly contested by the Huskies stingy defense. A medley of shot blockers will also pose a threat to the Terriers more offensive styled defensemen. While BU has fallen victim to letting their opponents score early this season, they cannot afford to do so this weekend with Chuli in net.