Women’s Hockey: Step One Complete

By: Max Wolpoff

On Monday night’s Terrier Talk, Dave Souza, Dan Shulman, our interns, and I all predicted Boston University to take the series against Vermont in a sweep. All of us overlooked the tie earlier this season. Nothing the Catamounts offered seemed enticing enough to pick them to win even one game.

We were all wrong. UVM came to play; or, at least Madison Litchfield did.

BU made short work of their visitors on Friday night. Litchfield brought out her aggresive style to keep the game within reach, but only senior Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga’s tap-in goal in the last thirty seconds of the first was needed to secure Game One.

Freshman Sammy Davis and senior captain Kayla Tutino also scored. Sophomore Erin O’Neil stopped all 25 shots that came at her. As the game went on, the Catamounts got more and better chances at her cage, but a victory was a victory.

At puck drop on Saturday, something was missing. And that comment has nothing to do with the loss of Connor Galway and Samantha Sutherland; they were already out of the lineup this series.

UVM’s Taylor Willard set the tone early in the game with her power play goal: the Catamounts would not go away quietly. The only reason this game was close by any measure rested on two short handed goals from Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach. Litchfield remained sharp with 38 saves, this time with a lead to protect.

Nobody was happy on the Boston University side. Head coach Brian Durocher paused for a breath before he opened his post-game press conference. Unheard of. The 11-year head coach is rarely at a loss for words; he was on Saturday.

A possibility not foreseen by most came to the forefront: BU could lose their Hockey East crown and not even make the semifinals. The Terriers had looked ahead of the series at hand and paid for it.

Sunday afternoon creeped along, warmups happened with a business-like purpose. From opening faceoff to the first stoppage, control rested with the home team.

Sarah Lefort’s shot was saved, but Tutino put home the rebound. Point # 182 finally came. An entire series of anticipation was laid to rest before five minutes was gone.

58 seconds later, Maddie Elia shoved the puck past Litchfield, spun around, went down on a knee, and scooped the ice in celebration. Four more Terrier goals followed in the second period, including the first multi-point game of Mary Grace Kelley’s career –  as a defender, no less.

No crazy celebrations ensued after the game. Applause and cheers could be heard outside the locker room. The players all spoke in the same message: this was a good win, but we are not done yet.

This team feels they have more to accomplish. More to prove. They now move on to the Hockey East Semifianls against Northeastern on Saturday afternoon. One game to prove they belong once again. One game for a spot in the Finals. One game away from title number six.

Author: Max Wolpoff

Journalism student at Boston University ('19), lifelong fan of the Washington Capitals. Current broadcaster for the Boston Blades of the CWHL. If you ever need him during the week, Max is probably studying for something.

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