BOSTON — For the eighth time in a row, the #9/10 Boston University Terriers tallied over four goals en route to a victory over the University of New Hampshire. Senior Samantha Sutherland tallied twice, building on goals from Maddie Elia, Victoria Bach, and Natasza Tarnoski for the 5-1 win.
This marked the first game for the Terriers in 11 days. They had the weekend off last weekend after opening the year with a win over Providence.
“First period’s a little rocky, but having two weeks off that happens to a team,” Sutherland said.
UNH’s late arrival delayed the start of the contest by about 90 minutes. Their bus broke down en route to Boston.
To stay loose, the team “went to the dining hall and got food again,” Sutherland said.
Junior goaltender Erin O’Neil needed to make 18 saves in three periods of work, with half coming in the first period, for her first win of the season.
She made two post-to-post saves to keep the Terriers ahead in the early stages. “I don’t think we need our goalies to win the game for us every night,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “We need them to make sure we’re not giving up the soft goal and give our team a chance to build on a one-nothing lead.”
87 seconds into the game, the Terriers struck first. After a point shot from Savannah Newton got saved by Kyra Smith, Rebecca Leslie chipped at the rebound. Within the crease, Elia lunged for the puck over the defense of Amy Schlagel. Schlagel tried to sweep the puck away, but ended up knocking it off Smith and into the net. Elia was credited with the last touch.
The Wildcats would send it to the first intermission tied at one thanks to a goal from Carlee Towes. A turnover on a zone-entry led to a three-on-two rush for UNH, led by Meghara McManus. McManus had her shot saved, but O’Neil could not handle the rebound and the net-crashing Towes pushed the puck over the goal line.
The game would not stay tied long with Tarnowski’s first collegiate goal in the second period. The freshman out of Emburn, Ontario had the puck teed up for her by Sammy Davis in the low slot. The shot trickled through the body and arm of Smith and over the line to break the deadlock.
“Sammy [Davis] and Sam [Sutherland] were both putting lots of pressure, so it was definetly a team effort,” Tarnowski said. “It all happened really fast.”
Mary Parker and Bach connected on a two-on-one to send the Terriers to the break up by two. With this win, BU improves to 45-1-1 since 2014 in leading games after 40 minutes.
Then the third period became the Samantha Sutherland Show once again. She deflected a shot from Newton on the power play and depositing a rebound on a shot from Alexandra Calderone.
When asked if she is getting used to multi-point games, Sutherland answered “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. That was me in high school, and it’s been a while.”
“We’re doing this thing where people keep rubbing my stick,” Sutherland said. “I don’t believe in superstitions, but, I mean, if it’s working, it’s working.”
Deziray De Sousa missed a late penalty shot attempt after getting hooked from behind on a breakaway. She storde down Broadway and tried to put a deke on Smith in the low slot, but Smith saw through the diversion and made the save.
The Terriers again went with 11 forwards and seven defenders, and Durocher said they are likely to keep with that system and shuffle in the 7th defender and incomplete 4th line as needed.
“I think all three lines can score,” Durocher said. “Ya gotta say all 11 forwards created opportunities or potentially had chances out there.”
Sunday afternoon will see the Terriers travel to Vermont for their first road contest of the season. Coverage will be on WTBU Sports live from Burlington.