By: Max Wolpoff
BOSTON — For the first time this season, the Boston University Terriers are in a two-game losing streak. They clawed back from down 4-1, but could only make it 4-3 in a loss to the Northeastern Huskies.
BU falls to 3-3-1 overall and 2-3-0 in Hockey East play, while Northeastern improves to 6-2-1 and 2-0-0 within the conference. The Terriers will play their next six games within the conference, starting 10 days from now against Boston College.
“We remained resilient, we stayed in the game, we fought back from a three-goal defeicit and had plenty of glittering opportunities, I think, to tie the game, give ouselves a chance,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “We couldn’t quite stay out of the box enough in the third period.”
The Terriers held Northeastern to one power play goal in their 12 chances, but also conceded two short handed tallies to cancel out to extra-skater goals of their own.
Of the 12 penalties BU took, six were body infractions (body checking twice, interference twice, elbowing, cross-checking), five were for a stick infraction (hooking, tripping twice, slashing twice), and one was for too many players on the ice.
“I could probably pick two that I mighta had a little bit of a gripe with from our own team’s control,” Durocher said. “I told our kids, ‘don’t walk out of the rink with any cructhes.’ I don’t want the referee to be a crutch.”
McKenna Brand scored 67 seconds in off an aggresive forecheck to force a turnover, then Maddie Hartman put up her first of the season as Heather Mottau sat in the box for the Huskies.
Maddie Elia got collegiate goal No. 40 off a scramble in front of Husky goaltender Brittany Bugalski. Her fifth of the season gave the Terriers life heading into the second period.
“I like our power play when we stick to the plan, and we stuck to the plan probably three times,” Durocher said. BU went two-for-six on the power play in this game after going zero-for-seven last time out.
There was a point in the first where both teams were down two skaters, sparking the second instance of regulation three-on-three at Walter Brown. The first came against Providence in the home opener.
Brand scored on a power play and Hayley Scamurra did the same short-handed, putting the Huskies up by three goals. In under two minutes, it was back to a two-goal lead.
Victoria Bach led all Terriers with 11 shots on goal, finally striking on a late power play in the middle frame. Elia and Rebecca Leslie found the scoresheet with assists on Bach’s 90th collegiate point.
Victoria Hanson, in her first start since the win against Penn State, stopped 36 Husky shots, including all 15 in the third.
“Victoria would be the first one to tell you she’d love to have controlled a few more pucks tonight,” Durocher said. “I think some pucks got away from her, particularly in the glove.” He did not hint at a starter for the first Boston College game, but did say he might try something new.
“The only other thing I can do besides the rotation is just give somebody some rope and say ‘hey, win the game, you go to the next one,'” Durocher said.
Not for a lack of chances — BU had four clean breakaways at Bugalski in the last 30 minutes of the game — but BU could only find the scoreboard once more, with Bach beating Bugalski high glove in the third.
“To get a goalie [Bugalski] keep making those saves, you gotta identify that kid as being awful, awful good tonight,” Durocher said.
Two penalties in the final two minutes left the Terriers hemmed in their defensive zone. A Scamurra tripping penalty with four seconds to go gave the Terriers some hope, but time expired before they could get a shot off.
Last season, the Terriers did not beat Boston College in all three regular season contests, and lost again in the Hockey East Finals. “Our charge is to compete and be ready,” Durocher said.