By: Max Wolpoff
BOSTON — The last time the Princeton Tigers rolled into Walter Brown Arena, Kerrin Sperry was a freshman, as was Marie-Philip Poulin. Tara Watchorn scored three goals in the weekend series, resulting in 8-2 and 2-1 wins for Boston University.
After beating Boston College 1-0 the weekend prior, BU rattled off 13 consecutive wins to carry them into February of 2011. The Terriers made it all the way to the NCAA Finals, losing to Wisconsin 4-1.
In the years since, the Tigers and head coach Jeff Kampersall sunk deeper in the ECAC before turing it around in 2015-16. Last season marked the first time Princeton finished 3rd or better in the ECAC since 2008-09, and just the fourth time in program history. For the second time in team history, the Tigers went to the NCAA Tournament last year as an at-large bid, losing to Minnesota in the first round.
At 22 wins, the Tigers hit their highest number of overall wins in program history last season. The alma matter of Patty Kazmaier, oddly enough, boasts no Patty Kazmaier Award winners.
Boston University vs. Princeton, 7 p.m. Friday (25th), 3 p.m. Saturday (26th)
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY TIGERS: 5-4-1 overall, 3-4-1 ECAC, 4-1-0 away, 3.10 goals per game, 2.10 goals allowed per game
Last season’s team leader in points, assists, and tied for the lead in goals, Karlie Lund, has picked up where she left off. Lund ranks tied for 12th in the NCAA in points per game (1.40 in 10 games played) with Boston College’s Catirin Lonergan. Lund is on a five-game point streak.
Over the summer, Kelsey Koelzer went first overall to the New York Riveters in the 2016 National Women’s Hockey League Draft. Koelzer, with one goal and seven assists this season, will graduate after this season.
Princeton opened their season with a sweep of Providence, then came a mixed bag of conference games. Losses to St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Colgate, and an overtime loss to Dartmouth feature one common theme: the Tigers scored no more than three goals. Their wins came over Brown (4-0), Harvard (2-1 OT), and fifth-ranked Colgate (7-2).
Junior Alysia Da Silva has played every minute for the Tigers, excluding four minutes with an empty net. She boasts a .925 save percentage (17th NCAA) and a 1.98 goals against average (20th NCAA) in her ten games played.
Da Silva faced 22 shots in the team’s 7-2 win over the Colgate Raiders. Four goals from Carly Bullock, Molly Contini, and two from Karlie Lund was enough to chase starter Julia Vandyk from her crease. The team went zero-for-four on the power play.
Upon going zero-for-three against Cornell the next day, the Princeton power play fell to 12.7 percent (seven-for-55) on the year. Their penalty kill ranks 25th in the nation at 83.0 percent (39-for-47).
BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS: 8-5-1 overall, 6-5-0 Hockey East, 4-1-0 Home, 3.86 goals per game, 3.00 goals allowed per game
The Terriers are riding high after winning their third game in a row and fifth in their last six games. In the last two wins, BU won games for the first time when scoring fewer than five goals.
The first line of Nina Rodgers – Victoria Bach – Mary Parker is providing much of the BU offense since their first game together one month ago. They have a combined 22 goals and 24 assists in those 10 games. Parker is on a six-game point streak and Rodgers topped her previous career-high in points (9) with two assists against the Crimson, giving her 10 for the year.
Parker has 13 goals in 14 games, good enough for second in the country behind Dani Cameranesi of Minnesota in goals per game.
Bach tallied the overtime game-winner and two assists, putting her at six straight games with a point as well. The junior out of Milton, Ontario leads all Terriers in assists (12) and points (22) after 14 games.
Junior defenseman Savannah Newton quietly tallied three assists in the game at Bright-Landry Center, giving her a new career-high for points in a game. She now leads all blue-liners in helpers with seven.
Rebecca Leslie scored a goal for the fourth time in three games after opening the season with no goals and 10 assists in 11 games. Leslie and her center Maddie Elia drive BU’s second line with a combined 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists).
Freshman Deziray De Sousa has seen a boost in her numbers in the games she is paired with them. She put up her third assist and fifth point in Tuesday’s game.
Reigning Hockey East Rookie of the Week Breanna Scarpaci is one of three defenders with a goal this season. She remained slotted as the seventh defender for the last three games.
Anna Streifel has cracked the lineup twice in the last three games as part of that incomplete fourth line with Natalie Flynn. Sophomore Mary Grace Kelley made it back in the lineup for the game at Agganis, but was out again against Harvard. The Redshirt-Sophomore out of Bowie, Maryland has no points in her 13 game collegiate career.
Victoria Hanson started her third consecutive game Tuesday for her 30th career win. Hanson lowered her her goals against average to 2.42 (25th NCAA) and raised her save percentage to .919 percent (23rd NCAA). Erin O’Neil is still sitting at 29 career wins.
Of their entire schedule, Princeton and Minnesota are the only teams BU did not play last season. All-time against Princeton, BU is 4-2-0 with one shutout against the Tigers.