By: Dan Shulman
The Boston University women’s hockey team has started off 2017 in the wrong direction. After tying BC and losing to UConn, BU will look to earn its first victory of the new calendar year against Vermont and begin the home-stretch with a win.
On Tuesday, the Terriers took the ice in Storrs, Connecticut against the UConn Huskies, falling to the hosts, 2-1. BU held a one-goal lead heading into the final frame but two goals from UConn ended BU’s chance of two points.
The Catamounts carr huge momentum into the weekend following a sweep of the Maine Black Bears in Orono. The most dramatic win came on Saturday night as Vermont earned a 3-1 win over the Black Bears in comeback fashion. All three goals came after the halfway point in the game, giving UVM a fresh start to the new year.
BU and Vermont have met once this season on the third weekend of the year, with UVM getting the win in Burlington, Vt., 3-1. With the Terriers trailing 2-1 with eight minutes to go, Samantha Sutherland scored her second of the game and seventh of the season to tie it. Three minutes later, it was Alyssa Gorecki getting the winner for a pesky Vermont team that earned revenge for its second straight opening round playoff loss to the Terriers.
Gorecki along with fellow sophomore Saana Valkama lead the Vermont offense this season with a combined 28 points. Valkama’s ten assists leads the team while senior Bridget Baker’s nine goals paces the Catamounts.
In net for the Catamounts, a dual threat of Madison Litchfield and Melissa Black backstops a talented Vermont defense. While both have played nearly identical minutes, Litchfield’s statline stands out with her .942 SV% and 1.48 GAA.
BU has produced a pair of stellar goaltenders as well, with Erin O’Neil and Victoria Hanson splitting the time this season. Hanson has gotten most of the minutes, posting a .930 SV% and a 2.28 GAA. Hanson is 0-3-1 in her last four starts, however, allowing 10 goals in that span.
Offensively, BU has been dormant as of late, scoring just one goal in four of its last five games. Since ending their six-game win streak, the Terriers have struggled to create offense.
The leading contributor for the Terriers has been Mary Parker, whose 17 goals ranks third in the nation behind Minnesota’s Dani Cameranesi and Northeastern’s McKenna Brand. Parker has registered only three points in six games including just one in her last five. The Terriers will look for Parker to break out of her current slide in a big weekend against Vermont.
Puck drop for Saturday and Sunday is scheduled for 3 p.m. and can be heard on mixlr.com/wtbusports