By: Akshai Wadhwani November 17, 2017
BURLINGTON, Vt. — The wins have not come often for the Boston University women’s ice hockey team so far this season, but when they have come, they have been emphatic.
That point was reinforced in Burlington on Friday evening, when the Terriers put seven past Vermont for their third victory of the season. The game finished 7-1, confirming that all three of BU’s wins this year have been by margins of at least four goals; the Terriers beat UConn, 6-2, earlier in the season, and toppled RIT, 5-1, two weeks ago.
BU ran rampant mostly in the first two periods, during which all goalscoring occurred. Ending a two-game drought, senior Victoria Bach found the net just over seven minutes in off help from Rebecca Leslie and Reagan Rust. Interluded by Natasza Tarnowski’s second goal of the season, Bach then earned herself a brace seven minutes later. The three strikes were complimented by a defense that allowed the Catamounts a minimal four shots on target in the opening frame.
The second period carried out in a similar fashion as its predecessor. BU took less than a minute and a half to add to their lead, with Bach finishing the hat trick. Remaining relentless in the first five minutes of the frame, the Terriers then made it 5-0 when Rebecca Leslie hit home to add a goal next to her three assists on the night.
Vermont launched some bouts of pressure after Leslie’s strike, finally breaking through with eight minutes remaining in the second stanza. Catamount winger Alyssa Gorecki put the puck past Corinne Schroeder to prevent the freshman goaltender from notching her first-career shutout.
Not to be thrown off by the UVM goal, the Terriers promptly resumed their dominance and bit back after 40 seconds. Continuing her hot streak, Bach struck for the fourth time off a feed by Leslie and sophomore defenseman Abby Cook; the latter now has six assists this year, tied for third-most on the team.
After a short spell of uneventfulness, BU netted the final goal of the game in with roughly two minutes to go in the second period. Abby Stanley notched her first tally of the season – and her first as a Terrier – maneuvering the puck with a toe-drag before pinpointing the top corner of the net. Jesse Compher earned her second assist of the game on the play.
The Terriers appeared content to rest on the laurels of their six-goal lead heading into the third frame, as they notched just seven shots to Vermont’s 16. Schroeder, however, was not to be beaten, saving all 16 to preserve the 7-1 final.
BU – now 3-6-2 overall and 2-5-2 in the Hockey East – was able to produce the outstanding result from 30 shots, its lowest total for seven consecutive games.
“Taking advantage of your opportunities — when you can get three early in the game, and then I think we padded it with a couple more — it allows you to play a little bit more conservatively,” Head Coach Brian Durocher said, when addressing the statistic. “We don’t have to try to get…eight, nine, or ten goals.”
“I think when you get a lead like that, and you continue to play pretty well, it doesn’t have to be a pile on. Without a doubt, the early start helped.”
The Terriers held their opponents to less than 30 shots for the fourth consecutive game, restricting the Catamounts to 26. The BU defense also kept their hosts 0-for-6 on power plays opportunities – though the Terriers went 0-for-3 themselves.
Bach was unquestionably the game’s top star, armed with her four goals as well as a joint-team-leading six shots. Rebecca Leslie wasn’t far behind her, with three assists and a goal to her name. Winger Mary Grace Kelley also had three helpers on the night, while Reagan Rust and Jesse Compher notched two assists apiece.
Another welcome name on the list of notable individuals was forward Natasza Tarnowski. Bagging a goal and an assist in Friday’s fixture, and having scored her first goal of the year last time out against UConn, the sophomore is looking back to form
“A nice shot in last week and another nice goal today, throw in an assist as well, and all of a sudden some things are going right for her,” Durocher said of the sophomore. “Hopefully that will snowball in a real positive direction, because we’re going need her.”
The Terrier head coach dealt out positive commentary about his team’s overall improvements.
“I’m always a fan of what we do defensively…but you’ve got to applaud the scoring. I’ve been telling them [the players] that if we keep getting 40, 45, even 50 shots…eventually pucks are going to jump in the net. And tonight they did,” Durocher said. “To put both ends of the spectrum together in good order, and really keep Vermont to very few grade-A chances made for a pretty well-rounded game.”
“The test will be to come back tomorrow night and do the same thing.”
Next Up: As per Coach Durocher’s words, the Terriers will spend the night in Burlington before facing the Catamounts again on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 4 P.M.