By: Akshai Wadhwani December 6, 2017
Having taken time to cool off from a gritty two-game series with Boston College last weekend, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team will now set their sights on New Haven as they prepare to grapple with Yale on Thursday evening.
The matchup sees the start of a stretch of road games to conclude the Terriers’ calendar year, consisting of four fixtures separated by a two-week span and concluding against Princeton on New Year’s Eve.
BU currently displays a 6-8-3 overall record and stands at 3-6-3 in conference play, placing them just below the middle of the Hockey East table in sixth place. They are averaging more shots, shots per game and goals-per-game than their opponents; additionally, they are second only to BC in power play conversion rate in Hockey East. The Terriers also boast the third-highest rated team offense in the league.
BU will likely arrive in Connecticut with added confidence, derived from their opponents’ lack of potency in home territory. Yale (3-7-4 overall, 2-6-2 in the ECAC) is a dismal 1-5 at home this season. Their last outing resulted in a 3-1 away loss to Rensselaer. The Bulldogs have been outshot by opponents 350-412, and are averaging two goals and five penalties per game. On the bright side, they have seen promising depth between the pipes; each of Yale’s three goaltenders has notched over a hundred minutes in net, combining for a 0.908 save percentage. The Terrier defense will need to keep eyes on Greta Skarzynski — the Bulldogs’ points leader with six goals and assists each — as well as Mallory Souliotis, who has recorded a team-high eight helpers.
With regards to BU’s roster, seniors Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie continue to shoulder much of the offensive weight. The duo has tallied more than half of the Terriers’ total goals and one third of their total assists on the year; they are also the only two players on the squad with double digits in both those statistics. This is not to say that other Terriers have not contributed. Abby Cook has tallied 13 helpers — second most on the team — and freshman Jesse Compher has been a breakout star with a pair of goals and nine assists. Reagan Rust leads the BU defense with 34 blocks, followed closely by Cook and Abbey Stanley at 32 each. In lieu of this, it is safe to say that while Bach and Leslie are unquestionably the standouts on the roster, the Terriers are still approaching games with a team effort.
Head coach Brian Durocher has highlighted this fact after several of BU’s recent performances — and should the trend continue into Thursday evening’s slate, the Terriers should have a strong chance of emerging victorious against an opponent struggling to be inspired on home ice.
Puck drop from Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn. is set for 7 p.m.