By: Akshai Wadhwani January 11, 2018
The Boston University women’s ice hockey team will prepare to shoot for their first win in more than a month when they take on Providence in a two-game series this weekend.
The Terriers (7-12-4 overall, 3-9-3 HE) are coming off back-to-back home defeats against Maine last weekend, and are 0-4-1 in their last five games. They are averaging a respectable 31.8 shots and three goals-per-game; defensively, however, they have conceded 46 goals in Hockey East play — the second most allowed in the conference.
Despite this, BU should be bolstered by the return of co-captains Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie after they missed the team’s last four games in service of Team Canada at the 2018 Nations Cup. The two have combined for 38 goals, 38 assists and 213 shots this season, so the Terriers will undoubtedly be ecstatic to have them back in the squad.
While Bach and Leslie remain BU’s household names, sophomore Deziray De Sousa has announced her presence recently with a goal and two assists in last weekend’s Maine series. On the other side of the ice, mainstay goaltenders Erin O’Neil and Corinne Schroeder have combined for 671 saves and an average of under three goals conceded per game.
Providence (13-5-5 overall, 9-1-3 HE) sits in second place in the Hockey East table, and is outscoring opponents 73-47 overall with a 779-618 shots advantage. The Friars are undefeated in their last six games, including a 6-5 decision over the Terriers back on December 9. They own the No. 2-ranked offense in the league — with the second most goals and goals-per-game — and the joint top-ranked defense with a 2.04 GPG, 13 power play goals allowed and seven shutouts.
History, however, favors the Terriers. They lead the all-time series 25-12-3; for Friday’s game at Walter Brown Arena, they may point to a dominant 16-2-1 home record against the Friars. For Saturday’s game in Rhode Island, even though the overall away record stands at 7-10-2 in Providence’s favor, BU has won four of the last six match-ups. The Terriers’ Bach is one player who will be looking forward to puck drop; the senior has recorded 21 points, including 11 goals, in her career against the Friars.
Friday’s tilt at Walter Brown Arena will begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s repeat at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I., will start at 4 p.m.