By: Brian Lombardo and Akshai Wadhwani
After upsetting No. 7 Providence College on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena, the Boston University women’s hockey team fell to the Friars for the second time this season at Schneider Arena to conclude a weekend split.
In the first game of the home-and-home series, the Terriers received quite the boost offensively, getting back their senior leadership in the form of Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach after skating with Team Canada in the 2018 Nations Cup.
Bach made her presence felt just 28 seconds into the first period when she wristed home her team leading 24th goal of the season past Friars goaltender Madison Myers.
The team looked to be skating with a lot of confidence as they welcomed back the Bach/Leslie combination. The forwards were looking to make the extra pass and the defense was getting down in front of shots. There was a strong momentum leaning in the Terriers favor.
That momentum continued on when junior defensemen Reagan Rust slapped home a rocket of a shot that beat Myers high on the glove side. Rust sized up the puck as it came trickling in front from a crowd of skaters and gave the Terriers what felt like a commanding two-goal lead.
Corrinne Schroeder was faced with a test in the first period. The Friars offense, much like the Terriers, is one that always gets their shots, nine in total in the first. But Schroeder turned them all aside, including one impressive pad save on an odd man rush by the Friars.
The momentum grew going into the second period as the Terriers had the remaining 90 seconds of a power play to work with.
Wasting none of their power play time, Victoria Bach found Nara Elia on a great cross-crease pass that Elia banged home for her sixth of the year. However that sixth goal wouldn’t have the spotlight for long, because less than two minutes later Elia redirected an Abbey Stanley wrist shot from the blue line for her seventh, giving the Terriers a comfortable 4-0 lead.
The only hiccup from Schroeder on the night came on an odd man rush for the Friars. Brooke Boquist quarterbacked a three on one opportunity and beat Schroeder on her glove side. The tally was the only score for the Friars on Friday night.
Freshmen Jesse Compher tacked on an empty net goal late in the third to help put the game on ice for the Terriers, solidifying the 5-1 upset.
Some key takeaways include how well the defense played in front of Schroeder. The Terriers blocked 12 shots in the win with defensemen Breanna Scarpaci and Abbey Stanley both leading the way with several blocks each. In addition, the Terriers penalty kill was a perfect 5-5 on the night, helping to silence the potent Friars offense.
On Saturday, a hectic third period served as the conclusion to a high-scoring series, as the Terriers were unable to overcome several multiple-goal deficits in a 6-3 loss in Providence. The result moves BU to 8-13-4 overall, while Providence jumps to 14-6-5; the Terriers remain in the bottom half of the Hockey East standings with a 4-10-3 conference record.
Goals from Maureen Murphy and Madison Sansone propelled the Friars to an early first period lead before Natasza Tarnowski found the net midway through the second to pull BU back into the game.
That goal, however, proved the closest the Terriers ever got towards erasing the deficit. After Boquist restored Providence’s two-goal lead late in the second period, Murphy and Blair Parent scored unassisted goals on either side of a mid-period goal by Bach to precipitate a 5-2 score line.
The final minutes remained action-packed, with Leslie giving the visitors a glimmer of hope when she scored off help from Bach and Reagan Rust. However, despite outshooting Providence 16-8 in the third stanza, the Terriers were unable to facilitate a comeback; the Friars’ Murphy completed her hat trick in the closing seconds to assure the hosts’ victory.
The final shot count was tight, at 35-32 in favor of Providence; the home team also held the advantage in the circle, winning 42 of 74 faceoffs. Goaltenders on each side finished with 29 saves, including 16 in the second period by Schroeder.
Deziray De Sousa maintained her recent stretch of good form with an assist on the day—the sophomore has now taken points from three of her last four games. Abbey Stanley also extended her point streak to four games with an assist. Meanwhile, Abby Cook led the BU defense with four blocks.
Next Up: The Terriers will return to Boston for a Tuesday road matchup with crosstown rival Northeastern. Puck drop is set for 7 P.M.