By: Brian Lombardo and Akshai Wadhwani
BOSTON — The 40th annual Women’s Beanpot tournament will be hosted at Conte Forum on Tuesday, home to the Eagles of Boston College. The four teams will square off in the annual tournament where the winner advances to play in the finals the following Tuesday. The Terriers play the early game, where they will take on Harvard University at 5 p.m., before host BC takes on Northeastern in the night cap.
The Terriers are still looking for their first Beanpot Tournament championship as a varsity program. Their only title in school history came in 1981 when the women’s hockey team was still a club sport.
The Terriers are 4-8-2 all-time against the Crimson. Their most recent meeting came in the 2017 Beanpot Consolation game, where the Terriers drew the Crimson, 6-6.
BU (10-14-6 overall, 6-11-5 WHEA) faltered recently after a pair of blowout wins against Merrimack, losing 5-1 at home to Vermont last Friday. Even so, the Terriers remain one of just four collegiate teams in the country that have yet to be shutout this season; in fact, the last time they failed to score in a game was almost three years ago.
The scarlet and white continue to outscore (94-85) and outshoot their opponents (949-934). BU also owns the second best goals-per-game average (3.13), and the second most power play goals (25) and total goals in their division. At the same time, however, defensive issues continue to plague the Terriers.
They have are tied for the second-most goals allowed in the Hockey East, and although significant strides have been made in penalty killing in their recent contests, they still display the second-worst PK percentage (78.99) and the joint most power-play goals conceded (25) in the conference.
Harvard (9-12-2 overall, 7-9-2 in Ivy League) is still looking to get back on their feet after having a January to forget. The Crimson lost seven straight over the course of 20 days last month, allowing an average of more than three goals-per-game. February has seen a lackluster recovery so far, tying Cornell 2-2 before receiving a 4-0 pummeling from Colgate on home ice. Harvard has been outscored 57-61 on the season, despite averaging a respectable 31.3 shots-per-game and an 83.1 penalty kill percentage. They are 1-2 against WHEA opponents this season, with two losses to No. 1 Boston College and a 5-3 win against New Hampshire.
The team will rely on its leadership in a big game like the Beanpot. Victoria Bach, who currently leads the team with 32 goals, will look to continue her offensive rampage as she tries to lead the Terriers to their first Beanpot title game since 2012.