By: Alexandra Evans
BOSTON – After a shutout loss and two ties in the first three games of the season, the Terriers defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats, 3-2, at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday.
The Terriers struck early at 3:24 of the first period when captain forward Sammy Davis hit a loose puck in front of New Hampshire’s netminder, Ava Boutilier. New Hampshire responded at 5:54 by way of a Grace Middleton shot. It was the first goal allowed by freshmen goaltender Kate Stuart in her career. She settled in quite well from there.
From Middleton’s goal to the end of the first period, BU – particularly Reagan Rust – upped their defense and did not allow New Hampshire to exceed four shots on goal.
With a minute and a half left, Davis notched her second goal of the period after receiving a cross-ice feeder from Jesse Compher and the Terriers took a 2-1 into the first intermission.
Davis only made three regular season appearances last season due to injury. Now, she has been awarded the captaincy and, despite initial jitters, is more determined than ever to reel in the wins.
“I know what my job is, so I am just going to do that,” Davis said after the win. “I won’t worry about anything else… that mindset is really helping. I just want to keep winning, and keep having fun.”
Less than a minute into the second period, the Terriers found themselves on the penalty kill, which has been a weak point with the team in the early going of the season. This time around, they were the ones scoring despite being down a man. Jesse Compher jumped a passing route and stepped in on Boutilier beating her high to the glove side. The short handed mark was her second of the season.
At the second intermission, the Terriers were up 3-1.
New Hampshire struck for their second goal with 11 minutes remaining in the third period. Forward Nicole Dunbar snagged a short-sided rebound and put it directly in the net.
The Terriers kept up their strong defense, with Stuart leading the way making a stellar glove save with 37 seconds left in the game. Stuart stopped 18 shots out of 20 shots she faced in her BU debut. After the game Stuart credited her defense for allowing her to be strong in the crease.
“As a goalie, communication [with the defense] is very big,” Stuart said. “I could hear [the defense] a little bit, but as they change, it is hard. As the season goes, we’ll definitely get used to the communication and everything will come together.”
Head Coach Brian Durocher put four defensive pairs on the ice that afternoon, a rather rare occurrence. This, however, made a significant change; the biggest indicator was the number of shots on goal, which were far more limited than the previous three games.
“We learned a tough lesson against Northeastern last weekend where we just kind of stood around, watched, and directed traffic with our hands, but we never really took two or three steps to defend somebody,” Durocher said.
“Up until a certain point, we really had the shots limited. There’s some depth there, there’s some experience, we only have one rookie… the other kids have played a lot of college hockey, there is no excuse for them not to know what’s going on and be able to play under pressure,” Durocher continued, “and they did tonight.”
Terrier women’s hockey is back home on Friday, Oct. 19 against UConn. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.