By Jacob Lintner
The Terriers (1-3-3, 1-3-3 WHEA) return to the ice after nearly two weeks of rest to face the University of Connecticut Huskies (5-4-1, 2-3-1 WHEA) this Friday, Nov. 9. The trip to Storrs, CT marks BU’s first out-of-state game this season.
Both teams are trying to turn things around after losses to nationally ranked opponents. BU dropped their last contest 1-2 to No. 6 Northeastern on Oct. 28, and UConn gave up two third-period goals to No. 5 Boston College in a 0-3 loss last weekend. The Terriers and Huskies (joined by Vermont) now sit in a three-way tie for sixth place in Hockey East.
These two squads were tied at the top of the WHEA standings when they squared off at Walter Brown Arena on Oct. 19. That first matchup ended in a 1-1 draw, and with this being their last meeting until the final weekend of the season, both sides will be out for blood.
For UConn, the game plan will be the same as their first encounter with BU: win the penalty game. The Huskies have the most efficient power play offense (27.5 percent conversion) in Hockey East, and the Terriers have the worst power play defense (66.7 percent penalty kill).
Even if they can’t capitalize on the power play, UConn can fall back on an offense that has had 13 skaters score in their 10 games, good for 3.20 goals per game. They’re led in scoring by sophomore Morgan Wabick (6 goals, 4 assists), who scored on a power play to force the tie in these two teams’ first meeting.
With this game, BU will finish their four-game gauntlet against Hockey East’s top three scoring offenses. In the first three games (against UConn, Maine and Northeastern), the Terriers allowed just five total goals, lowering their average goals allowed (2.43) by nearly one whole score. That trend of strong defense should continue on Friday, as it has been a focus for head coach Brian Durocher all season.
The key for the Terriers in this game is right in front of the net. Sophomore Corinne Schroeder has not started the season the way she would have hoped, but much of her poor statistical performance has been out of her control. Coach Durocher’s defense seems to forget itself when they’re down a player, allowing too many easy looks for the opposition. Seven of the 15 goals Schroeder has allowed this season have come with one of her skaters in the sin bin.
Despite this, Schroeder has cruised to a .920 save percentage. That’s not going to win any awards, but it’s good for fourth best in WHEA conference play among full-time starters. The Terrier goaltender notched 31 saves in BU’s first game against UConn. If she has another strong outing – and BU’s skaters can stay on the ice – the Terriers will be in a good position to come away with their first road win of the year.