By: Jacob Lintner
In their first wins against their Comm Ave rivals in more than two years, the Boston University Terriers (6-4-4, 5-4-4 WHEA) swept the Boston College Eagles (12-6, 9-4 WHEA) in a home-and-home weekend series Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
It was a weekend full of firsts for the Terriers: the first time they’ve defeated the Eagles in 756 days; their first win at the Conte Forum in more than six years; the first collegiate goal for Emma Wuthrich and the first goal of the season for Deziray De Sousa. Add to that the first time that the Terriers have ever swept a series against the Eagles, and you have a very energized fanbase.
The series began at Kelley Rink on Friday. Being a matchup between two of the most penalized teams in Hockey East, the power play played a pivotal role in determining the game’s outcome. A Jillian Fey tripping penalty led to the Terriers jumping out to a 1-0 lead just 6:45 into the first period. Daryl Watts knotted things up with four-on-four goal in the second period after each team’s fourth penalty.
The third period is where the Terriers took off. Wuthrich’s first collegiate goal, which gave BU a 2-1 lead, came on a power play set up by an Olivia Finocchiaro hooking penalty. The Terriers added a bit of insurance with six minutes remaining when junior Jesse Compher found the back of the net. That goal marked just the fourth time that BC goaltender Maddy McArthur had allowed three or more goals in a game – and it was the second time the Terriers lit the lamp three times against the freshman from St. Catherines, Ontario.
Coming into the game, BU had allowed a league-low seven goals in the third period through their first 12 games. BC’s Makenna Newkirk slipped one past Corinne Schroeder in the 17th minute, but it was too little, too late, as the Terriers stole a game in the Conte Forum 3-2.
The two teams faced off again just 19 hours later, this time at the other end of the Green Line at Walter Brown Arena. In front of a crowd nearly twice the size as the night before, the Terriers and Eagles skated to their first scoreless period in 24 regulation periods, dating back to a 1-1 overtime draw on Jan. 7, 2017. The first period of Saturday’s game also marked the first time that neither team in a BU-BC game was whistled for a penalty since Jan. 7, 2015.
While a couple trends were broken in the first period, the second held true to form. A combined five penalties were called, and three of the ensuing power plays resulted in scores. The Eagles struck first with a Megan Keller goal just a minute and a half into the second stanza – Newkirk’s assist on the score extended her point streak to nine consecutive games.
The Terriers stormed back with two nearly identical goals in the fourth and 11th minutes: Compher won the faceoff to Sammy Davis, Davis tapped the puck to Abby Cook, Cook beat McArthur with an elevated shot to the goalie’s glove side. Cook’s two goals set a new career-high, and they helped BU finish 5-11 on power plays for the weekend, against a BC team that’s successful in 83.8 percent of penalty kills.
But the Terriers weren’t finished. With less than three minutes remaining in the second period, Nara Elia stole the puck and initiated a three-on-two fast break. Passes to Cook and Kristina Schuler freed up Deziray De Sousa at the top of the crease to tap in a perfectly placed feed from Schuler past McArthur’s right skate.
The 3-1 lead withstood a Daryl Watts goal just 27 seconds into the third period and 11 unsuccessful shots from the Eagles. Compher added an empty netter at 19:38 for her third point, and Davis’ assist on that goal matched her career high with three assists in the game. Compher (9 goals, 15 assists) and Davis (8 g, 12 a) now have point streaks of 11 and seven games, respectively.
The two wins pushed BU into fourth place in Hockey East, leapfrogging Merrimack 14 points to 13. BC remains in second with 18 points, but they now trail Northeastern by six points for the top spot in the conference. The Terriers will skate again when they take their three-game winning streak to Rochester to face the Tigers of RIT in a two-game set Dec. 7 and 8.