By: Patrick Donnelly
Fresh off their 7-2 thumping of Vermont, the No. 8 Boston University Terriers (15-6-6, 12-5-5 WHEA) will take on the No. 3 Northeastern University Huskies (20-3-3, 18-2-2 WHEA) in the first game of the 41st Women’s Beanpot on Tuesday evening at 5:00 PM.
The Terriers have won seven of their last eight games, and have been one of the hottest teams in the nation, surging up to eighth in the national rankings while riding an eight-game unbeaten streak.
On the other hand, simply put, the Huskies are an absolute wagon as they have been laying waste to teams across Hockey East, having won five games in a row. Northeastern holds a 2-0-1 record against BU so far this season, including a 5-0 win in the season-opener, in addition to a 2-1-0 record against fellow Beanpot rival No. 7 Boston College.
The No. 7 Eagles (19-9, 16-7 WHEA), who are 1-2-0 against the Terriers this season, come into the tournament as hot as any other team with a six-game win streak, boasting one of the most high-powered offenses in the nation with 30 goals-for over the course of the streak.
As for the hosts, the Harvard University Crimson (7-11-3, 6-8-2 ECAC), they have struggled overall this season, but are riding a two-game win streak (unbeaten in their last three), exploding for nine goals in the two contests. The Crimson are also a solid team on their home ice with a 6-5 record this season.
BC and Harvard will drop the puck at 8:00 PM following the game between Northeastern and BU.
All in all, this year’s Beanpot is shaping up to boast some of the most talent in the tournament’s history as three of the four teams are nationally ranked.
As for the first matchup of the evening on Tuesday, this meeting between the Terriers and the Huskies is being tabbed as a clash between two titans as the Terriers are as hot as any team in the nation while the Huskies have been consistently dominant all year.
For the Terriers, the third line of Nara Elia-Kristina Schuler-Deziray De Sousa has been absolutely on fire. Elia is riding a three-game point streak (5A), and De Sousa is in the midst of a four-game point streak (2G, 3A), while Schuler has three goals in her last two games.
Sophomore goaltender Corinne Schroeder is expected to get the start in net for Brian Durocher’s Terriers. Schroeder, in the middle of a monster sophomore campaign, is on a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) to go along with an overall record of 12-5-6, a .930 save percentage, and a 1.92 goals-against average.
Junior defenseman Abby Cook has been a force on the backend for BU this season, and is another Terrier on a hot streak currently, registering at least point in five-straight contests (1G, 5A).
The Terriers go-to forwards in terms of production have been on a tear all season as well. Red-shirt junior captain Sammy Davis ranks seventh in the nation in goals with 17 and tenth in points with 37 through 27 games; Davis is also on a four-game scoring streak with four goals, six assists, and ten points in that span.
Not to be outdone by Davis, sophomore Jesse Compher has been setting the nation ablaze as she is second the NCAA in assists (32) and third in points (46 in 27 games). Compher holds the most impressive scoring streak out of any Terrier at eight-straight games with a total of three goals, 11 assists, and 14 points during this outburst.
Looking at the Huskies, considered the favorites of the tournament, there is no shortage of talent on their roster, which is headlined by sophomore goaltender Aerin Frankel, who ranks second in Division I with a 1.40 GAA, first in the nation with a .945 save percentage, and is tied for the second-most shutouts in the nation with five. Long story short, Frankel has been a dominant force for the Huskies this season, an integral part of their impressive success.
The dynamic freshman duo of Alina Mueller (14G, 22A–twelfth in the nation with 36 points) and Chloe Aurard (11G, 14A) have taken the nation by storm, combining for 25 goals and 51 points between the two of them. Mueller and Aurard have both represented their respective countries at the national level as well–Mueller earned bronze with Switzerland in the 2014 Winter Olympics and led the 2018 games in scoring with 10 points in six games, while Aurard was apart of the French national team in last year’s IIHF World Championship.
The two phenoms have given BU fits in the earlier matchups this season, each posting a goal and two assists in the three previous meetings.
Not to be forgotten is senior forward Kasidy Anderson, who has 16 goals, nine assists, and 25 points on the year, including two goals against the Terriers in the season-opener.
For the Terriers, a big key to their success will be the ability of the freshmen to get on the board, which has been a massive part of the offensive explosion. Over the course of the unbeaten streak, Kaleigh Donnelly has had nine assists, Emma Wuthrich has posted four tallies, Alex Allan has chipped in with a goal and an assist, Courtney Correia has three goals and two assists, and Mackenna Parker has five goals and two assists.
Durocher’s team ranks eighth in team defense, allowing 1.85 goals-against per game, and eleventh in team offense, posting 3.22 goals per game.
On the other hand, the Huskies, who are able to get production from everywhere in the lineup consistently, rank seventh in offense with 3.58 goals per game, and sixth in team defense, allowing 1.77 goals-against per game.
The Terriers will need to be able to rely on the entire lineup for the full 60 minutes. If BU can capitalize on their power play chances against the Huskies top-ranked penalty kill (91.4%), play their game, avoid chasing the play, and get a performance from Schroeder similar to that of recent memory, they should fair well against Northeastern.
The exciting action of this year’s Beanpot kicks off tomorrow evening at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center. The winner of BU/Northeastern will take on the winner of BC/Harvard in the championship game next Tuesday (Feb. 12).