By Brian Lombardo
BOSTON- The Women’s Hockey East Tournament began, and all four of the quarterfinal matchups ended in similar fashions. Four sweeps, by all four home teams. Your Boston University Terriers (2-0-0 postseason) took care of Hillary Witt and the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (0-2-0 postseason) sweeping them in two games at home in Walter Brown Arena. Winning game two by a score of 3-1.
A full recap, with comments from Terriers head coach Brian Durocher from Friday’s 5-1 game 1 win can be found here.
The team came out ultra-confident, enjoying its home crowd that was eager for some playoff hockey. It showed in the way the Terriers skated in the first period. BU amassed two goals within the first eleven minutes of the game and seemingly never looked back.
Redshirt-junior captain Sammy Davis broke open the scoring five minutes in, with a crafty tip in the low slot. The chance came of a set faceoff play and involved Davis’ line mate Jesse Compher winning a faceoff back to Abby Cook who had the space to take a one-timer towards goal. Davis redirected the puck just in front of the crease beating UNH’s goaltender Kyra Smith.
Then nine minutes into the first period, Wildcats forward Meghara McManus took a body checking penalty on Kristina Schuler and the Terriers power play got their first opportunity of the night. After going an efficient 1-2 in Friday’s matchup, it was assumed the team was confident in their ability to score on the Wildcats with a skater-advantage.
Deziray De Sousa put the Terriers up by two when she collected puck in the slot and backhanded the puck through the five hole of Smith.
After UNH fell into the 2-0 hole, there was a sense of desperation that set in. That desperation by UNH turned into aggression and physicality, resulting in the ‘Cats taking three second-period penalties and playing the bulk of the middle frame in their own end. Smith stood tall in goal through the onslaught of Terrier power plays and saved all 14 shots BU put on net. BU’s goaltender on the other end of the ice, was rarely involved, and only faced four second-period shots.
The third period was very different. In fact, it could be argued the Wildcats outplayed the Terriers in the final 20 minutes. Despite Davis getting her second of the game at the 6:54 mark, which theoretically put a nail in the coffin of UNH’s comeback hopes.
Davis’ second score concluded another career day for her, as she reached the 100-point milestone in her career.
New Hampshire did get on the board shortly after, with a misstep while on the power play McManus found herself in alone on Schroeder and beat her perfectly.
From there on the physicality took over and the game nearly got out of hand. Four checking penalties, a boarding penalty and a hitting after the whistle penalty truly provided a choppy pace to the third.
“Gritty is an optimal word. It would’ve been nice to have kept a little more composure in the end, but they fought all the way through.” said coach Durocher postgame.
The team will now move on to the Hockey East semifinals to take on No. 6 Boston College. This will be BU’s 11th appearance in the WHEA tournament semifinals in 14 seasons.