By: Patrick Donnelly
Fresh off their sweep of the University of New Hampshire Wildcats last weekend, the No. 8 Boston University Terriers (21-7-8, 15-6-6 WHEA) head to Providence College, this year’s host of the Hockey East Championship, to take on the No. 6 Boston College Eagles (25-10-1, 19-7-1 WHEA) in the Hockey East Semifinals.
This matchup will add another chapter in the storied Battle of Commonwealth Avenue as both sides have been rolling. The Terriers have gone 13-1-3 in their last 17 games while the Eagles boast a 12-1-1 over their last 14 games. Last weekend, BU outscored UNH 8-2 in the two-game series, and BC scored at a 9-5 clip against UCONN.
Corinne Schroeder was in goal for both wins last weekend, and even played well enough for two shutouts; however, luck was not on her side. On the season, the Terriers sophomore standout has the 12th-best goals-against average in the nation (1.80), a .926 save percentage–seventh in the nation–and a record of 18-6-7.
For the Eagles, freshman Maddie McArthur ranks in the top-20 in the nation with a 2.02 GAA and the top-30 in Division I with a .912 save percentage. To add to a solid rookie season, McArthur has a record of 22-9-1.
The Terriers have been high-flying offensively lately, as they rank 12th in team offense with 3.25 goals for per game, compared to the Eagles’ ninth-ranked 3.44 goals per game. Defensively, BU is more than sound in its own end with the fifth-fewest goals-allowed in Division I at 1.81; BC ranks 12th, allowing 2.00 goals per game.
On special teams, both power plays have been lethal to say the least, with the Terriers scoring at a 23.9% clip, fifth-best in the nation, and the Eagles converting 18.8% of the time, thirteenth in the NCAA. As far as the penalty kills go, BC ranks 23rd at 83.3% while thee Terriers rank 18th at 83.7%.
Brian Durocher’s Terriers have been lead by sophomore center, Jesse Compher, who has the third-most points in the nation with 60 to go along with the second-most assists in Division I with 43–one off the lead; Compher also has five helpers in her last two games. Not to be outdone, redshirt junior captain Sammy Davis has scored goals like nobody’s business this season, with the fourth-most goals in Division I (25), contributing to her 52 points which rank sixth in the nation. Davis also has five points in her last two contests as well (2G, 3A), and was named the Hockey East Player of the Week.
To add to the Terriers offensive flurry of late, junior Deziray De Sousa has a goal and an assist in her last two games while freshman Mackenna Parker had two tallies last weekend as well; Parker was also named to the Pro Ambitions Hockey East All-Rookie Team with 13 goals and 19 points on the season. Junior defenseman Abby Cook has 13 assists in her last 16 games, and senior defense captain Reagan Rust has been a force on the backend in recent weeks.
For the Eagles, Katie Crawley’s squad has been led by sophomore sniper Daryl Watts and senior defense standout Megan Keller, who lead the team in goals and points with 19 goals (17th in the nation) and 42 points each (13th in Division I). Keller has even been named a finalist for the Patty Kazmier Award for the best player in women’s Division I hockey.
Keller was also named the best defender in Hockey East for the 2018-19 season and set regular season records in goals (16) and points (37) for a defender. The Michigan native also has five goals and three assists in her last seven games, and also picked up the Hockey East Three Stars Award. Freshmen Kelly Browne and Cayla Barnes were named to the Pro Ambitions Hockey East All-Rookie Team.
On the season, the Terriers have a head-to-head record of 2-1-0 versus the Eagles, outscoring them 10-8. Both Schroeder and McArthur were in net for all three games as well.
In the three-game season series, Davis has seven assists, Compher has three goals and four assists, Cook has three goals and one assist, and Nara Elia has a goal and two assist for BU. For BC, Keller has a goal and four assists, Watts has two goals and an assist, and Makenna Newkirk has a goal and two assists.
“They’re a team that has talent all the way around, and has been a good team for a long time,” head coach Brian Durocher said in anticipation of this weekend’s matchup.
“My message to our team is ‘we know how good they are; we know they’re a real talented team–let’s not make them better by being uptight or not doing the things that have gotten us here,'” Durocher continued. “If we make things worse or make them look like a great team, then shame on us . . . we’re clearly the underdog in the game, but we got to make sure we do all the little things and they’ll add up.”
The action kicks off on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 at Schneider Arena at Providence College, following the other semifinal matchup between No. 3 Northeastern and Providence. Follow along with our coverage of the game on WTBU Sports’ Twitter and our broadcast on WTBU Sports’ Mixlr.