By: Patrick Donnelly
The No. 10 Boston University Terriers (5-3-1, 2-3-1 WHEA) will travel to Providence College this Saturday as they get set to take on the Friars (4-4-2, 2-2-0 WHEA) in a matinee matchup.
The Terriers are coming off a sweep at the hands of No. 4 Northeastern last weekend as two strong efforts from Corinne Schroeder were not enough to lift her team over the hump. Freshman Julia Nearis notched the only goal of the weekend for BU.
“You try to take the positives out of there . . . there were times where we lost our way, though,” head coach Brian Durocher said.
Redshirt senior captain Sammy Davis took the team-lead in points on Friday as she picked up an assist on Nearis’ goal. Although last weekend was frustrating for the Terriers, Davis knows the team cannot afford to dwell on the past.
“We’e trying not to focus on what happened last weekend and we’re just focusing on our game this weekend against Providence,” Davis said.
Providence will prove to be a tougher test that the team’s record may suggest as the Friars took down Northeastern 1-0 two weeks ago and took the final meeting with BU last season–the Terriers took the season series 2-1-0.
“They did beat Northeastern, so we’re just looking forward and working as a team,” Davis continued. “They’re a fast team and they’re well-coached, so I think it’s going to be a battle out there. No team in Hockey East is going to be an easy game.”
Practices have been high-tempo this week as the team looks to take a step in the right direction this weekend, and as one of the Terriers wearing a ‘C’ on her sweater, Davis has liked what she’s seen: “A lot of girls are coming back, so the compete on the ice has been great during practice.”
Davis has been off to quite the start this season with four goals and five assists for nine points through the team’s first nine games of the year, getting it done without her partner in crime, Jesse Compher, who has yet to suit up in game action this season due to a lingering lower-body injury.
“I think with our team and our culture–sticking together and working hard–you really can’t do it without your linemates,” the Pembroke, Mass. native noted. “I talked about it a lot last year but I’m really just trying to have fun with it this year and enjoy the girls.”
Durocher knows what he is getting from Davis each game as she is one of the Terriers who sets the example for the rest of the team.
“I think you know you’re going to get the consistent effort from her and you’re going to get the strength, and power with the puck that she demonstrates,” Durocher said. “She’s had multiple games where she’s had seven, eight, nine, or maybe even double-digit shots, so that goes to show she’s getting the opportunities.”
“They may be opportunities where she has people draped on her or may not have the good fortune of having people double-teaming or shadowing [Compher], but we’ve been getting the consistency that we ask for on Sammy’s end.”
Although Davis has taken the reigns on the offensive side of the puck, plenty of Terriers have stepped up in terms of depth-production in recent weeks, most notably Nearis and sophomore Kaleigh Donnelly.
“It’s definitely helpful when the younger girls step up and produce because you look at the top teams in the nation and everyone is on the scoresheet and getting points,” Davis noted. “So it’s definitely good that everyone is really starting to help contribute to the team’s success on the scoresheet.”
Schroeder is expected to get the start in net for the Terriers. One of the best in the nation, the junior was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month for October. Coming into this matchup, Schroeder’s 1.43 goals-against average ranks tenth in the nation while her .949 save percentage checks in at fifth in Division I. Schroeder is expected to get the call in net for Saturday’s contest, according to Durocher.
The Friars have had some inconsistency in net this season, but Durocher knows the team will still have its hands full with the likes of Maureen Murphy, who has 11 points in ten games this season, good enough for tied-ninth in Hockey East.
“Their d-core and forwards are real solid and experienced, and Murphy is one of the better players in the league,” the Terrier bench boss said. “So, we’re gonna have to be on our game and realize they’re going to bring out a real good team.”
One of the stories to watch as we get closer to Saturday is the status of Compher. The junior forward was an All-American last season after leading Hockey East, and the team in points.
“Jesse’s been at practice, and I think a lot has to do with how everything takes at the doctors with people making their final decisions,” Durocher noted about his star center. “There is a chance that she may play on Saturday and/or very, very soon.”
“A lot of it is how the medical stuff rebounds after practice and it’s been a situation where they look every single day pretty much from late last week through this week, and if there aren’t any setbacks so I think there is a chance you may see her Saturday.”
Puck-drop is slated for 2:00 pm at Schneider Arena. You can catch Brady Gardner and I on the call for WTBU Sports.
Check out my photo gallery from Thursday’s practice below!