BURLINGTON – The Boston University women’s hockey team (10-4-1, 5-4-1 HEAW) swept the University of Vermont Catamounts (5-5-5, 2-5-3 HEAW) this weekend, jumping out to a three-game win streak and sweeping the week.
“[The wins] are tremendous, and I think the best part was our last couple of periouds were real thorough,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said following Sunday’s win. “It’s great to get the Hockey East points.”
The Terriers took the first game of the series on Saturday afternoon by a 3-2 final in overtime; Kate Stuart earned her third win of the season. Freshman defender Nadia Mattivi scored her first collegiate goal on the power play for BU, continuing to show strong progression over her recent performances.
The goal came off a one-timer that the Italian uncorked from the point, an element of Mattivi’s game that Durocher has emphasized. Kristina Schuler and Deziray De Sousa picked up the helpers.
Early in the second and while on the penalty kill, senior defender Abby Cook sprung Sammy Davis and Jesse Compher on a two-on-one. Davis sent a smooth cross-ice feed to Compher, who drove home a one-timer to give BU a 2-0 lead with her fourth of the season.
The Catamounts would not go down without a fight, though, as Val Caldwell brought things back to a one-goal game late in the middle frame before captain Ali O’Leary made it a 2-2 tie about midway through the third.
In overtime, the second line of De Sousa, Schuler, and Nara Elia stepped up once again, as Schuler led the rush before Elia cashed in on a rebound close the game in thrilling fashion.
Elia continued her five-game point streak, while Schuler and De Sousa’s two assists marked four-game scoring streaks for them as well. Stuart picked up 35 saves, while Natalie Ferenc stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss.
The two sides reconvened on Sunday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse, but this contest would not prove to be as close as the first. BU won handedly by a 5-1 final. However, the Catamounts jumped out to an early lead with Theresa Schafzahl scoring the team’s only goal just six seconds in.
Julia Nearis pulled the Terriers back to even before the close of the first frame with a highlight-reel goal, making a pretty move around a UVM defender before finishing her eighth of the season.
From the start of the second period, BU would seize control of the game, as Cook scored on the power play before Compher grabbed a power play tally of her own. Davis earned the primary assist on both goals while Cook and Compher had the secondary assist on each other’s goals.
Shortly after Compher’s fourth of the season, Schuler sniped one home to put BU up 4-1 with Breanna Scarpaci and Abbey Stanley earning the assists. Compher wasted no time making it a 5-1 game in the third, as she potted her fifth of the season on the power play as Kaleigh Donnelly assisted in her second game back from injury while Davis racked up her third assist of the afternoon – her sixth three-assist effort. Compher’s four points marked just the second such effort of her career.
“The power play has certainly helped quite a bit,” said Durocher. “Our top two lines set the bar really high, and we were able to roll all four lines today. There are a lot of positives to take away.”
In the win, Corinne Schroeder made 21 saves, while Lefranc had 13 saves before Blanka Skodova stepped in to relieve her, stopping three of four shots. With the sweep, the Terriers move to 5-1-0 in their last six games.
“I feel good for both goalies,” Durocher said. “It’s something where the kids have the confidence ever game and know whoever’s in is going to be a good back-wall for the team.”
After a strong performance against Harvard on Tuesday, Compher’s followed up with an even stronger weekend, posting 5-3-8 over the three games. As for Davis, the redshirt senior captain has a goal and four assists in her last three games.
“Sammy [Davis] and Jesse [Compher] may make the prettier plays, but thankfully they’re as hard of workers as anybody out there,” Durocher said of his stars’ performances.
Schuler extended her point streak to five games, racking up five goals and three assists in that span. Elia and De Sousa’s point streaks were snapped, but the second line as a whole has combined for 21 points over the last six games.
[The second line] really grinds you away down low and on the walls before getting their chances around the net,” Durocher noted.
BU will return to action after the Thanksgiving break, with a home-and-home set with BC in yet another chapter of the Battle of Comm. Ave. The Terriers will host the first game of the series on Friday Dec. 6, beginning at 7:00 pm.