BOSTON, MA – Junior goaltender Corinne Schroeder was flawless as her 33-save shutout and junior forward Jesse Compher’s two third period goals lifted the No. 8 Boston University Terriers (19-6-3, 13-6-3 HEAW) to a 4-0 Beanpot Semifinals win over the Boston College Eagles (14-11-3, 13-8-2 HEAW) at Walter Brown Arena on Tuesday night. The Terriers will advance to the Beanpot Finals for the third-straight year, this time as defending champions.
“I’m excited about the four goals, that we defended well, and kept [BC] off the board,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said following the game.
The first period got off to a racing start as BU and BC traded chances, with junior forward Nara Elia and redshirt senior captain Sammy Davis combining for an early chance on BC sophomore goaltender Maddie MacArthur before Schroeder was forced to make a strong reactionary stop on BC’s Delaney Belinskas.
Just 6:19 into the proceedings, senior captain Natasza Tarnowski and Davis got the cycle going in the BC zone before Davis fed senior defender Abby Cook at the point, who unleashed a one-timer that found its way through the traffic in front of MacArthur and into the net, giving BU a 1-0 lead.
“I think we knew that we had to come out strong and that they were going to be all over us, so we just had to stick to our game,” Cook said. “I think this shows that we’re good and we just have to keep it up.”
From there, the 1-0 lead held through the end of the second period, but not without Schroeder having to go to work as she faced 21 combined shots in the first 40 minutes. Some of Schroeder’s best work on the night came against Eagles freshman phenom Hannah Bilka, first making a pair of saves in succession on Bilka in the first period before making a strong left-to-right push to deny the Coppell, TX, native on a two-on-one rush.
“The tough [chances] were usually the ones where I couldn’t see the puck,” Schroeder said. “[BC] had good net-front presence, and my defense did a good job to clear them out or at least give me a sightline. They did a great job in front of me, so that really helped.”
Schroeder also came up with a huge stop on Belinskas while BC was on the prowl during a power play late in the first period. The senior collected the puck at the halfwall before wheeling around the facoff circle and whipping a shot on the BU netminder, who flashed the leather to rob Belinskas.
Just 53 seconds into the third period, Compher gave the Terriers insurance as she and Elia combined on a two-on-one rush. Elia led the rush into the offensive zone and flashed great patience with the puck with her head up all the way, looking for her options, before slipping a back-door feed to Compher for the tap-in goal.
2:26 later, Mackenna Parker and Compher combined for some great back-checking pressure, forcing a turnover and allowing Compher to walk in one-on-one before beating MacArthur to the blocker for her second of the game and eighth of the season. With the pair of goals, Compher moved up to six points in five Beanpot contests.
“I kind of blacked out through [the two goals],” Compher said. “The first one, Nara Elia just put it right on my tape so I didn’t have to do much. The second one, I kind of got a burst of speed and I saw some open net and figured ‘why not shoot it?'”
Schroeder and the Terriers were able to withstand a final push from the Eagles, highlighted by a save on Cayla Barnes, who thought she had a wide-open goal to shoot at before was able to push across her crease to make the save through traffic.
With just over two minutes remaining in regulation, BC pulled MacArthur (20 saves) in favor of an extra attacker, but the Eagles were unable to set up in the BU end as Kristina Schuler sent a stretch pass to senior forward Deziray De Sousa, who potted the empty-netter to seal the game for BU and extend her streak to four games in a row with a goal.
“I think that’s a tough outcome,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. ” I thought we played really, really well . . . I thought we gave BU chances and they were able to capitalize, that’s what good teams do.”
With the win and the shutout, Schroeder moves into a tie for second place in all-time wins (43) in program history and now holds the fourth-most shutouts (six) in the program history.
“The kids stayed on the mark,” Durocher said. “As [Schroeder] said, they were there to clear people [out of the front of the net]. knock pucks away and defend pretty hard, that’s been our calling card.”
The Terriers will advance to the Beanpot Finals next Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Walter Brown Arena versus No. 3/2 Northeastern, who beat No. 10 Harvard during the first semifinal matchup on Tuesday, but first, the Terriers will visit Holy Cross this Saturday for a matinee matchup.