Tonight, Corinne Schroeder will take the crease for Boston University in the Beanpot final for the third straight year.
As a freshman in 2018, Schroeder experienced the heartbreak of coming within reach of the Beanpot before falling to Boston College, 4-3, in overtime. The feeling has stuck with Schroeder, who remained frozen in the crease at Conte Forum for what felt like an eternity after conceding the winning goal.
“Losing, it really sucks, but I definitely learned from it my freshman year,” Schroeder said. “It helps me be a little more focused and ready for the game”
Last season, Schroeder and the Terriers were finally able to get the monkey off their backs, winning the Beanpot for the first time since 1981, and for the first time as a varsity program.
After making 31 saves in the semifinals against Northeastern, Schroeder made 30 saves in the championship game against Harvard, including nine in overtime before redshirt senior captain Sammy Davis scored the game-winner.
“I think just knowing both sides of [winning and losing], I know what it takes to have to win, and you really have to put everything in and go all for it,” Schroeder said.
In last Tuesday’s Beanpot semifinal against BC, the Terriers (20-6-3, 14-6-3 HEAW) skated to a 4-0 shutout, thanks to two third period goals from Compher and 33 saves from Schroeder. As for the Huskies (25-3-1, 21-2-0 HEAW), sophomore forward Alina Mueller had a three-point night (1g, 2a) while Skylar Fontaine and Chloe Aurard each added a goal and an assist in addition to 31 saves for Frankel in the 3-1 victory over No. 10 Harvard.
For BU head coach Brian Durocher, who won the Beanpot twice in 1975 and 1978, and Eberly Trophy as the tournaments best goaltender as a freshman in 1975, knows tonight’s contest is important for more than the obvious reasons.
“The two targets that are in front of us is obviously, you’d like to keep that trophy for another 365 days, and it could be an important Pair Wise game,” Durocher said after the Terriers fell to ninth in the Division I rankings. “[University of Minnesota-Duluth] made a move [up to eighth] this weekend with two wins over Ohio State.”
During this year’s campaign, her third as the starter, the junior goaltender holds a sparkling 1.50 goals-against average (fifth-highest in the nation), a .942 save percentage (sixth), and three shutouts to go along with a 13-5-2 record. In her five total Beanpot contests, Schroeder has saved a total of 148 out of 159 shots, making for a .931 save percentage and 1.98 GAA.
Countering for Northeastern, junior Aerin Frankel is just as capable between the pipes as Schroeder, holding the nation’s second-best GAA (1.08) and tying for the best save percentage (.959). This season, Frankel boasts a 21-3-1 record as well as eight shutouts, the second most in Division I.
“As far as beating [Frankel], that’s a matter of making sure we’re there for rebounds, screens and opportunities,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “Another thing that’s very subtle is that everyone has to make [Frankel] make a save. If we get too cute . . . that’s letting her off the hook.”
Offensively the Terriers are paced by Davis, who has 33 points (14g, 19a) in 29 games, and Compher, who has 10-15-25 totals in 20 games after missing the first nine of the season due to offseason surgery.
For the Huskies, Mueller (20-33-53) and Aurard (18-21-39) have made one of the most dynamic attacking duos in Division I. On the blueline, Fontaine (13-17-30) is also scoring at a point per game clip.
“I think we’ve done a good job of neutralizing Aurard and Mueller, but I do worry that they’ll put a few more points on the board,” Durocher said.
The Terriers are coming off the heels of a 5-2 win at Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon in which Compher added a goal and two assists, making for a three-game point streak )3g, 3a) and earning her Hockey East Player of the Week and NCAA First Star of the Week honors.
Meanwhile, the Huskies took down the Merrimack Warriors by a 5-1 final on the road. Mueller chipped in a goal, while Aurard had two helpers.
The Huskies swept the season series with three regulation wins, but BU held Northeastern to no more than two goals in each contest, losing 2-1 twice and 2-0. Two of those losses were when Compher was still out due to injury.
“[Tuesday] is important because you wanna break a [losing] streak [against Northeastern],” Durocher said. “I think it comes down to getting that timely goal that we haven’t gotten in the [season] series so far.”
Last week’s semifinal boasted the highest attendance in Women’s Beanpot history, with a final count of 1,230. Schroeder can feel the support the team is getting on campus.
“All of BU Athletics is behind us,” she said.
Puck-drop between the Huskies and Terriers is scheduled for 8:00 pm at Walter Brown Arena, barring any delay from the consolation game between BC and Harvard. Be sure to keep up with WTBU’s live coverage of both games, including myself and Daniel Multz’s call of the championship on Mixlr.