Terriers beat UNH 3-1 for first regulation win since Nov. 19 – The Boston Hockey Blog

Photographed by Caroline Fernandez

The Boston University women’s hockey team (8-15-2, 7-12-2 Hockey East) concludes their New England road trip with a game against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (9-18-0, 7-13-0 HE ) today. In the afternoon at Whitmore Center where they won 3-1.

The Terriers took an extra point with them from their game against the Maine Black Bears at Alfond Arena, while the Wildcats had a showcase against the No. 15 Boston College Eagles with a 5-3 victory that featured a hat trick from junior forward Brianna Brooks. .

The Wildcats’ offensive forecheck killed BU’s chances to get into the offensive zone, making it easier for the home team to get on the board first. UNH built momentum early and used their effective breakouts to get ahead of both Julia Nearis and Claire O’Leary. Brooks’ initial shot bounced off graduate goaltender Andrea Brandley and was picked off by sophomore forward Kira Zuodikis for an easy lead three minutes into the game.

Brandley, who appears to have secured the role as the primary starter, started the night against Maine with sophomore Callie Shanahan claiming the crease. Making his first start since Dec. 9, Shanahan made 27 saves, including some huge stops, in the five-minute overtime and shootout win, but returned to the bench for the game against the Wildcats. Consistency may be good for Brandley, but UNH’s goal was their second shot of the afternoon.

Four minutes after the goal, freshman Maeve Kelly went into the box on a slashing call to give the Wildcats an early advantage. UNH ranks seventh in the nation on the power play with a 23% conversion rate, but the Terriers, who rank 37th in the nation in their penalty kill, were able to stifle any Wildcat chances.

Minutes later, however, the tide turned in the Terriers’ favor when freshman Clara Yuhan drew a penalty from senior Tamara Thieras to check along the board with 4:04 to play. 26 seconds later, junior blueliner Kayla Bent joined Thieras on a cross-checking call, giving BU more than 90 seconds to capitalize on a five-on-three, and they did.

At 1:46 five-on-three, freshman Brook Disher was able to break past veteran netminder Nicky Harnett. Yuhan’s initial pass was intercepted by Catherine Fulham waiting at the top of the crease, and through the chaos, Disher was able to lift the puck over the scrambling Hornets for the equalizer.

Disher tied the game at one 26 seconds later, and O’Leary put BU ahead with another power-play goal. Senior captain Nadia Mattivi tried to break past two Wildcat defenders across the blueline and lost the puck, only for O’Leary to scoop it up and cross the Hornet, five-hole.

Junior forward Madison Cardassi picked up an interference call late in the first and gave UNH a chance to start with an extra attacker, but BU’s PK was perfect with the better defensive play on the night. The Terriers seemed to find their stride through the second frame with most of the possession – despite equal penalties for roughing UNH’s Chavonne Truter and BU’s Sydney Healey.

Although BU has been struggling recently, it seems the team is finally starting to get things going. Shooting the puck was an area that Mattivi addressed before the season started and it seemed, despite the lead, the main part of the Terriers’ game that needed improvement against UNH.

While neither goal was a fluke, BU’s lead came to two shots between their 11- and 40-minute total, and compared to UNH’s 21, it didn’t really make sense for BU to walk away with the win (but thankfully, they did).

The Terriers held onto their lead throughout the third, playing one of, if not their, most cohesive defensive games of the season. Brandley held down the fort for his team, but for the first time, the other blueliners on his squad also stepped up to help him out. Matvey and Disher in particular played complete games, poking the Wildcats’ sticks and helping the Terriers clear the zone.

Even with an extra attacker, the Terriers were able to hold off Hockey East’s top power play team for their first regulation win since Nov. 19 against UConn. Brandley’s impressive performance and 30 saves put her group ahead and Clara Yuhan sealed the deal with an empty netter for the final score of 3-1.

The Terriers will play another split weekend series against Merrimack and Vermont, with the Merrimack game on Friday at 7:00 pm and the UVM match on Saturday at 3:00 pm. We’ll continue coverage throughout the week on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog.

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