By Sasha Abrams
Boston University’s Women’s Hockey (3-8-0, 2-7-0 HE) and No. 13 University of Vermont (8-4-1, 6-2-1 HE) went penalty-for-penalty in what totaled a 17-penalty game in the Catamounts’ 2-1 victory at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday.
“I like the fact we played right to the end. We competed, we had to kill some penalties,” BU Head Coach Brian Durocher said. “It was one of those games that got a little bit crazy with the volume of penalties.”
The Catamounts showed their military appreciation, wearing army green jerseys for Veterans Day.
While BU graduate goaltender Andrea Brändli made 31 saves to finish with a .939 save percentage in the game, the Terriers were unable to match the Catamounts on the shot counter, finishing with 17 shots on goal compared to Vermont’s 33.
“I’m always impressed with how [Brändli] finds pucks that seem to be coming through a really tough screen, and somehow finds them and gets a piece, whether a block or a piece with her glove, a piece with her pad,” Durocher said.
The first period of the game was scoreless, but action filled with BU taking 14 penalty minutes. The Catamounts only saw two power play opportunities out of these three penalties as BU junior forward Catherine Foulem received a 10-minute misconduct, not resulting in a UVM power play.
“I don’t think there was anything intentional, just a situation where I think she was going to flip the puck up to the ref,” Durocher said. “There was a misfire or whatever, it hit the official in the chest and he probably saw it as disrespectful.”
Vermont junior goaltender Jessie McPherson only saw one shot during the first period with the Catamounts leading BU 10-1 in shots on goal in the opening frame.
While the Terriers came out in the second period firing, Vermont junior forward Natalie Mlynkova opened the scoring at 12:44 with a power play goal to make it 1-0. Mlynkova’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by senior forward Lily Humphrey and graduate forward Corinne McCool.
“We’ve got to make sure we continue to take away the middle of the rink. Maybe try to slow them down on initial rushes,” Durocher said. “I want to see if we can maintain a little more puck possession because that can be some of your best defense.”
It didn’t take long for the Terriers to respond with a power play goal of their own at 13:45. Freshman forward Sydney Healey potted her fourth career goal to tie the game at 1-1 in a scramble in front of the net.
“[Healey] did it on the power play in that scenario where she saw the hole,” Durocher said. “But also, she’s been a good quick release type of shot from the slide and Julia Nearis found her a couple of times.”
The Catamounts were given one more power play opportunity with 2:08 left in the period because BU had too many players on the ice. While the penalty was killed, it gave Vermont additional shots on goal, finishing the period with a 19-8 lead and a 29-9 advantage through 40 minutes.
BU got a penalty off the start of the third period, and Mlynkova scored her second power play goal at 1:54 to give the Catamounts a 2-1 lead. The eighth power play goal BU has given up this season put Mlynkova tied as the team’s points leader with graduate forward Theresa Schafzahl, who picked up the assist for the goal along with graduate defender Sini Karjalainen.
The teams saw more 5-on-3 and 4-on-4 action throughout the rest of the period with BU taking five more penalties and Vermont taking three. In the final minute of the game, BU had a chance with a late power play, but the Catamounts held on for the 2-1 victory.
“We pulled the goalie to have a 6-on-4, but we couldn’t quite get puck position like we wanted,” Durocher said.
The Terriers will face the Catamounts in the second half of the back-to-back Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m.