By Miranda Lemus
With the regular season right around the corner, Boston University Women’s Hockey heads up north to play the McGill University Martlets in an exhibition game. This game marks the second meeting between the Terriers and the Martlets, with the first coming 11 years ago with a 4-3 BU win at Walter Brown Arena. The match-up will not only preview a look at how McGill competes alongside NCAA-level competition, but it will also be the first chance for BU’s 9 newcomers to show their skills.
While the Terriers have yet to compete this season, McGill has already played in two other exhibition games. The Martlets had a lackluster showing in their first game of the season, losing 7-0 to the Bishop’s University Gaiters. Following their scoreless performance, McGill won 4-0 over the St. Thomas University Tommies. Sophomore forward Sarah-Maude Lavoie was the show’s star, scoring two of the Martlets’ four goals.
Although BU has yet to step on the ice for games this year, there are a lot of question marks going into this transformative season. The biggest being, who will step up between the pipes for the Terriers with junior goaltender Callie Shanahan missing a significant portion of the season?
The battle for the starting job lies between freshman Mari Pietersen and graduate Alexa Matses. Both show promise in net, but neither has enough NCAA experience to make the decision concrete. Pietersen has yet to play at the collegiate level and Alexa Matses only has five NCAA starts under her belt after spending four years at Northeastern University.
Despite not having a concrete first-string goaltender, the Terriers should have no issue creating opportunities with their new star-studded lineup. Sophomore forward Luisa Welcke and sophomore forward Lilli Welcke should immediately impact BU’s lineup.
Transferring from the University of Maine, the Welcke sisters have played alongside each other for years and that won’t change anytime soon. While it remains uncertain who will center the Welckes’, the job will require the center to simply keep up with the fast-paced game the sisters play. Senior forward Lacey Martin seems like she would be fit for the challenge, and will look to prove that as she centers the Welckes in today’s game.
Another set of wingers looking for their missing center puzzle piece are senior forward Catherine Foulem and junior forward Christina Vote. Foulem and Vote have consistently played together over the past two seasons, however, the center spot for their line has never been constant. Last season, the pair played alongside senior captain Madison Cardaci and sophomore forward Clara Yuhn. Both showed that they could play the role, and it should be no surprise if either of them continue to center the dynamic wingers. Yuhn will get the nod between Foulem and Vote this afternoon.
Catch a glimpse of the new and improved Terriers in their exhibition game against McGill on Saturday, Sept. 30, at McConnell Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.