Women’s Hockey: Terriers falter late, drop second game to No. 5/7 Northeastern

By Joe Eachus

In a back-and-forth battle with the reigning Hockey East champions, Boston University women’s hockey (0-2-0, 0-2-0 HE) fell to No. 5/7 Northeastern (5-1-0, 2-0-0 HE) 2-0 Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena.

Despite the result, BU showed marked improvement on both ends compared to last season, tallying 31 shots on net and going perfect on the penalty kill.

“Our culture, our on-ice play, the goals we had for ourselves coming out of preseason, we’re exactly where we want to be and there are exciting times ahead,” coach Tara Watchorn said.

Right off the opening draw, the Terriers attacked Huskies goaltender Gwyneth Philips, as freshman forward Alex Law fired a shot nine seconds in that was blockered away by the All-American goalie. Less than a minute passed before sophomore forward Luisa Welcke had a golden opportunity off a rebound, but Philips was able to recover in time to make the stop.

Yet another scoring chance came for BU just past the eight-minute mark of the first, when captain Nadia Mattivi’s shot landed right in front of the crease and senior forward Lacey Martin failed on the second-chance opportunity. Philips made a sprawling save to keep things scoreless.

BU graduate goaltender Alexa Matses, who transferred from Northeastern over the summer, impressed in her return to Matthews. She stopped all 12 shots faced in the first period, and finished 28-for-30.

“I told her before the game, ‘I believe in [you]’. Whether it was breakaways, 2-v-0’s, we threw a lot at her and she definitely kept us in the game,” said Watchorn.

In the second frame, penalties rained down, with five combined between the two squads. BU’s first opportunity came on a holding penalty to NU’s Megan Carter, but Christina Vote would be called for interference away from the play 30 seconds in to negate the power play chance. BU would go a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill in the game.

“We’re getting that buy-in, we’re gonna have an aggressive PK. I asked them to buy in and know that that’s gonna be the foundation for how we have success all season,” Watchorn said.

Chaos ensued five minutes into the second, as a redirected shot from Lilli to Luisa Welcke bounced off the shoulder of Philips towards the goal line. NU freshman defender Riley Jones dove into the crease as the puck was inches from going into the net, and Philips was able to get her stick back to send the puck away from danger.

As the teams headed into the third still deadlocked, NU senior Payton Anderson found the puck in between the hashmarks and fired it past Matses with fifteen minutes to go in regulation.

As time ticked down for the Terriers, Watchorn opted to pull Matses early for the extra attacker. Despite sustained effort on the offensive end, an awkward bounce off the skate of BU senior Tamara Giaquinto allowed the Huskies to break towards the empty net, with NU sophomore Lily Shannon sealing the deal from the neutral zone.

BU will have next weekend off before hosting the Syracuse Orange at Walter Brown on October 20th and 21st. Both games will be available for streaming on ESPN+.