By Claire Smieszny
Boston University Women’s Ice Hockey (1-2-1, 0-2-0 HE) pulled out a redeeming 6-1 win against the Syracuse University Orange (3-5-1, 0-0-0 CHA) on Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena.
After a string of losses despite outshooting opponents, the wait was worth it according to sophomore forward Sydney Healey. “For us to finally get that rewarding feeling of a win and get to play our win song was just so awesome,” she said.
The game started off with tensions high on both sides, after Syracuse pulled off a close win in a shootout against the Terriers on Friday night (though the game went into the standings as a draw). BU’s frustration with the ending was clear, as they had dominated most of the game and almost doubled Syracuse in shots with the final count coming to 38-20.
The first period saw some aggressive play from the Terriers, including two heavy hits against Syracuse, as freshman forward Alex Law took Orange graduate defenseman Rachel Teslak head-first into the boards. Another came from sophomore forward Clara Yuhn as she leveled freshman forward Nea Tervonen. Both of these resulted in minor penalties.
Despite going down a man more often than not in the first, BU maintained good pressure in Syracuse’s end of the ice. Their play earned them fifteen shots on goal in the period, along with their first goal.
Healey went in on the forecheck for the Terriers, stole a sloppy pass across the net by the Orange and was alone all in front of graduate goaltender Allie Kelley. Catching Kelley by surprise, Healey was able to put it away and get the Terriers up 1-0 13:39 into the first. For the rest of the period and most of the second, BU dominated in Syracuse’s end.
The second period is where BU’s play really picked up. The Terriers started the period on the tail end of a power play, and their ability to control the game with the man advantage carried on after the Orange returned to full strength. Through the first eight minutes of play in the period, the Terriers notched fourteen shots compared to two from Syracuse.
Despite these chances, the Orange were first on the board in the second. The goal came from graduate defenseman Kailey Langefels, who was able to stickhandle through BU’s defense and slide the puck between BU freshman goaltender Mari Pietersen’s pads.
Syracuse’s equalizer didn’t last, as BU went on the power play shortly after and their siege on Kelley continued. With a couple shots in quick succession, sophomore forward Luisa Welcke was able to capitalize off a feed from her twin sister, sophomore forward Lilli Welcke, who found her stick in front of the net.
Syracuse gave themselves a fighting chance to get even, but Pieterson was rock solid in net, coming out and playing confidently despite a hard loss in net on Friday.
However, any hopes for the Orange of leveling things up again were crushed when BU freshman forward Alex Law was able to find sophomore forward Clara Yuhn’s pass through two Syracuse defenseman and get it on her stick, leaving her all alone in front of the net for an easy score.
The end of the second period saw BU go up 30-10 in shots on goal, their dominance through the first two periods undeniable despite Syracuse’s best efforts.
Coming into the third period the Terriers had the opportunity to put the game away rather early, and they did just that. Just 1:17 into the period, senior forward Lacey Martin created a two-on-one opportunity with Yuhn by outskating her defender. With the other still focused on covering Yuhn, Martin was able to rip a wrist shot past a defenseless Kelley for BU’s fourth of the game.
The Orange continued to push despite being down by three, but as time wound down their play became less coordinated. Frustrations seemed to arrive with the lack of production for Syracuse, and it showed through some sloppy play, such as a penalty on sophomore Heidi Knoll that put BU on the power play for yet another goal.
Healey was able to put up another for the Terriers, getting control of graduate defenseman Nadia Mattivi’s shot and tucking it in.
By the last BU goal, the Orange’s disconnect was showing. Foulem, along with two teammates, were able to situate themselves in front of the net and pass it around until a lucky bounce off a Syracuse skate put it past a tiring Kelley.
“We’ve been proud of how we’ve been playing, but a lot of fun to celebrate the win” head coach Tara Watchorn said. “Every single person was involved in our success.”
BU will now shift their focus to next weekend up north in Orono, as they face off against Hockey East competition in the University of Maine Black Bears. The games will take place on Friday at 6pm and Saturday at 4pm, with both available to stream on ESPN+.