Women’s Hockey: Terriers’ slow start leads to loss v. UNH

Featured Photo: Claire Guest

By Justin Davids

Looking to gain ground in the Hockey East standings, Boston University women’s hockey (4-2-1, 3-2-0 HE) dropped the first of two games against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (5-6-1, 3-4-1 CHA) 4-2 at Walter Brown Arena. 

“The team at the back half of that game was us. We’ve just got to put it together for 60 minutes,” said coach Tara Watchorn.

After a quiet first eight minutes of the opening frame, UNH senior forward Chavonne Truter drove in wide to sneak one past BU graduate goaltender Alexa Matses to make it 1-0. 

Immediately preceding Truter’s goal, UNH erupted with a bolt of energy, pouring on shots which continued throughout the period and led to another Wildcat goal scored by junior defenseman Marina Alvarez.

UNH’s persistent offensive attack continued to overwhelm Matses. Wildcat Captain Kira Juodikis fired the puck from the top of the right circle to beat Matses to make it 3-0 UNH.  

With potential to finally get on the score sheet, BU earned their first power-play opportunity of the night. The Wildcats thought otherwise, and tacked on a shorthanded goal to make it 4-0. Coach Watchorn made the decision to pull Matses out of the game after allowing four goals on ten shots. 

“A lot of the time, it’s a combination of everything, but I was trying to give our team momentum so I made the switch,” said Watchorn.

The goalie change ignited a flame on the BU bench. The Terriers finally scored their first goal of the night after senior defenseman Tamara Giaquinto fed sophomore forward Lilli Welcke with a beautiful net-front pass to cut the lead by three. 

BU couldn’t have asked for a worst start to begin their weekend series against the Wildcats. The Terriers needed to sustain better puck possession in the second period if they want to get back in this game, following a largely-sloppy first-frame effort.

The Terriers started the period on the penalty kill, but began to play a better brand of hockey. Following the two-minute minor, the Terriers began to control play in the offensive zone. 

Nevertheless, UNH acquired yet another man-advantage opportunity after BU Captain Nadia Mattivi took an interference penalty. 

The Terriers’ strong defensive play during the Wildcat power-play helped BU escape without allowing another UNH goal. 

BU freshman forward Alex Law’s great set of hands led UNH’s Alvarez to take a five-minute major penalty after she hit Law from behind. The Terriers needed to capitalize on this long power-play opportunity if they wanted to get back into the game. 

Sophomore forward Clara Yuhn ended the BU man-advantage after she took a five-minute major penalty of her own.  

BU killed off the ensuing penalty and responded with a goal from senior forward Catherine Foulem, after she ripped one past UNH freshman goaltender Sedona Blair’s glove-side. 

In the wake of a period filled with very little 5-on-5 action, the Terriers were able to cut the lead in half, only needing two goals to equalize the score. BU is likely to take an aggressive approach in third, given they’re behind. 

Although the score remained the same at 4-2 through the first ten minutes of play, the Terriers produced a high number of quality chances, ringing the post several times.

The Terriers pulled their goalie with five minutes remaining to give them a better chance at evening up the score before time expired. 

BU’s extra-man effort was very solid, developing good offensive zone pressure. However, UNH’s Blair stood tall in net and made some impressive saves to ultimately win the game 4-2. 

Boston University women’s hockey will look to split the weekend series with UNH tomorrow, November 11th at 3PM for the second of two games against New Hampshire. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+