By David F. Pendrys
NEW HAVEN, CT – In non conference play Yale hosted Boston University on Thursday night. Despite each team putting 32 shots on net, the Terriers had he upper hand on the score sheet tallying 5 goals to Yale’s 2. A hat trick by Victoria Bach capped by an empty netter off her stick set the tone for BU on the day, though Abbey Stanley chipped in with her second goal of the season to stifle a Yale comeback in the third. Bach, the Metropolitan Riveters draft pick, continues to lead the nation in goals after posting her 18th through 21st.
Greta Skarzynski had her 7th goal of the season to try to spark a Bulldogs rally, and Emma Vlasic had her fifth of the year. Corrine Schroeder made 30 saves in another solid performance in net for BU. Yale’s Kyra O’Brien made 27 saves.
“I thought it was a pretty even horse race, other than Victoria Bach. She kinda separated the game in our favor,” BU Head Coach Brian Durocher said. “But I give credit to both teams for how scrappy they played, how hard they played, and again we had a couple that squeaked over the line and made a difference in the game.”
“I think it was just our game plan, coming out using our speed, trying to create some two on ones, and really pressuring their defense, and I think that’s what we did today,” Bach said of the team’s approach to their rare opponent.
In a game where only two penalties were called, each team paid for it as each gave up a power play goal when down a skater. In the first period, Bach struck on the power play after skating into a swarm of Yale defenders and sending it into the net anyway quickly. Nara Elia and Rebecca Leslie picked up assists on the first tally.
A few minutes later Bach led the Terriers into the zone, and skillfully passed it to Stanley in front, who then sent it back to Bach at O’Brien’s right. Despite Yale defenders being in place it was effectively a breakaway and Bach flipped the puck over the keeper. Mary Grace Kelley also had an assist.
Almost 20 minutes later in the second Bach broke free into the open and was alone in on O’Brien. She had all the room she needed to skate across the front and flip it into the net.
BU’s only penalty kill went Yale’s way as Greta Skarzynski again from her perch up top smacked a puck past the goalie to give the Bulldogs life at 1:36 in the third. Mallory Souliotis and Emma Vlasic picked up assists on the cycling play.
“They moved the puck over to the right side and they slid it to the kid at the top of the umbrella who just screamed one off the crossbar. You could hit it that hard and have it go in a lot of places, but have it go in off the crossbar, that gives them life that gives them some momentum,’ Durocher explained.
Vlasic then made things interesting at 15:21 when she sent up a shot from the Schroeder’s left. The keeper thought she had it, but instead it ended up behind her to make the game 3-2. Skarzynski and Saroya Tinker picked up assists in keeping the puck moving for the eventual tally.
“I thought Corinne had that, and it just dropped out of her glove and johnny on the spot popped it in and put it away,” Durocher said.
Stanley delivered the dagger at 18:24 though when she shot it at O’Brien and in an ironic twist the Yale keeper also thought she had it, only to learn she did not. Assists went to Breanna Scarpaci and Leslie.
“[Scarpaci] made a good D to D pass…we initially spread out their team so that created more time and space for me,” Stanley outlined. “I took it down the wall, didn’t really see too many options…girls on our side were moving, was able to create some lanes for me to skate a little bit and get a shot off.”
Yale Head Coach Joakim Flygh decided to pull the goalie as a last ditch effort, but Bach ended up with the puck in the BU end and she maneuvered out and carefully sized up an angle to bury the empty netter.
Bach led BU with 8 shots, Kelley had 4, Jesse Compher, Natasza Tarnowski, Leslie, and Stanley had 3 apiece. For Yale, Tess Dettling led Yale with 6, Skarzynski and Kirsten Nergaard had 5, and Vlasic and Yetman had 3.
Reagan Rust had 2 blocks for BU, Scarpaci, Abby Cook, and Compher had 1 each. Yetman had 3 blocks for Yale, Souliotis, and Laura Anderson had 1 apiece.
Stanley came the Terriers way as a former member of the North Dakota program before it was cut. She spoke positively of her transition to the new program and the different style of play.
“My teammates have been great in my transition over, they’ve supported me through it all. Hockey East is a little bit more finesse, a little more skating, which obviously favors me as a skating defensemen. So I’ve loved the transition, absolutely,” Stanley said.
Bach becomes the fastest Terrier in program history to reach 20 goals in a season and the only Terrier to score 20 goals in all four of her seasons. It’s also only December. Leslie has had eight straight multi-point games, the longest streak in the nation.
“Obviously it feels great to get all those [accolades[, but I really think that it goes out to my teammates and I think that we’re really starting to play well,” Bach said. “I’m definitely looking forward to the new year and hoping we can keep playing the way we’re playing going into the new year.”
Yale while taking the loss did show a lot of offensive chances. Finishing continues to be an issue, but the chances were also coming from some of the newer players who have been integrating themselves into the offense. The Bulldogs have far more weapons now than at the beginning of the season even without Eden Murray in the lineup. Defensively it is hard to judge as Bach did a lot of damage, but the Elis did shut down several other opportunities. On the other hand, three of the BU goals did come from right in front of the Yale net. The Bulldogs both looked improved compared to some other fast moving offenses they’ve faced, but the score still was not what they would have hoped no doubt.
“Throughout the course of the game, they had opportunities,” Durocher said of the Bulldogs. “Maybe there wasn’t the finish there, or there wasn’t one kid you look at and say there’s a Bach or there’s a Leslie, but I tip my hat to them because they were solid, consistent, and deep enough to generate opportunities.”
Just as Yale has grown throughout the season with its ups and downs, BU has rebounded from a 1-5 start.
“We’ve had such a funny run with injuries tonight five kids…not here…we knew two of them who were out for the season, but to add three more, it takes away some of your volume, it puts people in accelerated roles,” Durocher explained. “After a less than perfect start…we’ve actually played a really nice run of ten or eleven games here. The only game I’d absolutely positively like to get back was our second game with RIT when we put 50 something shots on, but lost 2-1 in OT on a penalty shot.
Coach Durocher continued his thought delving into what BU had to do moving forward as there is a lot of hockey left awaiting the Terriers in 2018.
“…we just have to find ways to get over the hump. The best way for us to do that I think is to get a second wave of goal scorers. And we’re working on it…there are people like Jess Compher, Kristina Schuler, and Nara Elia, Natasza Tarnowski that could assist us, and others, a couple that are injured. Nina Rodgers come to mind…Again, they haven’t quite gotten it done in that regard and it puts extra pressure on Rebecca and Victoria, but if that can happen I think we’ve got enough going on in the back end…we’ve had a pretty solid run from Corinne Schroeder in net and you know you’ve got a couple kids who can score against anybody. If we can get a little bit of a second wave it would be real benefit to the back half of the year.”
“We’ve always had the potential…” Stanley said as well. “it’s just a matter of putting pucks in the back of the net. Obviously Victoria Bach, Becca Leslie have stepped up and kind of made us do that a little bit more. I think girls especially today with some injuries were able to step into some roles and again keep it rolling. It wasn’t our best game, but the fact we were able to pull through and get that win shows a lot about our character.”
In the meantime BU has Bach and Leslie whom Durocher spoke highly off adding that players like them “are not everywhere in college hockey that’s for sure.”
“It’s pretty awesome to be able to play different teams, not just Hockey East teams,” Bach said. “I think that every game…is a good hard game, they really brought it to us today and I think that we really worked hard.”
As an additional note, the officiating crew was made up entirely of women as Katie Guay and Kelly Cooke were the refs and Michaela Frattarelli and Amanda Tassoni were the linesmen.
Coach Brian Durocher
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(This is a not exhaustive very imperfect list of noticed plays that might not make the score sheet. It is very possible a player has far more of any sort of play than are noticed in the heat of action. It is what it is. Read these more as a player had “at least” what is noted here. Note the language is a bit stilted, I’m trying to figure out how to make the information flow better.)
Had multiple zone entries including for a team scoring chance and one of her own. Kept the puck in the Yale zone, had at least one puck acquisition in the Yale one during a power play. Go to the disc in the neutral zone and brought it into the opposing zone. Had a steal in the defensive end and sent the puck out. Had several zone exits from Terrier country.
Kept the puck inside the Yale blue line at least twice, sent the puck out of the BU zone at another point, also skated the puck from D-zone to O-zone.
Had a zone entry and also came up with the puck several times in the Bulldogs zone. Kept the puck in the zone at least once, and intercepted a Yale pass within their end as well. Additionally skated it out of her own zone a few times including battling the puck across the line.
Had a wide variety of zone entries either producing her own opportunities or some for her teammates. She also had at least 4 instances when she took it from the BU area all the way into Yale territory. She also generated a chance by gaining possession within the Yale end. She also stole the puck in the neutral zone and carried it in. She had several steals in the defensive zone including one that produced a zone exit, and had other zone clears as well.
Had a few zone entries including for a scoring opportunity and also went end to end for another chance.
Had numerous zone entries, and also acquired the puck several times in the defensive end and moved it out one way or another.
Got several biscuits in the BU end and sent them out of danger, also went end to end at least once, and kept the puck from escaping the Yale zone. She also disrupted a Bulldogs scoring chance.
Extricated the puck from the goal mouth at least twice and had multiple clears from the Terrier zone.
Had at least eight even strength zone entries including one where she conveyed the puck from end to end and another zone entry on the power play. She also kept the puck within the zone for a team scoring chance. Had a variety of scoring chances. Defensively also generated several zone exits including when she fought it out.
On several occasions kept the puck within the offensive zone, also had some zone entries as one of her scoring tries came from going end to end. and also initiated several zone exits including after intercepting an opponent’s pass. She also flummoxed a Yale scoring chance and one of their zone entries.
Had several zone entries, and despite no shots had several scoring opportunities including on the power play. Also had one noticed zone exit carried herself.
Had a few zone entries including coming from the Terrier section and setting up a team scoring chance. She also had her own opportunity after carrying the disc in. She also kept the puck within the Yale zone, and at other instances got to the puck inside their end, including for a chance herself. Also either skated or passed the puck out of the BU end several times.
Kept the puck inside the BU end several times for scoring chances, also had at least one noticed zone clear. The notes don’t seem to cover all of her contributions tonight.
Had a few zone entries. On the defensive side collected and sent the puck out from the home zone many times, also fought the puck across the blue line.
While she only had 2 shots, she had at 5 scoring chances, and also had a few zone entries, as well as multiple puck acquisitions in the BU zone. Defensively she set up many evacuations from the Yale zone and took the disc out a few times as well.
Had several zone entries as is her custom including one from the opposite side of the ice, and also came up with the puck several times in the BU end either when it was loose or from at least two steals and an intercepted pass. She also had at least two steals within the D-zone.
Had a bunch of zone entries including for some of her chances and including going end to end at least once, she also came up with the puck within enemy territory many times, including from a steal. Defensively she also got to the puck several times and set up exits.
Had numerous zone entries including for several of her scoring chances. This included at least three times when she went end to end. She also produced opportunities several times from getting to pucks already within the Terrier section. Defensively she removed the puck from Elis territory in various ways.
Produced opportunities with her excursions into the BU end. Also got to another puck in front of the BU net for another chance. Had at least one instance where she launched the biscuit out of Yale country.
Despite no shots had at least one scoring opportunity, and also at least defensive steal.
Generated team scoring chances with zone entries and also at a point where she obtained the puck in the BU area. Had at least five zone exits, sometimes skating out with it, sometimes passing it up. Also disrupted a Terrier zone entry.
Had more scoring chances than shots, including after carrying a puck in that she picked up in the neutral zone, and also from grabbing the disc in the BU end as well plus she went D-zone to O-zone for another chance. Also kept the puck within the enemy zone at least once. Defensively either initiated or sent the puck from the defensive side numerous times.
Her offensive efforts included a zone entry, containing the puck within the zone, getting to the puck in the offensive end and a team scoring chance resulted. She also had a few zone exits defensively and she disrupted a BU setup.
Initiated at least three, if not more, zone clears, and also prevented the puck from leaving the BU zone at one point.
In addition to fighting the puck across the Yale blue line to stop the BU attack, she also went end to end to set up a team scoring chance. She had multiple zone entries in addition to that. She had more scoring opportunities than shots on the day as she also stole the puck from a Terrier to produce a chance too.
Had a few zone entries including for a chance on net. Also kept the puck within the BU area, and she stole the puck from a defender as well to turn the tables on the Terriers.
On at least four instances, if not more, prevented a BU zone exit and generated several chances for herself. Also came up with the puck in the offensive side, and also had at least zone entry. Also disrupted a BU scoring chance. Her defensive contribution was larger than these notes indicate.
Had numerous scoring tries, including after keeping the puck from leaving BU land. She also had a few zone entries including after going end to end. On defensive she initiated or completed several zone exits, and also moved the puck out of the Yale goal mouth at least twice. She also disrupted at least 3 opposing scoring tries, and one of their zone entries.