UNH women’s hockey opened the season on Friday hosting Boston College at the Whittemore Center before heading on the road the following afternoon for a game at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill. The Wildcats dropped each of their first two games by finals of 6-2 and 4-1 to the Eagles.
The two sides were tied up until a second period four-goal barrage gave BC a 3-1 lead. The scoring was started by first-year BC forward Gaby Roy. The Eagles went on to score the final two goals of the period after UNH tied the score at 1-1. The third goal came from senior forward Willow Corson followed by another goal from Roy.
First-year Wildcat forward Brianna Brooks scored the team’s lone goal of the period for her first career collegiate goal late in the second frame.
The third period began with a goal from sophomore UNH forward Jada Christian to bring the score within one. BC answered with Roy’s third goal of the afternoon to complete the hat trick. The Eagles packed it on after that scoring again this time by way of junior defenseman Jillian Fey. Roy scored an empty net goal after the Wildcats elected to pull junior Ava Boutilier from the net.
Roy gave the Wildcats issues all night long, but UNH head coach Hilary Witt noted that the team had to pay attention to the other skaters as well.
“We can’t key in on just one player,” said Witt. “They’ve got a lot of great players who can all score.”
The Wildcats couldn’t let the loss linger for long as they had to travel to Chestnut Hill to play BC the following day in a rematch of Friday’s game.
On Saturday the Wildcats out-shot the Eagles in the first period 12-8 but fell to the Eagles by a final score of 4-1. The Wildcats came out strong on the offensive front but were unable to produce goals as BC scored three times in the first period.
The Eagles’ first two goals came one after the other beginning with junior forward Savannah Norcross at the midpoint of the first period. Fey added another goal before an answer by sophomore UNH forward Tamara Thierus to cut the deficit in half. Sophomore forward Hannah Bilka scored yet another for the Eagles before the end of the first period leaving the Wildcats down 3-1.
UNH didn’t score another goal and BC scored one more to win by a final of 4-1. This was the second loss for the Wildcats in as many days.
The Wildcats ended the game only being outshot 33-30. Boutilier recorded 29 saves in the effort and showed why she’s the team captain.
Coach Witt noted, “Ava’s used to getting a lot of shots. She hangs in there and she’s tough enough to face a lot of shots.”
Witt remains confident that her team will be able to bounce back, explaining that the team needs to be able to take advantage of offensive opportunities.
“We just need to get more shot on goal and get offensive chances,” said Witt.
She was adamant that despite the loss, the morale of the team is good and they’re looking forward to their next matchup against Holy Cross on Nov. 27 at the Hart Center in Worcester, Mass. The Wildcats will look to bounce back and get a win under their belt on Friday.
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Bronner