DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Wildcats (0-2, 0-2) have started their season off slow thanks to the Boston University (BU) Terriers (2-0, 2-0). The Terriers and the Wildcats played a home-and-home series over the weekend at the Whittemore Center and the Walter Brown Arena.
Game one started off with a bang where both teams combined for three goals in the first six minutes. First-year forward Kira Juodikis scored her first goal as a Wildcat just 22 seconds into the game to give UNH a 1-0 lead. This was the quickest goal for UNH since the 2009-2010 season.
Their lead did not last long as the junior defender Mackenna Parker scored a top shelf goal to tie the game up in the fourth minute. The exciting first period continued when sophomore defender Charli Kettyle assisted Juodikis for her second goal of the night.
UNH head coach Hilary Witt was thrilled with Juodikis’ performance both in the game and all off-season.
“[Juodikis] has a lot of confidence and fun when she plays, so she is just an all-around really good player. We expect that she is going to keep getting better,” said Witt. “She has a great work ethic, and she wants to be great.”
The Terriers tied the game up just over two minutes into the second period when senior forward Courtney Correia netted a high shot. About 10 minutes later, BU took their first lead of the game following a power play goal by junior forward Julia Nearis in the 13th minute. She was assisted by Correia.
UNH pulled senior goaltender Ava Boutilier with 1:24 remaining in the 3rd period. However, the Terriers took advantage of the open net and senior defender Alex Allan scored from mid-ice to make the final score 4-2 in the first game of the season
Coach Witt said that she thought her team played well but expressed that they needed to finish more opportunities and get more pucks in the net.
Game two had a different response from coach Witt.
“I thought we played the complete opposite, I thought we played really bad. We didn’t play with any pace, we got beat to the pucks, and we just didn’t play the way you need to play in order to have success in this league. So, we have to fix that.”
BU put the puck in the UNH net five unanswered times in game two. The scoring started in the first period when senior forward Emma Wuthrich scored her first goal of the season in the 18th minute. This was after the Terriers outshot the Wildcats 16-5 in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
First-year forward Kylie Roberts and sophomore defenseman Julia Shaunessy scored goals about a minute apart in the seventh and eighth minutes of the second period. Then Parker extended the lead to 4-0 in the 15th minute with an unassisted goal.
The final goal of the game was put in the net in the seventh minute of the 3rd period by Nearis to give BU a 5-0 shutout win.
Going into their next game coach Witt expressed that her team needs to have more discipline and be more aggressive to the puck. She reiterated that once they fix those things, they will be in good shape.
The ‘Cats return to action Oct. 8 when they travel to Providence College for a 2 p.m. game.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Yourell