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Women's Hockey: Resiliency key for Wildcats

By Greg Laudani, Staff Writer

Despite their 4-2 loss to Boston University on Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats displayed their stubbornness. UNH showed its resilience and ability to stay together during a game filled with frustrating moments.

Trailing 2-0 in the first, UNH forward Amy Schlagel showed that her team had not lost its competitiveness. Schlagel made it 2-1 with a power play goal with a wrister from inside the right circle. Just like that, the Wildcats were back in the game.

But just 13 seconds later, BU’s Victoria Bach extended the Terriers’ lead to 3-1. BU recaptured momentum.

UNH head coach Hilary Witt spoke about the quick turn of events that worked against her team.

“It was incredibly frustrating because we had done a good job on the power play to get it to 2-1 and feeling pretty good,” Witt said. “Then to let up a goal that quickly was frustrating.”

The Wildcats stayed composed despite their frustration. Schlagel said that she did not lose confidence after BU quickly answered her goal. Following the loss, the freshman spoke about what went through her mind during a difficult time in the game.

“I knew it was going to be a back-and-forth game,” Schlagel said. “They [BU] have so much talent and you can’t give them anything. We obviously did on that goal. But you can’t get down because we could score on them just as quickly as they could score on us.”

The loss marked UNH’s seventh straight against the Terriers, including a pair of road losses on Nov. 2 and Nov. 23. Even so, the Wildcats did not cave when things continued to go BU’s way.

Amy Boucher, who scored in the second period for UNH, said she was proud of how her team handled adversity against BU. Following the loss, Boucher spoke about the way the Wildcats focused on encouraging each other.

“When you get down by a couple of goals, everyone can kind of start attacking each other,” Amy Boucher said. “We didn’t let that happen. If someone makes a mistake, we have to give them helpful advice and not bring them down.”

The Wildcats controlled play for the remainder of the first and most of the second period. UNH generated promising scoring chances and appeared dominant with crisp puck movement and crashing the BU net for rebound opportunities.

“I thought we responded great,” Witt said. “To hold them to only one goal after that and to get back into the game, I thought we played great.”

Boucher made a statement soon after the Wildcats came out for the start of the second period. Just 47 seconds into the frame, the freshman camped in the low slot and waited for an opportunity. Hannah Armstrong threw a shot on net that deflected off BU goalie Erin O’Neil’s pads and went right to Boucher. Boucher gathered the puck and lifted one past O’Neil to narrow the score to 3-2.

Boucher’s goal showcased her team’s resilient personality. And although the Wildcats could never fully recover from their two-goal deficit, Boucher was proud of how her team battled back. She said that going down 3-1 “definitely” halted UNH’s momentum at the time, but Boucher also said her team “didn’t let it get us down.”

The team’s mental toughness against BU is what has helped define UNH’s resilient personality all season long.

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