Checking on Women’s Hockey
Coach Brian Durocher sees strong potential, some frustration
In the slide show above, the Terriers score a convincing 4-0 win against the University of Vermont on November 11. Photos by Brianna Healy (COM’12).
Few people can say they’ve been to a women’s ice hockey game, let alone a Boston University women’s ice hockey game. Fewer still know that BU’s team, despite a record barely over 500, is ranked among the top five Hockey East teams.
Last year’s Terriers were 18-11-7 and made it to the Hockey East Tournament semifinals. But losing nine seniors and adding eight freshmen makes for a much-changed team.
Head coach Brian Durocher (SED’78) is used to his team playing outside the spotlight, but the women Terriers remain an entertaining force to be reckoned with.
BU Today: How would you define this year’s team?
Durocher: Each year has its own personality, its own little style. We want to be as hardworking as anybody in college hockey. I think we have to be a little more determined, a little more competitive. There is ability here, but we lack depth compared to last year. That being said, I think we have played pretty darn well, with one exception: our penalty killing has been a little short of where we want it to be.
What are practices like?
On the first day of the week, we work on skills. The second day, usually Tuesday, we work on what you could call grunt work — you know, some of the dirty work. And then as we move towards Wednesday and Thursday, we get back to team concepts, making sure the goaltender sees enough pucks, special teams, penalty killing, power play, maybe some face-off plays we want to implement.
How do you think the team will do this season?
I have expectations that are a little higher then our record shows right now. We’ve played games against New Hampshire, Providence, and Boston College, so we have played upper-echelon teams and we’re still a game over 500. But looking at our talent, I feel we’ve let ourselves down a bit from where we could be. This is a team that could be 9-5 right now, instead of 5-4-5; we just haven’t closed the deal in the third period. Little things mean a lot. If it’s one thing one night, another thing the second night, and another thing the third night, all of a sudden you’ve got a couple less wins and a couple more ties. That’s where there’s frustration.
In November, five skaters from the women’s team were named to the Hockey East All-Star Team, the most from any school in the league.
There were eight players who were nominated by coaches, and five ultimately made it as active players; two of them are alternates. Melissa Anderson (CAS’10), Jenelle Kohanchuk (CGS’10), and Tara Watchorn (CAS’12) made the team, and Kasey Boucher (SMG’12) and Lauren Cherewyk (COM’11) are alternates. It’s another statement of the quality of the talent we have here. That’s important.
Does the amount of student support affect the team?
No question that a euphoric fan base clearly helps any team. It’s always been a frustration that we have over 15,000 full-time undergraduates here and no football team or baseball team, so why can’t we get more people at women’s sporting events? These kids play for the love of the game, but they’d embrace it if the band was here, 700 people making a lot of noise instead of 200. So yes, they would love to have those crowds, but they play for the fun of the game. The highest we can aspire is to play for the U.S. National Team and play big games here.
The Terriers’ next home game is Saturday, December 5, at 3 p.m., against the University of Connecticut at Walter Brown Arena. Tickets can be purchased online; for more information, visit the ticket office at 925 Commonwealth Ave., Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 617-353-GOBU (4628).
Nicole Rojas can be reached at email@example.com Comments