BOSTON — Maine women’s hockey is off to a soaring start.

With a 13-6-3 record, the Black Bears have been strong especially in conference play. The early success is a good learning experience for freshman Taylor Leech of Bowdoinham.

“We’ve been coming together,” she said. “Our communication has been big the past two weeks. Our shots have been on point.”

Leech, who played her high school hockey for Hebron Academy, has been getting an opportunity to play. The defender has skated in nine games and had one of her best games of the season this weekend when she got four shots on goal against Boston University on Saturday.

The Black Bears had a strong showing this weekend, sweeping Boston University on the road, closing out the series with a 3-2 win. Now 7-3-2 in Hockey East play, Maine looks like it might be getting into a rhythm.

“Those are the best,” she said. “When it’s a Hockey East game, we know it. But in every game, we go into it with the same mindset, which is to play as one unit. These were two big games for us.”


Leech also blocked three shots over the weekend. Her playing time has been inconsistent. She hadn’t played since November before this weekend, but now she might be an impact from the blueline, especially after a solid performance.

After experiencing the realm of hockey in Maine, Leech has been a natural fit at the collegiate level when she’s had the opportunity to compete.

On Sunday, she didn’t find the scoresheet, but made plenty of plays on the backline, holding the blueline on Terrier zone entry attempts and blocking shots on the penalty kill.

The Black Bears jumped out early, and while BU knotted it up earlier, Maine started to find a groove and peppered the net. By the time the home team started to turn it on, it was too late for the Terriers.

Tereza Vanisova scored first for the Black Bears just six minutes into the game. Nara Elia notched her fifth goal of the season to knot things up before the Bears were on the board again on the stick of Vanisova.

Jessica Jacques tallied the lone second period goal in a slower frame, and Jesse Compher scored in the third for the only third period score. The Terriers played much better in the final period, but Carly Jackson was too strong in the crease.


Maine totaled 27 shots compared to the 26 from the Terriers, and dominated at the faceoff dot. The Black Bears haven’t lost since November 18th, and have only tied twice in that eight-game stretch.

Next up is another conference match against Merrimack, the first of three straight contests against the Warriors.

The dual wins have the Black Bears in the driver’s seat with the chance to play for a higher conference playoff seed. That’s not lost on the team.

“It was great this weekend,” said Leech. “We knew it was big going in. Our goal was to get two big wins and four points out of it, and that’s what it comes down to. It was a hard fought battle, and we all came together.”

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