The No. 5 Boston University women’s hockey team lost to the University of New Hampshire Friday night in Durham, N.H., and extended its winless streak to three games.
BU (7–3–1, 3–2–1 Hockey East) came into the game after a wild matchup against Boston College that ended in a 5–5 tie. It was the second consecutive game the Terriers were unable to come out with a victory over BC.
UNH (4–7, 2–2 Hockey East) was having struggles of its own coming into the game, having suffered losses in its last six contests. BU coach Brian Durocher said those losses do not reflect UNH’s skill.
“[UNH had] losses to … all teams that have been or were previously or still are in the top 10 or 12 in the country,” Durocher said. “Those are some quality teams they played against and they made a good number of them close games.”
The Wildcats kept the game close right from puck drop. The game remained scoreless until freshman defenseman Alexis Crossley put the puck past senior goaltender Alissa Fromkin 13:07 into the opening period to get UNH on the board first.
The goal was Crossley’s fifth of the season, which ties her for ninth in Hockey East in goals and first on the Wildcats.
The score remained 1–0 until early in the second period when junior forward Arielle O’Neill scored a power-play goal to extend UNH’s lead to two.
Forward Kristina Lavoie earned her seventh assist of the season on the play, which leads UNH and ranks her seventh in Hockey East, tied with several others. It was also her 10th point of the season, which makes her the Wildcats’ leading point-getter and 13th in Hockey East in points.
Just 10 seconds after the power-play goal, forward Jessica Hitchcock scored to put BU in a 3–0 hole 1:18 into the second period.
Durocher said the deficit came as a result of a reliance on talent.
“We aren’t being very hard to play against right now,” Durocher said. “We are relying on talent rather than combining the two.”
But the Terriers did not go down easily. After 9:20 into the second period, junior defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin got BU on the scoreboard when senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuck and sophomore forward Kayla Tutino broke out into an odd-man rush and Fratkin was there to finish it off.
About four minutes later, the Terriers struck again. Senior forward Isabel Menard fed the puck to Louise Warren, who ripped a shot past goaltender Jenn Gilligan to decrease BU’s deficit to one goal.
The assist was Menard’s 15th point of the season, which puts her behind only junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin (16) for the team lead in points.
The goal was Warren’s fourth in two games, continuing her hot streak.
“[Warren] is somebody who plays very hard,” Durocher said. “She is a great forechecker, fearless along the walls and going to the net. It all adds up to puck possession for her and her line.”
However, Warren’s goal did not spark the comeback that the Terriers were looking for, as they failed to get the equalizer despite having almost a period and a half to do so.
One of BU’s best chances at tying the game came midway through the third period. Fratkin forced a turnover and had a breakaway, but her shot was saved as she was slashed. BU was given a power play, but Fratkin was not awarded a penalty shot.
Durocher said he thought the call could have gone either way.
“[It was] a bang-bang situation and the ref blew the whistle quick. Some nights the ref blows the whistle slower than other nights,” Durocher said. “Nobody is blaming the officials.”
Once the Wildcats iced the game with an empty-net goal late in the third period, the Terriers were defeated, 4–2.
Durocher said the team has to improve its effort if it wants to start winning games again.
“We gave up a little bit too much because we weren’t hard to play against defensively,” Durocher said. “We have to decide as individuals and as a team whether we want to start playing harder and winning games.”