The Boston University women’s hockey team looks to extend its four-game winning streak in a weekend series in Duluth, Minn., against the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9.
The Terriers (11–3–1, 6–2–1 Hockey East) are currently on a hot streak during which they have outscored their opponents 25–10 over the span of five games.
“Offensively, I think we’ve been playing very well to get the goals we’re getting here over this streak,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “It is a good sign. We put a couple of lines together that are playing extremely well.”
Senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk has been a major factor in the Terriers’ recent success. She put up 12 points in the past five games, including seven goals and five assists. Kohanchuk has scored at least one goal in each game of the Terriers’ run.
However, junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin is the leader of the potent BU offense that ranks second in Hockey East with an average of 3.87 goals per game.
She leads the team and is second in Hockey East with 26 points on the season. The Beauceville, Quebec, native also shares a team lead in goals with Kohanchuk and freshman forward Sarah Lefort, all of whom rank sixth in Hockey East with nine goals. Poulin leads the team and Hockey East in assists, as well, with 17.
In BU’s most recent game against Providence College, Poulin was given a point for each of the team’s first four goals. She also got her third-career hat trick, with each of her three goals giving BU a lead en route to a 6–4 victory.
“She’s obviously a very important person on our team,” Durocher said. “To see her get three goals is important because sometimes she’s such a unselfish player that she’ll pass a little bit more than we’d like, and to get three goals, that’s great.”
The Bulldogs (7–8–1), on the other hand, have struggled this season. Despite their strong 2.31 goals allowed per game average, their lack of scoring has let them down. They have a mere average of 2.25 goals scored per game.
Although forward Zoe Hickel has displayed a keen ability to put the puck in the net with a team-leading seven goals on the season, she has not received much help.
The only other player on UMD who comes close to Hickel’s goal total is forward Jenna McParland, who has netted five pucks on the season.
Due to the lack of support on the ice, assists have been a rarity for UMD’s top scorers.
Hickel’s 12 points on seven goals and just five assists leads the team, while McParland’s 11 points on five goals and a mere six assists is the team’s second best point total.
However, BU will have to be on its game in order to get the puck past goaltender Kayla Black, who is the key to UMD’s defensive success.
She is in the midst of an impressive freshman campaign, posting a .921 save percentage and 2.19 goals against average through the first 15 games of her career.
BU junior goalie Kerrin Sperry also has good numbers on the season, posting a .904 save percentage and allowing an average of 2.54 goals per game.
But her stats are not quite as impressive as Black’s, so UMD will look for this small advantage at goaltender to help them get a victory.
“When you get a kid who is a good goaltender and having a real good run, you’ve got to try to get those goals that are near impossible to stop,” Durocher said. “You’ve got to bear down and make a quality shot to beat a good goaltender.”
For the Terriers to continue their winning streak, they will have to continue to play with the scoring prowess that led them to a rousing 5.0 goals per game average over the previous five games while also maintaining a stout defense.
“We’re going to have to go our there and continue to create traffic and continue to give ourselves opportunities and at the same time play real strong defense on our end of the ice,” Durocher said.