In a weekend that saw the No. 7 Boston University women’s hockey team’s captain reach the 100-point mark quicker than any other Terrier, and the team’s starting goaltender stop 38 shots in a single game, the Terriers extended their undefeated streak to six with two ties against the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
“It was two really good hockey games,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “There was a lot of good energy, they played hard and I was certainly impressed with Duluth.”
After traveling out to AMSOIL Arena Friday, the Terriers (11–3–3, 6–2–1 Hockey East) started off the weekend series with a 2–2 tie Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk gave BU an early lead about halfway through the first period when Kohanchuk and junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin skated down the ice on a 2-on-1. Poulin slid Kohanchuk the puck from the right side, allowing Kohanchuk to slide the puck by Bulldog netminder Kayla Black.
From that point on, neither team scored until the third period, when Duluth (7–8–3) defenseman Brigette Lacquette tallied her sixth goal of the season to tie the game. The Bulldogs took the lead 13 minutes later on a goal by forward Zoe Hickel.
That lead would not last long, however, as senior defenseman Kathryn Miller scored her first goal of the season just over a minute and a half later to tie the game. Senior co-captain Jill Cardella connected with fellow co-captain Poulin, who then sent the puck over to Miller.
With the assist, Poulin tallied her 100th career point as a Terrier.
While Poulin is not the first Terrier to reach the 100 mark, she is the fastest to reach the plateau as she did so in just 58 games.
“It’s great for her, and it’s another accomplishment that she has in her great hockey résumé,” Durocher said. “I’m sure she deflects some of the credit to Jenelle and to [freshman forward] Sarah Lefort and her teammates here, but we all know she’s an outstanding player that helped to get a tie there in the first game of the series.”
Little did the Terriers know that Saturday’s 2–2 tie would involve all of the scoring for the weekend, as BU and the Bulldogs competed to a 0–0 tie Sunday.
“We probably stole a point [Sunday],” Durocher said. “I like the fact that our team competed really hard [on Sunday] and defended hard.”
The Terriers faced some of their biggest challenges in the first period when junior goaltender Kerrin Sperry stopped a shot from the crease and senior forward Isabel Menard blocked a shot on a picked up rebound.
“They end up with a couple of unbelievable chances,” Durocher said of Duluth. “One goal could have meant a whole bunch tonight early in the game because it might have lead to a second or third one.”
Sperry went on to stop 38 shots in the game, which ties the regular-season record she set against Boston College earlier this season. She also earned her second shutout of the year.
“We needed Kerrin to make every one of the 38 saves she made tonight,” Durocher said. “She was spot-on strong.”
Although the Terriers gave up 38 shots to their 19, Durocher said he did not think that BU struggled defensively.
“It didn’t quite feel like 38 shots, but that’s what the total said at the end,” Durocher said. “We had to sneak out of there with a couple of one-point games.”
As for the Terriers offense, the team struggled to get shots on Black.
BU, which was led by Poulin with five shots in the game, only mustered up 19 shots on goal.
The Terriers also struggled at the faceoff dot, as none of its centers had a faceoff percentage above 50 percent.
Poulin led the Terriers in that category as well, winning 9-of-19 draws in the game. The only Terrier to win more faceoffs than she lost was Lefort, who won the only draw she took.
While Duluth has struggled at times this season, Durocher said he still expects the Bulldogs to be one of the top teams by the end of the season.
“Duluth is a team that’s going to be reckoned with before it’s all said and done,” Durocher said. “Between them and Minnesota and Wisconsin they got all the national titles. They’ve been off to a little bit of a slow start for them, but I could see them getting a bit of a confidence boost in the second half.
“You probably like these two ties then more than you do now,” Durocher added.