The Boston University women’s hockey team returned from a month-long break playing as well, if not better, than it did during the first half of the season.
The No. 5/6 Terriers (12–3–3, 7–2–1 Hockey East) returned to action with a successful showing against the University of Connecticut (3–16–2) at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. on Jan. 8.
The game got off to a slow start, with neither team getting on the board until forward Brittany Berisoff scored at the 16:07 mark of the first period to put Connecticut ahead.
After junior forward Louise Warren tied the game at one goal apiece within two minutes of the start of the second period, the Huskies responded eight minutes later to regain the lead, 2–1.
BU responded with three unanswered goals, the first of which caused momentum to swing in favor of the Terriers.
The goal came off the stick of freshman forward Sarah Lefort — her 10th of the season, pulling her to a tie for the team lead at the time — to tie the game at 2–2 minutes before the end of the second period.
Sophomore forward Kayla Tutino scored her ninth goal of the season just 36 seconds into the final period to give BU its first lead of the game. The lead stuck for the remainder of the game.
BU coach Brian Durocher praised Tutino’s tendency to shoot the puck.
“Kayla is a kid who loves to shoot the puck and go to the net,” Durocher said. “[She will] not only get goals that are nice shots, but she’ll also get grubby goals.”
Senior forward Isabel Menard got her third point (one goal, two assists) of the game with a goal to seal the 4–2 victory for the Terriers 6:56 into the period. Tutino assisted on the play for her third point (one goal, two assists) of the game as well.
The Terriers then traveled to Orono, Me., to take on the University of Maine in back-to-back road games on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13.
In the first game against the Black Bears (3–17–1, 1–10 Hockey East) at Harold Alfond Sports Arena, the Terriers looked as dominant as ever.
They were able to draw first blood and get out to a quick start with an unassisted goal from senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuck 12:28 into the game.
Warren and Menard then displayed their excellent on-ice chemistry for the second consecutive game en route to extending BU’s lead. Less than one minute after Kohanchuk’s goal, Warren scored on an assist from Menard to send the teams to their respective locker rooms with BU in the lead, 2–0.
Durocher said Tutino was part of the reason for Warren and Menard’s recent success.
“It’s them and their linemate, Kayla Tutino,” he said. “They’re all very good individual players. You have a pure left winger, a pure center and a pure right winger.”
Just 1:21 into the second period, the duo struck again. This time, it was Menard who scored on an assist from Warren to put the Black Bears at a three-goal deficit. BU’s lead reached as many as four goals before Maine got on the scoreboard.
Kohanchuk’s two-goal performance, the chemistry between Menard and Warren and the stout showing from junior goaltender Kerrin Sperry (19 saves on 21 shots) proved to be too much for Maine, as the Terriers cruised to a 5–2 victory.
The next day featured a more closely contested matchup between the two teams. The first period was slow-paced, with both teams struggling to put a puck in the net. The first goal of the game — a power-play goal on a slap shot by junior defenseman Shannon Doyle — was scored with only 35 seconds remaining in the opening period.
Defenseman Brittney Huneke responded with a game-tying goal on a shot from the right point early in the second period that beat senior goaltender Alissa Fromkin. Fromkin was screened on the play.
The teams exchanged goals once more before the end of the period, including a converted penalty shot by Warren, and went to the locker room tied at two goals apiece.
The tie didn’t last long, however, as Tutino received the puck in front of junior goaltender Brittany Ott and sent it to the back of the net just 2:52 into the final frame. Warren added an assist on the play, continuing to put up points during her brilliant three-game hot streak.
About 13 minutes later, junior forward Marie-Philip Poulin fired a shot that sailed over Ott’s blocker and into the mesh to extend BU’s lead to 4–2. It was her team-leading 11th goal and 32nd point of the season.
The score remained 4–2 and BU won its third consecutive game coming off of the break.
Durocher said he feels the quick start can lead to bigger achievements in the near future.
“The first semester we had a pretty good run,” he said. “[Now] we have a chance to continue the run and keep pushing forward towards Hockey East success and the NCAA tournament.”