In a weekend series against the University of Vermont, the No. 4/5 Boston University women’s hockey team got back on track after a recent skid, coming away with a 2–1 victory Saturday and a 3–2 victory Sunday.
The Terriers (20–5–3, 15–2–1 Hockey East) entered the weekend coming off two losses in the Beanpot tournament to eventual tournament champion Northeastern University in the semifinal, and Harvard University in the consolation game. These games were the first back-to-back losses all season for BU.
“We’re still a little bit tight right now,” Durocher said. “You’re going to have a little bit of slumps as you go along.”
Saturday, BU got off to a shaky start, with senior goalie Alissa Fromkin conceding a goal to UVM forward Amanda Pelkey just 2:08 into the game.
Vermont (8–19–3, 6–10–3 Hockey East) held a 1–0 lead until midway through the second period, when junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin secured a pass from senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk and put it in the back of the net to knot up the score at one goal apiece.
It looked as if BU would walk away with a tie until Poulin struck again with 1:30 remaining in the game. On a pass from senior defenseman Kathryn Miller, Poulin sent the puck past the left side of diving goalie Kelci Lanthier to push BU ahead 2–1.
“The second one came late in the game on an unbelievable individual play,” Durocher said. “I was glad to see [Poulin] get a big-time play.”
Vermont was unable to make a comeback in the final 90 seconds and BU left with the victory. The win was the 150th of Durocher’s career, and also the 150th in program history.
Having finally captured a victory, which had eluded them for two weeks, the Terriers entered Sunday’s contest with a bit more confidence.
BU was the first to score in this game, as junior defensemen Kaleigh Fratkin dropped off the puck to sophomore forward Kayla Tutino. Tutino left it right in front of the net for junior forward Louise Warren, who tapped it in for her 11th goal of the season at the 18:03 mark of the first period.
Tutino continued her stellar passing into the second period, as she found senior forward Isabel Menard centered in front of the net. Menard scored at 7:33 of the second period to extend BU’s lead to 2–0.
“Right on the spot,” Menard said of Tutino’s pass. “She did pretty much everything for me. … I was in the right spot and got the goal.”
At 14:08 of the middle frame, Tutino and Menard teamed up again while BU was on a power play after defenseman Gina Repaci was sent to the box for slashing. Menard received the puck in a similar spot as her first goal, and sent it past UVM goalie Roxanne Douville to give BU a 3–0 cushion.
“She played great,” Durocher said of Tutino’s three-assist day. “She’s a tenacious kid.”
The game grew much closer, as BU gave up consecutive power-play goals to Vermont to cut its lead to just one.
With 20 seconds left in the second period and Tutino in the penalty box for boarding, Pelkey shot the puck past junior goalie Kerrin Sperry to put Vermont on the board, 3–1.
Late in the third period, with BU on the penalty kill after being caught with too many players on the ice, forward Brittany Zuback cut the score to 3–2 off of passes from defenseman Dayna Colang and Repaci.
“That’s not what we want to do,” Durocher said. “That’s not what we’re trying to do. Give credit to [the Catamounts] that they went down three goals, they stayed on course … They made it a fight right to the end.”
But the three goals from the productive line of Warren-Menard-Tutino proved to be enough, and the Terriers held on for the 3–2 victory.
“It felt good,” Menard said. “Some good plays in the offensive zone. We’ve been out of luck lately, scoring some goals, but it’s nice to get a few past the goalie and just get the team together and get a win.
“It’s a great booster,” she added. “Obviously it was a little bit of a rough patch, but we’re coming together as a team and we know that everything here on out is important. Hopefully we can keep on … playing hard.”