Halfway through the opening period of Wednesday night’s game, the No. 4 Boston University women’s hockey team experienced a momentum shift. After just over nine minutes of the University of New Hampshire controlling the game and the shot advantage, the Terriers (21–5–3, 16–2–1 Hockey East) found the back of the net, giving them a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the night.
With that goal, one of two scored by senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk during the game, BU propelled itself to a 6–0 win over the Wildcats (13–15–3, 9–8–2 Hockey East) at Walter Brown Arena. The victory also served as the Terriers’ third straight win and their 16th Hockey East win this season — the most in the program’s history.
“It was disappointing to watch [the first 10 minutes], because I thought we were going to come out and have the pedal to the floor and be ready to go, and for whatever reason that wasn’t the case,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “And then we had two shifts back-to-back where we got a goal on a great forechecking job.”
After the slow start, the Terriers gained a 1–0 lead when junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh, who was stationed at the point. Stoneburgh then took a shot that Kohanchuk deflected by UNH netminder Vilma Vaattovaara.
BU came close to adding to its lead just over a minute later when senior co-captain Jill Cardella attempted to slip the puck by Vaattovaara. After the referees reviewed the play, however, it was determined that the puck never crossed the line.
With the first 10 minutes of the game behind them, the Terriers began controlling the game, and increasingly showing off their offensive ability. Just over five minutes into the second frame, senior forward Isabel Menard earned her 13th goal of the season to give BU an insurance point just seconds after the Terriers came off of the power play.
Four minutes later, freshman forward Rebecca Russo found her way onto the score sheet with her first collegiate goal, a redirection of a shot by Cardella.
“She’s a kid who has plenty of ability and came here with a good reputation,” Durocher said of Russo. “We’ve seen a lot of things in practice, but it just hasn’t really translated to the ice, and I think a lot of it is freshman jitters that you have.
“I like the fact that she had plenty of jump tonight and then got rewarded with a goal. It wasn’t a pretty one that goes in the top corner, but it’s on the score sheet and you got to like it.”
The Terriers had their most offensively potent period in the third when Kohanchuk, freshman forward Dakota Woodworth and junior defenseman Shannon Doyle each scored to give the Terriers a substantive 6–0 victory.
As successful as the team’s offense was during the game, the Terriers would have had more of a battle had it not been for a strong defensive corps and the work of Kerrin Sperry during the first period.
As a team, BU blocked a total of 18 shots during the game, and Sperry, who picked up her third shutout of the season, stopped 22 shots. Twelve of those shots came during the first period.
According to Kohanchuk, after losing two straight games in the Beanpot Tournament, the Terriers are more focused on having fun and working as a team to win games.
“After the Beanpot, our team was just a little down,” Kohanchuk said. “Those losses gave our team a lot of fire to win games and we just realized how it’s not fun at all to lose games.
“We know that winning — just having more fun just allows us to win games. We’re going to just try to keep having fun on the bench and playing as a team and just working as a unit.”