Over the course of the past five months, the No. 4 Boston University women’s hockey team has shown once again that it is one of the elite teams in the country. Yet, with all of the successful cogs that the Terriers have working for them, one of the most consistent pieces of BU’s success has remained the second line of its offense.
The line, composed of senior Isabel Menard, junior Louise Warren and sophomore Kayla Tutino, accounts for close to a third of the Terriers goals and points so far this season, and Saturday’s comeback effort against the University of Connecticut featured much of the same.
With the Terriers (23-5-3, 18-2-1 Hockey East) down 5-1 just 2:52 into the second frame, Menard, Warren and Tutino played roles in four of BU’s goals, including the game winner, helping BU to defeat the Huskies (3-28-3, 1-19-1 Hockey East) 7-5.
“Today we had to dig deeper on the ice,” Tutino said after Saturday’s game. “We had good chemistry, but we worked hard, and we had to keep things simple and put some pucks on the net. Finally being up was a good feeling because we knew we could do it, and it was reassuring for the team.”
BU coach Brian Durocher said while the line’s success has to do somewhat with the group’s chemistry, it also has to do with the skill and ability of each player to fill her own role.
“The bottom line is that line continues to be a good facet of our team,” Durocher said. “They’re taking care of business and playing well as a team. They just enjoy playing with one another.
“Part of that is the results, obviously, but also, they respect each other and the pieces to the puzzle are there — a classic centerman, a shooting right wing and a kid that goes hard on the left side.”
While the three forwards have created a consistent offensive output for the Terriers this past season, each player has found success in previous years as well.
In her first year with the Terriers last season, Menard, who transferred from Syracuse University, had the most assists of any player on the team during the 2011-12 season. Furthermore, the Ottawa, Ontario, native was second on the team in points scored and finished the season with a plus-12. During Saturday’s contest, which celebrated Menard and the rest of the senior class, the forward picked up her 14th goal of the season and tacked on two assists as well.
Likewise, Tutino and Warren have found success in previous years. In her rookie season, Tutino was second on the team in goals and third in points. Meanwhile, Warren nearly doubled the amount of points she scored during her freshman year in her second season in a Terrier uniform.
With the Terriers’ regular season coming to a close, BU will need Menard and her linemates to continue to continue their strong offensive play. With its sweep of the Huskies this past weekend, the Terriers picked up their second Hockey East regular season title.
BU will need to remain consistent if it wants to make it back to the national championship game for the first time since 2010-11. Part of that consistency will rest on whether the team’s second line can continue to provide offense when BU needs it.
“We’ve been able to create some good plays and obviously the impact is that it’s going well,” Menard said. “They’re keeping us together, and everything is pretty smooth so far.
“Everyone is contributing — my linemates and other lines — but I think my line is playing pretty well. I think if we can keep going like that, it would be good.”