Riding a seven-game win streak, the No. 8 Boston University women’s hockey team traveled to Vail, Colo., to take on St. Cloud State University and No. 2 University of Wisconsin.
The Terriers (10-2-1, 6-0-0 Hockey East) extended their streak with a 2-0 victory over St. Cloud (2-9-3) Friday, but faced with the task of taking down the rabid Badgers (10-2), they could not prevail.
Freshman forward Samantha Sutherland kicked off the scoring for the Terriers against St. Cloud just more than six minutes into the first period when she intercepted a Husky pass and wristed a shot past goaltender Julie Friend. The tally marked Sutherland’s third goal of the season.
In the second period, junior forward Sarah Bayersdorfer earned her second goal of the season after receiving a pass right in front of the net from senior forward Meghan Riggs. With no defenders around her, Bayersdorfer sent the puck past Friend to stretch the BU lead to 2-0.
“She had a real nice effort by her linemate Meghan Riggs,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “[Riggs] came up with a loose puck and found [Bayersdorfer] down in the slot, and she made a fantastic left-to-right cut around the goalie, held it and finished the play. It was a big goal. It didn’t close out the game, but gave us a little bit of breathing room.
“It was great to see her get rewarded for how hard she works. She’s been one of the hardest-working players here. It was a great effort by both of them.”
The Terriers would not need any insurance, however, as senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry had a spectacular day in net. Sperry made 28 saves in the game, including 15 in the final period, to preserve her second shutout of the season.
The victory extended the Terriers’ win streak to eight games, their longest regular season winning streak since the team won 13 in a row during the 2010-11 season.
However, this streak was put in jeopardy early the next day as BU took on Wisconsin Saturday evening.
The Badgers made their way onto the board just 5:59 into the contest when forward Blayre Turnbull intercepted a pass and sent a shot past Sperry to put Wisconsin up 1-0.
With 24 seconds left in the first period and BU down a player, thanks to a high-sticking penalty on senior forward Taylor Holze, Wisconsin forward Katy Josephs took advantage of a wide-open net to push the Badgers ahead another goal.
Despite a few attempts in the first period, BU could not get any goals to stop the bleeding, and 2:49 into the second period, Wisconsin ripped the wound open even wider with a goal from freshman Sarah Nurse.
Following that goal, freshman goalie Victoria Hansen relieved Sperry. Less than three and a half minutes later, the Badgers tacked on a fourth goal from freshman Sydney McKibbon.
The Terriers killed off nearly nine minutes of penalty time following that goal, but a power-play goal from Wisconsin forward Karley Sylvester on an assist from Turnbull with 1:34 left in the second period pushed the score to 5-0.
BU had several opportunities in the third period, including a shot from sophomore forward Jordan Juron that went just wide in the final minutes. Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby remained unshaken throughout the entirety of the game, making 19 saves for her third shutout of the season.
“I think everyone was excited for the game, and was ready to play,” Durocher said. “Things were going pretty good for seven, eight, nine minutes and we had a turnover that cost us a goal and they added a nice power-play goal that was a wrist shot that hit off the crossbar … I was appreciative of the fight down the stretch.”
Despite the loss, Durocher said that BU was still on the right track in terms of successful play.
“I think we have to stick to the plan that we’ve been on all year, which is play hard defensively,” Durocher said. “Just worry about what we do and I don’t think the opponent can dictate the game when we play our game. If we can fight around the net, we’ll be tough to play in that end. To have the goalscoring spread around the team, that’s been nice for us. We’ve got to get back to business and take care of a few things and get a chance to recoup.”