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Sarah Lefort, Louise Warren shine for BU in key victory

While it has scored nearly one goal fewer per game this season from the 2012-13 campaign, the Boston University women’s hockey team has had a multitude of players contribute on offense. Every skater that has dressed for the Terriers this year has tallied at least one point.

Although BU (12-3-1, 8-0-0 Hockey East) has spread the wealth on the attack this year, senior captain Louise Warren and sophomore forward Sarah Lefort have led the pack in the scoring department, and did so again Tuesday night against Northeastern University. The two combined for all five goals in the 5-2 victory.

“I think they were excited to play together and see what they could do,” said BU coach Brian Durocher on the combination of Warren and Lefort. “We’ve had pretty good variety as far as our scoring and pretty good balance through the year, but maybe right now with those two and [junior forward] Kayla [Tutino] out, it made us a whisker or two top-heavy.”

Last season on a team that averaged more than three goals a game, Warren recorded 34 points, which included 15 goals. As a freshman, Lefort was one of the top scorers for a balanced Terriers squad, putting up 43 points in her rookie campaign.

Coming into the contest against the Huskies (7-10-1, 3-5-1 Hockey East), the two forwards were the top two in points on the team, with Lefort and Warren scoring 15 and 14 respectively through the first 15 games. From the outset of the contest, it was clear the two were primed for a strong performance to add to their already impressive totals.

Warren played at the center position for the first time this season and played aggressively early, firing off seven shots at Northeastern goaltender Chloe Desjardins in the first period.

“It’s a position I haven’t played in a few years,” Warren said about playing center. “But as a forward, you know how to play all of the positions and it was a fun changeup.”

With the plethora of opportunities in the opening frame, Warren broke through a little more than eight minutes into the period. After a few initial chances, Warren kept poking for a rebound chance, and eventually put it by a diving Desjardins for a 1-0 Terrier lead.

Heading into the second period, BU sought to pad its slim lead, and looked no further than the combination of Warren and Lefort. The senior captain took the puck along the left-wing boards and fed it across the ice to a charging Lefort. Lefort brought the puck right in front of the crease and put it into the back of the net for a two-goal lead.

While the two gave BU some insurance in the second, the lead would not hold up. The Huskies clawed back for two goals to tie it up, eerily similar to the teams’ last matchup on Oct. 29, in which the Terriers gave up a game-tying goal to Northeastern with five minutes remaining in regulation. BU eventually won in overtime thanks to a goal from Warren.

Although it appeared the Terriers had lost most of their momentum in Tuesday’s game, Warren made sure whatever energy was lost came back to the BU side despite being on the penalty kill.

At the 8:40 mark in the period, Warren took the puck up the left side to kill some of the time remaining on the penalty. While she looked to just burn the clock, the Pembroke, Ontario, native wristed a shot from a tough angle that ended up behind Desjardins and into the net for a 3-2 BU lead.

“The shorthanded goal Louise had was the key,” Durocher said. “It was from a real sharp angle where she either pin-balled one off the post into the far side of the net, or off the post and off the back of the goalie and in … She had a real great game and that was part of it, that she was able to get that one in shorthanded.”

Holding another slim lead and not wanting to head to overtime again, Lefort led a run at the end of the game to add extra insurance.

Taking a pass from Warren, Lefort circled from behind the net and curled the puck into the net past an unsuspecting Desjardins. The goal was Lefort’s second of the game, and it gave Warren four points, a career best for a single game.

Despite BU being up by two goals in the final minute, Lefort was not done adding to her already impressive evening. Taking advantage of an empty-net opportunity, Lefort wristed the puck into the gaping net, giving the Terriers a three-goal advantage. Not only did the goal extend a large BU lead, it was also good for Lefort’s second career hat trick.

“They obviously had a huge game,” Durocher said of the duo. “You like to have a line that can lead and they sure did that tonight.”

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