The Boston University women’s hockey team has enjoyed consistent success at Walter Brown Arena in 2013.
Heading into the weekend series against the University of the Minnesota-Duluth, the Terriers (14-3-1, 8-0-0 Hockey East) had not lost a game on their home ice in 14 tries during the 2013 calendar year. After the two-game series with the Bulldogs was over, BU had come away with a weekend sweep over UMD, and finished 2013 with a spotless 16-0-0 home mark.
“We actually didn’t know [about the undefeated home record] until the other day when we found out about our Hockey East record,” said BU assistant coach Katie Lachapelle. “It’s a great place to play, obviously with the band, it’s always awesome to have them. … The environment is great and our girls take a lot of pride in this building and don’t want to lose.”
In the first game of the weekend set, the Terriers looked to jump on the Bulldogs early. A little over four minutes into the opening frame, BU took a 1-0 lead.
Taking a pass from freshman forward Samantha Sutherland, sophomore forward Sarah Lefort wristed a shot that bounced off of a Duluth defender, and into the back of the net.
The lead was short-lived, however, as just over two minutes later, Duluth knotted up the score at one apiece. Moments after BU killed off a tripping penalty from senior captain Louise Warren, defenseman Jordan Krause put a shot by senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry.
With the game tied 1-1 in the closing minutes of the first frame, Duluth converted on a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity to take a 2-1 advantage. After freshman forward Maddie Elia and junior defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh were each called for two-minute minors, forward Jenna McParland put one into the net at the16:45 mark of the period.
While down a goal heading into the first intermission, Sutherland said the team made some adjustments.
“Coach told us to stay strong, keep our confidence up and stop putting the puck in the middle,” Sutherland said. “We had to use the boards more and we did and it worked for us.”
After BU earned a power-play chance, sophomore forward Rebecca Russo took advantage, knotting the game up. Stoneburgh took the initial shot from the point which was stopped by goalie Kayla Black, but Russo jammed home a rebound through a pileup of players from both squads.
At 10:07 in the second period, BU would regain the lead, courtesy of its captain. Lefort dished a pass in the zone to Warren, who then fired off a shot that got behind Black for a 3-2 Terrier lead.
Taking the momentum gained in the second, BU came right back in the final period and got on the board just 55 seconds in. Russo, from behind the back of the net, dished a pass to the middle of the slot to Elia, who one-timed the puck into the net for a goal.
At the 2:00 minute mark, BU padded its lead when Sutherland stuffed in a rebound through the five-hole of Black for a three-goal lead.
“We had a nice little play there, and didn’t really work out,” Sutherland said. “But it ended up coming out back to the net in front of me and I saw her five-hole and I just went for it.”
While it seemed like a sizable lead to hold off for the final 18 minutes of the third period, Duluth scratched and clawed back into the game. Despite another tally from Lefort, the Bulldogs used three goals in the frame to make the game 6-5 with 6:05 remaining in the frame.
After a goal from Duluth forward Zoe Hickel on the power play, Sperry and the Terrier defense clamped down, and were able to hang on to a 6-5 win, despite being outshot 40-26.
“I thought it was a real hard fought game,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “Probably a little bit, territorially, you’ve got to give the advantage to Duluth. We sort of compounded problems with the penalties we took. We’ve got to continue to learn a lesson that we can’t just keep fighting a battle uphill all of the time.”
Saturday night, the Terriers started out like they did in the first contest, and got on the board for an early advantage.
Taking a pass from Sutherland, Lefort one-timed a wrist shot past goalie Victoria Carlstrom at the 12:35mark for the lead.
Duluth kept up its aggressive play from the night before, outshooting the Terriers, 11-7, in the opening frame. Despite the chances, freshman goalie Victoria Hanson was up for the challenge and stopped every Bulldog opportunity.
“She did great,” Lachapelle said about Hanson’s performance. “She’s got a goalie in [Sperry] that’s she’s learned from … I think [Hanson] did a great job staying composed and staying with every puck.”
It would not take long for the Terriers to extend the lead in the second, as Warren put a rebound in the net 22 seconds into the period.
While the score would remain 2-0 in favor of the Terriers for most of the period, Warren pushed the score to 3-0 at 17:49, despite being on the penalty kill.
Warren took a loose puck in the defensive zone and skated down the ice on a breakaway chance, putting a shot past Carlstrom’s blocker.
Coming out in the third, the Terriers pushed their lead to 4-0, courtesy of Lefort’s second goal, and fourth point of the night, a little over seven minutes into the third.
The Bulldogs did not go out without a fight however, and with goals from forward Meghan Huertas and defenseman Tea Villila, UMD cut the deficit to 4-2 with 10:38 left in the frame.
Although the Terriers took 10 penalties in the contest, including two in the third, BU held on for a 4-2 win, completing the sweep of the Bulldogs.
“As the game went on, we started to get our composure more,” Lachapelle said. “We started off well, got a little loose and then got it back towards the end. We always talk to the girls about managing the game and managing the shifts and I think as team we continually do better with that every game.”