Following a nearly one-month hiatus, the No. 9 Boston University women’s hockey team started off its spring semester on the right foot, going 2-1 in its first three games. The Terriers defeated both Dartmouth College and the University of Maine, but fell to rival No. 7 Boston College.
During the Terriers’ (16-4-1, 9-1 Hockey East) 3-2 victory over Dartmouth (3-12-0), sophomore forward Sarah Lefort notched her NCAA-leading 16th goal of the season. Freshman forward Maddie Elia continued her strong freshman campaign with her fifth goal of the season and also notched an assist on Lefort’s goal. Sophomore wing Rebecca Russo also added her eighth goal of the season.
Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was strong in net and stopped 28 shots en route to her 13th victory of the season.
Following the win over the Big Green, BU faced off against the Eagles (14-4-3, 9-1-1 Hockey East) .
BU struggled on the offensive end in the first period, resulting in the Eagles leading on the scoreboard 2-0. The Eagles’ forecheck applied constant pressure and helped force multiple turnovers. Two penalties on Elia and one penalty on Russo capped off a sloppy first period for the Terriers.
“We didn’t compete at the level that we really needed to compete at,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “We gave them a two-goal lead. We can’t give a good team like that type of opportunity to get out of the gate with themselves in a lead like that.”
The Eagles continued their domination over the Terriers when they scored their third straight goal, a shot from forward Kate Leary that zipped past Sperry. Freshman Andie Anastos and senior Jackie Young recorded the assists on the play. Great passing by the Eagles left Sperry out of position and unable to stop the puck.
The Terriers struck for the first time on the night 15:02 into the second period on a goal from freshman wing Samantha Sutherland, on assists from senior captain Louise Warren and Lefort.
“We fought back in the second period,” Durocher said. “We hit the post a couple of times, but as I said to the kids, we can’t hang our hat on six to 10 minutes late in the second period on what could have happened, what should have happened, might have happened.
“We needed to be a little more determined for a higher percentage of the game than small segments here and there. We kept fighting and we were still in the game until that power play goal put it away, but we just needed to be a little more determined and not get behind by a couple of goals early.”
Although they did fight back, the constant pressure from the Eagles led to turnovers, which ended up being detrimental to BU’s performance. Durocher said he believes that turnovers committed by the Terriers had a major effect during the game.
“Turnovers affected the game significantly,” Durocher said. “That’s a good team. They’re going to create opportunities. They’re going to get opportunities. We know that but we just need to be a little more determined around our net, not letting them get the loose pucks so easily and I think we missed some assignments there that should be within our ability.”
A goal from senior Melissa Bizzari on the power play at the 6:55 mark in the third period sealed the victory for the Eagles, snapping the Terriers’ 20-game home winning streak.
Despite falling to their crosstown rival, the Terriers answered back with a 5-3 win at Maine (2-14-5, 0-8-3 Hockey East).
BU fell behind 2-0 after the Black Bears notched a goal in the first and another one just over a minute into the second period. Elia answered right back and scored BU’s first goal eight seconds after Maine had doubled its lead. Warren and senior forward Taylor Holze followed suit and gave the Terriers a brief 3-2 lead. Maine would go on to tie the score right after the Holze goal, setting up an exciting third period.
At 2:07 in final frame, Lefort came through again and gave BU the lead for good. The goal was her NCAA-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season and her 17th goal overall, tied for the top spot in the nation. The goal and her two assists also helped her extend her point streak to seven games.
Warren gave the Terriers insurance in the final minutes of the contest, putting a shot past Maine goaltender Meghann Treacy, extending BU’s lead to 5-3.
Despite allowing three goals in the first two periods, Sperry finished with 31 saves, her eighth 30-plus save performance of the season.
The Terriers will next travel to Rhode Island to take on Hockey East foe Providence College this Friday and then come back home to Walter Brown Arena for a Sunday matinee with Northeastern University.