Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Women’s hockey drops close Hockey East matchups

This weekend the No. 9/10 Boston University women’s hockey team looked to extend its winning ways against Hockey East opponents. Despite playing in tightly-contested games against conference foes, BU fell to both Providence College and Northeastern University.

“[Sunday] it was a pretty quick paced game,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “The game was going up-and-down both ways, plenty of shots on goal, plenty of activity on both ends. Obviously we spotted [Northeastern] too much of a lead…They were one better than us.

“Friday was a game we really played great in the first period and really lost any momentum, we didn’t execute very well yet we were still in the game at 3-3…Again Providence found a way on the power play to get it done.”

Friday night the Terriers (16-6-1, 9-3-0 Hockey East) took the short trip to Schneider Arena to face off against the Friars (10-15-0, 5-7-0 Hockey East).

At the 2:03 mark the Friars were called for an interference penalty, giving the Terriers an early power-play opportunity. On the ensuing faceoff, senior defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin ripped a shot that was deflected by freshman forward Maddie Elia past goaltender Sarah Bryant to give the Terriers a 1-0 edge.

BU kept up the offensive pressure in the opening frame, tallying 14 shots to the Friars’ eight.

With the shots mounting, Elia broke through the Friars’ defense again, scoring her second goal of the evening and eighth of the season. Taking a pass into the zone, the freshman weaved her way around a Providence defenseman and wristed a shot past Bryant, doubling the Terriers’ advantage.

“She’s had a real good run scoring since the New Year,” Durocher said about Elia’s play. “I look at the positive there.”

The Friars answered back in the waning minutes of the first period. Despite the Terriers being on the power play, forward Beth Hanrahan scored on a breakaway chance, making it a 2-1 game going into the first intermisson.

Heading into the second period, the Terriers sought to extend the lead, and did so at the 3:14 mark. Sophomore forward Sarah Lefort put home a rebound for her 18th goal of the year to give BU a 3-1 lead.

While things looked good through the first half of the contest for the Terriers, Providence began turn up its offensive intensity and pepper senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry with shots

As a result, the Friars notched two quick goals to even the game at three apiece. At 11:57, Rebecca Morse tallied her third goal of the year and 1:10 later freshman Cassidy Carels deposited her 12th goal of the season.

With the score tied, the final period of action proved to be trying for both teams. Throughout most of the third, neither the Terriers nor the Friars could find an opening. However, as the game entered its final minutes, with BU in the midst of one of their five penalties in the period, Carels struck again at the 17:24 mark to give Providence a 4-3 lead and the win.

Sunday, the Terriers looked to right the ship against crosstown rival Northeastern (9-12-2, 5-6-2 Hockey East).

Although both teams had power-play opportunities in the opening frame, neither team would score. Sperry was strong in net, stopping all 13 Husky opportunities, while goaltender Chloe Desjardins was just as solid, saving eight Terrier shots.

Just 31 seconds into the second frame, the Huskies grabbed a 1-0 advantage. Seconds after BU had killed off a Lefort interference penalty, forward Kelly Wallace deflected in a shot, beating Sperry’s right pad for the lead.

Both teams battled for the rest of the period, with neither team getting any sort of advantage. Desjardins stopped eight shots in the period again, stopping the potent BU attack. With 47 seconds remaining in the second frame, Katie MacSorely passed the puck from the right side of the ice to the middle, setting up forward Paige Savage for her sixth goal of the of year.

“In the second when we looked like we had a little bit of momentum and could have maybe tied the game, we didn’t get one across and then they make a bang-bang play,” Durocher said. “We had plenty of bodies in the zone and they had maybe two people down low and we leave one of them wide open for a goal.”

Down two in the third period, the Terriers cut the Northeastern lead to one at the 4:50 mark when senior captain Louise Warren corralled a blocked shot and put the puck past Desjardins.

While the Terriers tried to tie the game, forward Brittany Esposito put in a rebound goal in past Sperry with a little over 10 minutes left in the contest to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead.

BU pressed on, though, and with 5:24 left in the game, Lefort scored her 19th goal of the year when she banked in a shot off Desjardins from an odd angle to cut the deficit to 3-2.

“I liked the comeback effort,” Durocher said. “Again I talk about the sense of urgency. I’d like to see the sense of urgency in the first five, 10, 15 and the entire 60 minutes.”

The Terrier offense kept the puck in the zone for majority of third, rattling off 18 shots in the period. Despite handling the puck well in the final frame, BU finally succumbed to the Huskies when Esposito blocked a shot, and took the puck all the way down the ice and into the net with 14.3 seconds left to seal the 4-2 Northeastern victory.

“Every game has been a barn-burner, every game has been a close game,” Durocher said about the meetings between BU and Northeastern. “They came in and we spotted them a lead … Again, that’s shame on us.”

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