Heading down the final stretch of the season, the Boston University women’s hockey team came into this weekend looking to seize momentum. After losing four games decided by two or fewer goals over the past month, the Terriers swept a weekend series over Providence College by scores of 4-2 and 3-2.
“The kids found a way to win,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “We didn’t play our best game in either game, but we were fighting around the net, and obviously got great goaltending and we got timely offense.”
In the first game of the home-and-home series, the Terriers (21-10-1, 14-5-0 Hockey East) hosted the Friars (11-21-0, 6-13-0 Hockey East)Saturday at Agganis Arena.
“The kids like the atmosphere,” Durocher said of the team playing at Agganis. “[The team does] enjoy having replays right there, having the ribbon up top … We’ve had pretty good luck in this building.”
The Friars came on the attack first, controlling and cycling the puck well. Providence rattled off 16 shots in the period, but senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry stopped every shot, including a breakaway chance from forward Allison Micheletti.
The Terriers had some chances, but nothing substantial until Friars forward Janine Weber was called for body checking. With BU on the power play, the team worked the puck into its offensive zone. A shot from the point from senior defenseman Kaleigh Fratkin was deflected past the goal and off the end boards, but it caromed to freshman forward Maddie Elia who put the puck into the net for a 1-0 lead at the 11:56mark.
The score remained that way into the second period, but after a few near misses, the Friars knotted the score up. Junior Haley Frade ripped a shot from the high slot that rung off the post and past the goal line a little over five minutes into the second.
Providence continued to get a majority of the chances in the period and looked break the tie. At the 17:19 mark in the period, the next goal was scored, but it was the Terriers grabbing hold of the lead.
Sophomore forward Sarah Lefort pickpocketed a Friar defender and then roofed one past goaltender Sarah Bryant to give the Terriers a 2-1 advantage.
The Friars answered back immediately in the final period, getting a goal from defenseman Victoria Virtue just 12 seconds into the frame.
The play for the majority of the frame stayed in the Friar attacking zone, but Sperry managed to hold on to keep the game tied.
Grabbing the momentum from the defensive end, BU took the lead. Senior captain Louise Warren took the puck from behind the net and curled it around to charging sophomore forward Rebecca Russo. The forward tapped it in for a 3-2 BU edge at the 11:57 mark. The assist also gave Warren her 100th career point with BU.
“I had a lot of back-door chances today,” Russo said. “I finally put one home. I got a good foreccheck from my line … I was just back-door and I popped it home, which was nice.”
With a little less than five minutes to go, BU sealed the win with a goal from senior forward Taylor Holze in the slot.
“Somehow after miraculously giving up a goal to start the third period, which is the worst thing that could happen in a game like this, we held our composure,” Durocher said. “I complement the team in finding a way to get win number 20.”
On Sunday, the teams traveled to Schneider Arena for the back end of the series.
BU took the lead just under 10 minutes into the game, thanks to Lefort. Fratkin took a shot from the point that Lefort ended up getting a piece of to put past netminder Nina Riley for her NCAA-best 29th goal.
At the end of the period, the Friars held the edge in shots at 14-7, but Sperry again was strong in net keeping the score 1-0 going to the second.
With a power-play chance a little over six minutes into the second frame, Providence tied it up when freshman Cassidy Carels deflected the puck past Sperry.
Not even two minutes later, sophomore forward Jordan Juron answered with a shot coming from the slot, beating Riley for a 2-1 Terrier lead.
At 13:21 in the frame, the Terriers widened the lead to two goals when a shot bounced off Warren’s leg and into the net.
In the third, the teams battled evenly, both garnering seven chances. At the 8:05 mark, the Friars got on the board, with Micheletti scoring to make it 3-2.
That would be all of the scoring though, as Sperry held on for the second win of the weekend.
“We can’t play the way we did this weekend and expect momentum to go forward,” Durocher said. “We have to be better technically than we were this weekend … But to get two wins, one at home, and one on the road, is a real positive.”