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Coming off perhaps its biggest victory in program history over then-No. 5 Mercyhurst College on Oct. 10, the Boston University women’s hockey team started this weekend’s two-game homestand with a bang Saturday, defeating Clarkson University, 2-1, at Walter Brown Arena. Unfortunately for the Terriers, the weekend ended on a somewhat sour note Sunday when BU let a 2-0 lead slip away in the game’s waning minutes to settle for a 2-2 tie with No. 9 St. Lawrence University.
The Terriers (3-2-1) wasted little time notching the first goal of Saturday’s contest. Twenty-eight seconds after the puck dropped, senior co-captain Sarah Russell sent a tape-to-tape pass from the neutral zone to the stick of fellow co-captain Gina Kearns in the right circle of BU’s offensive zone. Kearns put the game’s first shot in the lower-left corner of the net to beat Clarkson goaltender Lauren Dahm, whose vision was hindered by one of her own defenseman.
‘Clarkson just sucked to one side of the ice and [Russell] found the weak side to me,’ Kearns said. ‘I was just trying to get a shot on net. Luckily, the goalie got screened by her own player, and it went in.’
Kearns added another goal 16 minutes later after a Clarkson holding penalty gave the Terriers a man advantage. A deflected shot from junior Sarah Appleton left the puck loose in front of the Clarkson net, and Kearns came from the right side to knock the puck off the pipe and in for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
The tally from Kearns, who also leads the team with seven points, was indicative of the season she’s having.
‘Last year, I thought she was snake-bit,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘The second [goal] was off the crossbar, and probably last year, it hits the crossbar and it’s somewhere up in the press box. That part of it is great ‘-‘- that she’s getting a little bit of puck luck [this year].’
Goaltender Melissa Haber saw 29 shots on the afternoon, allowing only Clarkson’s Juana Baribeau’s shot to sneak past her glove 14 minutes into the second period.
‘[Haber] had an outstanding performance,’ Durocher said. ‘She was highly competitive. She was relaxed back there.’
Haber’s efforts during the second and third periods put a stop to any hopes of a Clarkson (0-2-1) comeback. The junior didn’t allow a goal during that span, turning away 26 Clarkson shots and holding strong during a five-on-three penalty kill.
The Terriers kept the momentum rolling early in Sunday’s game against St. Lawrence (1-1-2).
Seven minutes into the first period, BU junior forward Melissa Anderson put the Terriers on the board with her first goal of the season.
‘I was coming down the wing and saw [sophomore] Lauren [Cherewyk] coming down the left side,’ Anderson said. ‘I was thinking pass. Then, [I saw that] I could shoot and she could get the rebound. So, I shot and it went in.’
Freshman forward Jenelle Kohanchuk added to BU’s lead with seven minutes left in the second period on a garbage goal in front of the net. It was the rookie’s first power-play goal of the season.
After two periods the BU lead stood at two, and thanks to excellent play in net by senior netminder Alysse Wilcox ‘-‘- who made a number of highlight-reel saves during the first two stanzas ‘-‘- it seemed as if the lead would hold.
‘We were really prepared [those first two periods],’ Wilcox said. ‘We knew what we had to do to get it done, and we did.’
Then, the third period started.
The first 16 minutes saw BU desperately holding onto its lead. Wilcox stopped everything in sight. The defense appeared to have its heels dug in, unwilling to give an inch.
With about three minutes left in regulation, St. Lawrence pulled goalie Brittony Chartier during a power play off a Jonnie Bloemers hooking penalty. The Saints finally cracked into the lead at 17:11, as forward Tara Akstull poked in a loose puck during a scrum in front of the net.
A minute and a half later, Akstull, again with the advantage of a pulled goalie, was left free at the left side of the goal. Wilcox could not make it from the opposite end of the net in time, and the game was tied at two apiece ‘-‘- a score that would stand through the overtime period.
‘It’s a little bit of a bitter pill that we didn’t get the four points [on the weekend],’ Durocher said. ‘[St. Lawrence is] a proud team that will continue to come at you. They know what it takes, so I give them credit for getting back into this game.’

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