Ice Hockey, Sports

Young season has seen its share of milestones

They did it by controlling the ice. They did it with great defense. And they did it in style.
Despite multiple in-game setbacks and emotions flying around the rink like pucks, the No. 10 Boston University women’s hockey team was able to keep its cool and complete an upset that will go down as one of the best in program history.’ ‘
Defeating the No. 4 University of New Hampshire, 3-2, last night at Walter Brown Arena, the Terriers solidified their status as one of the 10 best teams in the country.
‘We knew what we had to do,’ sophomore Lauren Cherewyk, who scored two goals against the Wildcats, including the game-winner, said. ‘We wanted this. We fought hard in the third period.’
A spot in the national rankings is new to this BU team. This season marks the first time the Terriers have ever made the cut in a national poll.
This has been a season of firsts for the Terriers. Besides cracking the Top 10 for the first time, last night was also the first time BU defeated the Wildcats, and 2008-09 is the first season in which BU has had seniors that have been on the team since their freshman seasons.
The Terriers seem to be making a reputation for themselves as giant killers. Last night’s win capped a series of impressive performances against ranked opponents. Despite a tough schedule, BU has maneuvered past several dangerous teams on its road to national prominence.
All this with just four years at the Division-I level under coach Brian Durocher, who has led his team from relative obscurity to the national spotlight.
The Terriers began their season without much fanfare. In their first two games, the women barely beat lowly Union College, 3-2, and could not manage a goal against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, falling 2-0.
Something changed in the Terriers’ performance after dropping their first game against then-No. 5 Mercyhurst College. Going into its second game of a weekend series against the Lakers, BU still looked sloppy. Down 2-0 after the second period, the Terriers engineered their first upset of the season by scoring three times in the third, defeating the Lakers in a come-from-behind win.’ ‘
The upset sparked the Terriers to a three-game tear during which BU looked animated and refreshed after a sluggish start.
In their next game against Clarkson University, the Terriers returned to form, dismantling the Golden Knights, 2-1. By the end of that game, there was visible improvement in the team’s play. Their passes were sharper. They controlled the puck better. They ran their offense with precision, keeping an experienced Clarkson team on its heels for most of the game. All this from a team that lost 8-0 to New Hampshire in last year’s Hockey East Tournament.
‘I think we can play at a better tempo all around,’ Durocher said. ‘Everybody on this team is in better shape, physically, which allows us to generate tempo. You add experience into those players and all of a sudden you’ve got a little bit of a different picture.’
Big improvement. Even bigger results. The Terriers’ next game, against No. 9 St. Lawrence University, may not have been a huge win, but playing the Saints to a draw sent a huge message to the college hockey world. BU was not a fluke. The women could play with anyone, no matter what their ranking was.
‘We think we’ve got some marquee kids here,’ Durocher said. ‘We’ve got experience and goaltending. And I don’t think it’s a fluke what happened here tonight.’

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