The No. 7 Boston University women’s hockey team continued its winning ways Saturday at Walter Brown Arena, tying Providence College in regulation before earning a 4-3 shootout victory.
The Terriers’ current seven-game unbeaten streak matches a program record.
Senior co-captain Gina Kearns notched the game-tying goal with 11 seconds remaining in the third period, ensuring her team would remain unbeaten since Oct. 10. Classmate Erin Seman scored the game-winner in the shootout, netting the Terriers’ (5-2-3, 4-0-0 Hockey East) their second straight shootout victory.
‘It’s definitely giving us experience,’ Kearns said of the Terriers’ recent nail biters. ‘You need that sense of urgency to get the goal late or to come back and tie. These close games have definitely given us that.’
Trailing 3-2 with just under a minute left in regulation, BU earned a power play and pulled senior goaltender Allyse Wilcox to give it a six-on-four advantage.
Providence (3-5-1, 2-2-1) goaltender Danielle Ciarletta saved a shot by junior forward Melissa Anderson, but Kearns was there to hammer home the rebound at 19:49 to force it into overtime.
Despite a power-play opportunity late in the overtime period, BU was unable to capitalize, sending the game to a shootout. For the first three rounds of the shootout, neither team was able to claim the victory.
Wilcox denied Providence freshman Kate Bacon in the fourth round to give her team a chance to win, and the Terriers did so with Seman breaking through for the game-winner.’ ‘ ‘ ‘
‘ ‘The confidence you gain from games like this is very positive,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘I think we outshot them by a reasonable number, we out-chanced them, we out-attempted them, but it took right to the last 20 seconds to tie the game.’
Few of the spectators at Walter Brown probably could have predicted that it would be so close at the start of the contest. The game remained scoreless for most of the first period until Providence found daylight at 19:00, when Bacon scored off a cross-ice pass from senior Brittany Simpson.
The action picked up in the second with BU scoring twice in just over a minute in the middle of the period. The first goal came when Ciarletta saved a blue-line blast from senior co-captain Sarah Russell. Sophomore forward Jillian Kirchner found the rebound and tied the game on the power play.
The Terriers scored again after a scuffle in front of the net sent the puck back to sophomore forward Lauren Cherewyk. With the net wide open, Cherewyk tapped it in to give BU a 2-1 lead. Cherewyk and Kirchner, along with freshman forward Jenelle Kohanchuk, are a trio of young players who are lighting up the scoreboard.’
‘ ‘Now we’re kind of back in the net,’ Seman said. ‘In previous years, we’ve had a few people that would continuously score. Now we can look for goals from pretty much anywhere.’
Near the end of the period and into the third, Providence freshman Lauren Veharanta was all over the ice, scoring on a second effort at the 17:40 mark of the second after Wilcox saved her first shot. The freshman was there again for an assist on a goal by senior Mari Pehkonen 5:32 into the third period.
‘Sometimes we struggle to hold onto leads,’ Seman said. ‘I think that, mentally, we aren’t as solid as we should be for all 60 minutes. But I think that the last few games, when it mattered, we have finally learned to finish.’