Ice Hockey, Sports

W. hockey nips No. 7 UNH to earn season sweep

Tensions were high yesterday as the No. 6 Boston University women’s hockey team faced off against the No. 7 University of New Hampshire Wildcats at Walter Brown Arena in another epic matchup between two Hockey East powerhouses. Junior Melissa Anderson and freshman Jenelle Kohanchuk were the heroes as BU earned a come-from-behind shootout win, 4-3.

Kohanchuk was the standout with one goal and two assists, while Anderson proved herself yet again, scoring with less than two minutes left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Senior Laurel Koller scored the game-winner in the shootout.

‘I think the rivalry [with UNH] stems from us being a fully supported team,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘We’ve had great kids who have gotten us started and have been the foundation for us. But now we think we’ve got a talent level that’s close to New Hampshire.’

The win was an important one for the Terriers, who were coming off a disastrous series of road games against unranked opponents. Friday in Burlington, Vt., BU (8-4-4, 6-1-0 HE) was upset by the University of Vermont (4-11-1, 2-4-0), 3-2, in a game that is sure to send the Terriers down in the national rankings today.

‘We thought we were prepared for Vermont,’ Durocher said. ‘We came out and just had a struggle in the first period. There was nothing we did very well.”

The Terriers came out firing in the first period against UNH (8-4-5, 4-1-3). Kohanchuk scored early, sneaking one past UNH sophomore goaltender Kayley Herman. The rookie finessed her way to the net from the right side of the rink before sliding the puck by an off-guard Herman.

The teams traded shots for the remainder of the period, with neither able to break through. At 15:10, frustrations boiled over when a fight broke out in front of the New Hampshire net. Three players from each team were penalized.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

Penalties hurt the Terriers in the second period. The Wildcats pulled ahead in the shot count while trying to capitalize on a pair of power plays. Sophomore standout Jenn Wakefield evened the score, firing a shot past BU junior goaltender Melissa Haber at 10:49 off assists from seniors Kacey Bellamy and Sam Faber.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

Near the end of the period, Faber found the left side of BU’s net wide open, slipping home an easy goal off assists by senior Maggie Joyce and sophomore Raylen Dziengelewski. Faber’s goal gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. UNH outshot BU, 17-5, in the second period.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

Halfway into the third, Bellamy padded the Wildcats’ lead with a shot from the slot off an assist from junior Kelly Cahill. New Hampshire’s celebration was short-lived, as BU freshman Tara Watchorn narrowed the Wildcats’ lead off Kohanchuk’s first assist of the night. Kohanchuk was there again for another assist on Anderson’s tying goal late in the third period.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in overtime, leaving the game up to a shootout during which Haber was perfect in holding off UNH’s top snipers. Koller was the second shooter for BU, notching the eventual game-winner when it mattered most.

‘Today showed a lot of heart,’ Durocher said. ‘They dug deeper and got the job done.’

It was an entirely different story against Vermont. BU had never lost to Vermont in four seasons before Friday’s game. The loss was also BU’s first in conference play this season.

Senior goaltender Ashley Walenty was a wall in net for the Catamounts, with the Terriers unable to find an opening for most of the game. Walenty stopped 34 shots to give Vermont the edge over BU. Penalties were again problematic for the Terriers, with Vermont sophomore Teddy Fortin scoring twice off power plays. Seniors Amanda Shaw and Gina Kearns had the only goals for the Terriers.

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