Ice Hockey, Sports

W. hockey takes on Harvard in Beanpot opener

The Boston University women’s hockey team remembers what happened last Feb. 12. The Terriers remember being tested, both physically and mentally, by Harvard University. They remember the 34 saves that then-junior goaltender Allyse Wilcox made that night. But they also remember the three shots that found the back of the net.

The then-No. 1 Crimson beat the Terriers (13-9-5) that night in the women’s Beanpot championship game, claiming their 12th win in the local tournament’s 30-year history. It was also Harvard’s eighth Beanpot win in the last 10 years.

Tonight, BU will find itself toe-to-toe with Harvard for the first time since the Crimson swiped the Beanpot pearl from the Terriers’ grasp almost a year ago. This time, the two teams will trade punches in the first round of the 31st Annual Beanpot Tournament. The puck drops at 5 p.m. at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena.

‘We’re looking for our first one,’ BU senior co-captain Gina Kearns said, referring to the fact that the Terriers have not claimed a Beanpot championship since reinstating the varsity team four years ago. ‘Hopefully, we can get something going and keep winning them for years to come.’

In the three years BU has participated since jumping to varsity, the team has appeared in the Beanpot championship game twice. In 2007, they were ousted by Boston College, 6-1.

The winner of tonight’s game will face either Northeastern or BC in next Tuesday’s championship, while the loser will play one of those teams in the consolation game.’

Harvard is no longer the top dog in the national rankings, but the Crimson remain a dominant force in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, with an overall season record of 10-7-3 and a 10-4-2 mark in the ECAC.

The Crimson feature several faces that the Terriers will surely recognize tonight. Harvard senior forward Sarah Wilson will lead the offensive charge after claiming the Most Valuable Player award in last year’s Beanpot. She tagged BU for a goal and an assist in last year’s championship match. In this year’s matchup, senior co-captain Sarah Vaillancourt currently leads the Crimson with 23 points on the season.

Junior goaltender Christina Kessler will pose a huge threat to BU. In last year’s Beanpot, Kessler won the Bertagna Award for the tournament’s top goalie. This year, she has posted a .909 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average in 16 games.

‘We’ve gotta watch a couple of their top kids,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said of Harvard. ‘Christina Kessler is one of the top goalies, so the screens, the distractions in front of the net, that could be part of our thought process.’

‘They’re a great team, and we haven’t seen them too much,’ Kearns, who scored BU’s only goal in last year’s final against Harvard, said. ‘But we’re excited to play a new team, get a new look.’

The Terriers head into the tournament fresh off two weekend victories against Hockey East basement-dweller the University of Vermont. The consecutive wins came as BU weathered a rough patch in its season. The Terriers were jettisoned from the national rankings in mid-January after rising as high as fourth in November.’

Regardless of the outcome, this year’s women’s Beanpot should not disappoint fans. All four participating teams have occupied a top-ten spot at some point during this season. The No. 6 BC Eagles are the only remaining nationally ranked competitor.

Website | More Articles

This is an account occasionally used by the Daily Free Press editors to post archived posts from previous iterations of the site or otherwise for special circumstance publications. See authorship info on the byline at the top of the page.

Comments are closed.