Ice Hockey, Sports

Offensive struggles put women’s hockey in doghouse in loss

In its last game the No. 9/10 Boston University women’s hockey will play in 2011, the Terriers wavered under the strong performance of Northeastern University.

The Terriers (10-9-1, 5-4 Hockey East) continued their recent offensive struggle in last night’s 4-1 loss to Northeastern University (13-4-1, 8-2-1 Hockey East) at Matthews Arena.

“I thought [Northeastern] was the better team,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “I thought they controlled play and again I felt like we didn’t want to work hard.

“We wanted the game to maybe be easy and it was a little bit disappointing to see them come out and not only outplay us, but outwork us.”

After starting off the game with relatively even play, a misstep on the Terriers part led to a Northeastern goal halfway through the first period when BU took control of the puck behind its own net.

A slight hesitation led to Northeastern junior Rachel Llanes stealing the puck. Llanes then took a shot off of BU’s sophomore goaltender Kerrin Sperry’s pads. Northeastern freshman Lucie Povova picked up the rebound in front of the crease and shot it behind Sperry at 8:37 to give the Huskies an early advantage.

Just over a minute later, freshman Kendall Coyne, who scored both goals in the Huskies 2-0 win over BU last week, skipped the puck past Sperry to put Northeastern up 2-0.

“I think we were circling and they were competing,” Durocher said of Northeastern’s first two goals. “They were stopping and starting, we were taking the slow route to get there and there was no sense of urgency.”

Throughout the first frame, the Terriers struggled to keep the puck out of their zone, resulting in the Huskies attempting 21 total shots to BU’s 13.

The Huskies jumped onto the scoreboard once again 3:37 into the second frame when senior Stephanie Gavronsky skated around the BU defense. Gavronsky proceeded to shoot the puck past Sperry on a breakaway.

Toward the middle of the second frame, the Terriers began to settle in offensively and had multiple chances to narrow the difference. However, Northeastern goaltender Florence Schelling put aside all of BU’s shots to keep the shutout intact until the third period.

With less than fifteen minutes left in the contest, freshman forward Kayla Tutino and senior captain Jenn Wakefield worked together to put BU on the board. After several attempts by Wakefield during the course of the game, the Pickering, Ontario native slapped a shot toward the net that Tutino tipped into the goal for the Terriers lone tally of the night.

While the Terriers looked rejuvenated after the goal, they were unable to decrease the deficit.

“Finally we [scored] in the third when we probably played our best period, but it’s just too little too late,” Durocher said. “Lessons have to be learned that it’s not a 20 minute game, you can’t just flip a switch when you want.

“You have to be ready from the get-go. Unfortunately we haven’t been ready of recent and I’ll take credit for that.”

Northeastern added on its fourth goal of the game with 3:04 left in the contest. Junior Brittany Esposito finished off the scoring with her fifth goal of the season.

Schelling ended the game with 29 saves. So far this season she has given up just one goal in two contests against BU.

The Terriers, who have now lost five of their last six games, will have to wait a month before they take the ice again.

Durocher said he believed there were things the team needed to improve on during the break.

“In the second half of the year, we’re going to have to do a lot of things better,” Durocher said. “First and foremost, our determination, our competitive nature, has to be much stronger than it was coming down the stretch here.”

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