Last season, then-freshman forward Marie-Philip Poulin came out of her first game as a member of the Boston University women’s hockey team with her first collegiate goal.
Now a little over a year later, Poulin, who injured her spleen in just the second game of the 2011-12 season, notched her first tally of the year during a contest against the University of Maine on Saturday.
Saturday’s contest marked the 22nd game of the season for the Terriers (11-11-1, 6-6 Hockey East) and put Poulin 15 goals behind the amount she had last year at this time.
“It was great to have her back because she’s obviously a world-class player,” said BU coach Brian Durocher after Sunday’s game, a 5-2 loss to the Black Bears (12-8-5, 6-6-1 Hockey East).
However, along with the joy of Poulin’s return to the ice came concern as the sophomore was injured again by the end of the game. This time Poulin suffered an injury to her shoulder, according to a team source.
While the saga of Poulin’s career with the Terriers has further perpetuated the understanding of the Beauceville, Quebec native’s talent, it has also been injury ridden.
Last season, Poulin missed six games during the second half of the season after fracturing her wrist while trying to block a shot in a game against the University of New Hampshire.
Despite missing those games, Poulin scored 24 goals during the season and had a total of 47 points during her 28 games played, totals that were second only to current senior captain Jenn Wakefield.
Poulin earned the title of Hockey East Rookie of the Year and was the only unanimous selection to the conference’s All-Rookie Team.
At the beginning of 2011-12 season, Poulin was expected to have a similarly successful year and was given the title of assistant captain. However, during the second game of the season against the University of North Dakota, Poulin was hit near the left circle by North Dakota’s goal.
Poulin, who did not appear to be injured at the time, was not helped off the ice. Eventually it became clear, though, that Poulin would not be back before January.
In the Terriers first game of the New Year on Jan. 8, Poulin made her return and displayed her abilities as she earned her first point of the season when she assisted freshman forward Kayla Tutino’s game-winning goal against Maine.
“I’m sure she was terribly excited to get back into it,” Durocher said after the game. “As far as I saw from a conditioning standpoint, from a skating standpoint, from a positional standpoint she was fantastic.”
Along with the excitement of having Poulin back in the lineup was the hope that the win would set BU in the right direction after a disappointing end to the first half of the season.
“I think the kids in general feel like we let some things get away from us at the end of the first semester – the last five, six, seven games,” Durocher said, “and they’re excited to have a good run here as we go into the second half.”
The good feelings continued into the Terriers’ next game, their second contest of three straight against Maine.
Poulin scored the first goal of the game – and her first of the season – during a power play at the end of the first period. Tutino sent the puck from behind the goal to Wakefield who passed it over to Poulin, who one-timed it into the back of the net.
Poulin went to work again during the second frame when she scored her second goal of the game after she picked up the rebound of a shot by senior defenseman Tara Watchorn and slipped it into the net to give BU a 2-1 lead.
The third frame of the game didn’t bode as well for the Terriers, who gave up two goals in what would become a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Black Bears.
BU also had another setback as Poulin injured her shoulder once again, after a hit in the same section of the ice as where she was injured earlier in the season.
During Sunday’s game, the final contest of the three-game stretch against Maine, the severity of Poulin’s injury was unknown.
“I hate to use [Poulin’s injury] as a crutch and I will never use it as a crutch,” Durocher said.