With its fifth win in a row, the Boston University women’s hockey team came full circle with a win over the University of New Hampshire on Saturday. By defeating UNH 5-1, the Terriers claimed the regular season series with the Wildcats and improved their record to 16-12-1 (10-7-0 Hockey East).
“We played a thorough game,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “We didn’t have any long-term letdowns.”
For the second contest in a row, five different Terriers lit the lamp.
Junior forward Isabel Menard had a hand in all five goals against the Wildcats (10-16-3, 4-10-2 Hockey East), opening the contest with the first goal and assisting in the following four.
“She is someone who shows a great focus,” Durocher said. “She is stepping up not only on the score sheet, but as a leader as well.”
The Terriers started off quickly just over a minute into the opening frame when Menard received a pass from senior defenseman Tara Watchorn in the neutral zone. She then brought it up the left wing and around the back of the net for a wrap-around past UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton.
The game-opening goal continued Menard’s three-game scoring streak. Her five-point game is the second one she has earned this season, and the four assists she added to the game is a personal record for the Ottawa, Ontario native.
After getting on the board, the Terriers did not answer on four straight power-play opportunities, with senior captain Jenn Wakefield the closest to scoring with a shot on the left post that bounced off the pipe.
“The best thing was that we didn’t let it get us down,” Durocher said of the lack of success with the man advantage. “There were physical errors, and it’s the mental errors that bother us more.”
The Wildcats struck back at 16:20 to finish the first period at an even 1-1 when forward Emma Clark snuck the puck past sophomore netminder Kerrin Sperry. The Wildcat’s shot came just after a Terrier power play.
While its first-period special-team attempts were unsuccessful, BU avenged itself on its next power play with a goal from the middle of the slot. Watchorn notched her fourth tally of the season with assists from Menard and Wakefield.
“I think it’s easier [to score goals from multiple players in a game] in a positive cycle,” Durocher said. “It affects a lot of the game. We’ve had a lot of good things happen.”
Freshman forward Kayla Tutino increased the Terrier lead and added to that positive cycle when she and Menard tag-teamed to draw the defense away from the net. The passing left Tutino with an easy shot that she tapped in for her 14th goal of the year. Wakefield also assisted on the tally, giving the Terriers a 3-1 advantage before the final frame.
BU further improved its fourth-ranked penalty kill when sophomore forward Louise Warren received a pass from Menard, sending the puck into the net for Warren’s fourth goal of the season. It was the Terriers’ second short-handed goal in two games and their third in the last four.
After receiving a pass from Sperry, Menard furthered her involvement in the game when she carried the puck to the left corner of UNH’s side of the ice. Wakefield came skating down the line to accept the pass and send it into the net for her 19th goal of the season.
The Terriers and Wildcats ended the game within one shot of each other, with UNH trumping the Terriers 23-22. BU, however, was 2-for-8 on the power play while UNH was 0-for-4.
There are just five games left in the regular season, including the final Beanpot match against No. 7 Northeastern University, which makes the timing of the Terriers’ win streak even more important to BU.
“We always want to be playing well at the end of the year,” Durocher said.
Even though she returned to the lineup last weekend, Marie-Philip Poulin did not play in Saturday’s game due to a hand injury. However, she is expected to be back in the lineup for Tuesday’s Beanpot championship game.
“No one got injured, we played a quality 60 minutes and we have positive energy and positive momentum,” Durocher said. “It puts you in a good frame of mind.”