While it wasn’t the game the No. 7 Boston University women’s hockey team probably would have liked to take part in on Tuesday afternoon at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, BU made the most of it.
The Terriers (19-7-2, 13-4-0 Hockey East) squared off against Northeastern University in the consolation round of the 37th Annual Women’s Beanpot Tournament and won by a score of 3-1.
“It was a pretty hard-fought game on both sides,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “I can’t say either team had a significant advantage in the play. Both goaltenders were very, very good tonight, and it was, for a consolation game, a pretty hard-fought battle all the way through, so credit to the kids who put the uniforms on for both teams.
“They were competing, they were fighting, and it just wasn’t one of those games with all kinds of wide-open play, nobody playing defense. It was a pretty hard-fought battle all the way through.”
Senior captain Marie-Philip Poulin found the back of the net first just 2:38 into the first period. The center took the puck down the right wing into the offensive zone and fired it past goaltender Sarah Foss to give BU a 1-0 lead.
After some up and down play gave both teams chances, it was the Terriers who broke through again. With 21 seconds remaining in the opening frame, junior forward Kayla Tutino redirected a junior winger Sarah Lefort dish, and it slipped between Foss’s pads, pinging around a bit before sliding over the red line for the tally.
During the middle frame, the ice was tilted more toward the Huskies (9-15-4, 8-8-1 Hockey East) who, after being outshot 18-12 in the first, registered 13 shots on net to BU’s 11 in the second. Just 16 seconds in, senior Chelsiea Goll found winger Hayley Masters, who tucked it past sophomore goaltender Victoria Hanson.
Hanson finished the evening with 31 saves and refused every shot aside from Masters’ strike.
The Terriers caught a bit of a break as former Olympian and NU captain Kendall Coyne was out of the lineup Tuesday with a lower-body injury. She had recorded hat tricks against BU in the teams’ past two meetings. As a whole, the Huskies were operating with a short bench and rolled just three lines with an extra forward, which didn’t help in the third period when the Terriers started taking control of the game again.
Allowing just seven shots on goal in the final stanza, BU put itself in a position to close out the victory with an empty-net goal. Tutino made a play in the corner, and Poulin picked it up, taking the puck to the right circle and roofing it in the vacant cage, sealing the win and securing third place in the tournament.
Durocher noted that the game may have had stronger implications for BU than it did for Northeastern in terms of the playoffs. The more games the Terriers win now, the less vital beating No. 1 Boston College becomes in the season’s waning contests.
“We’re sitting in kind of a precarious spot on the PairWise,” he said. “And if you look at our schedule, what we have ahead, we’ve got to make sure that we win this game and win a handful of others so that when we have to play Boston College in a couple games, it may not be a life or death thing to beat that team. That’s a fantastic hockey team, so there might have been that whisker more momentum for us.”
Durocher also made sure to mention, though, that he thought both teams on the ice Tuesday were highly competitive and were willing to show up in full, even if it was for a consolation game.
“Both teams showed that they have a lot of competitors,” he said. “A lot of kids with heart and a lot of kids who, despite playing at 4:30 [p.m.] instead of 7:30 [p.m.], they wanted to let people know that they’re going to fight, they’re going to compete.”