Ice Hockey, Sports

No. 7 women’s hockey advances to Hockey East semifinals with sweep over Vermont

Junior assistant captain Kayla Tutino scored four goals in BU’s first game against UVM. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The No. 7 Boston University women’s hockey team earned its eighth consecutive trip to the Hockey East Tournament semifinals with a weekend series sweep over the University of Vermont.

In the first game of the Hockey East quarterfinal series, BU (23-8-3, 15-5-1 Hockey East) convincingly skated past Vermont (15-19-2, 6-14-1 Hockey East) by a score of 8-1 on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena.

Looking to defend its Hockey East Tournament championship, the Terriers wasted no time in mounting their title defense. Just as the Terriers have done all season, they jumped out on their opponent early and often, as they erupted for five first-period goals.

Junior assistant captain Kayla Tutino and freshman forward Rebecca Leslie led the charge, netting four and two goals, respectively. Before the first stanza could come to a close, the Terriers already had the Catamounts back on their heels and facing a nearly insurmountable deficit.

“It’s obviously very good for the kids’ confidence to get some bounces early and some goals,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “It sets your opponent on their heels. Give our kids credit. They’ve gone to the net and found a way to get rebounds. We have to continue to point to that, meaning we have to keep on making it hard for the other team and see if we can get some screens or assists.”

As the rest of the affair unfolded, Vermont scored their lone tally 3:04 into the second period, but BU squashed any hopes of a comeback through goals from Tutino and junior forward Rebecca Russo in the second and junior forward Dakota Woodworth in the third.

By the game’s end, 10 different Terriers placed their name on the scoresheet, but the ever-reliable contributions of the first line of senior captain Marie-Philip Poulin, junior forward Sarah Lefort and Tutino pushed BU to victory. Poulin, who became the all-time leading scorer in the Hockey East Tournament, recorded four assists, while Lefort grabbed an assist of her own and Tutino bested UVM goaltender Madison Litchfield four times.

“They all are very talented individual players,” Durocher said. “Poulin is a consummate two-way player and puck distributor, while Kayla and Sarah are both shooters and finishers. But don’t get me wrong, they make good hockey plays and are hard-working kids who do all the little things in the game. We certainly count on them for usually two goals a game.”

While the first line got all of the headlines on Saturday, sophomore goaltender Victoria Hanson quietly had an impressive evening between the pipes. She ultimately stopped 22 of the 23 UVM shots that came her way and made several crucial saves when the game was still tight.

Saturday’s game followed a much similar pattern for these two teams. Just over one minute into the first period, the Terriers once again struck first, with freshman forward Victoria Bach slipping one past Litchfield. Just a minute-and-a-half later, Poulin tallied her 22nd goal of the year, assisted by Tutino and Lefort. Before the first period ended, Tutino would add one of her own, giving the Terriers a 3-0 lead after the opening frame.

“It was just one of those weekends where it’s nice to see pucks jumping in the net,” Durocher said. “Different people scoring, power-play goals, just a nice weekend offensively. I think today, we were much better in taking care of business defensively, and that was important.”

Leslie led the rush into the second period, giving BU a 4-0 lead just over a minute in. However, Vermont would rally back four minutes into the third period, with senior Delia McNally putting the Catamounts on the board. Shortly after, Terrier sophomore forward Samantha Sutherland tallied twice with helpers from Russo to give BU the 6-1 lead. UVM would score once more from senior Brittany Zuback before senior defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh finished the game off as the sixth different Terrier to score.

Hanson stopped 18 shots after three periods, improving her individual record to 14-4-2 for the 2014-15 season.

“When people score, they feel good about themselves,” Durocher said. “It’s awful nice to have a bunch of players with confidence, not just one player or one line. That’s probably the best side of this weekend.”

More Articles

Ranya currently covers field hockey and women’s hockey for the Daily Free Press. As a Biology major at BU, she spends much of her time buried in her Chemistry textbook with the occasional trip to the piano practice room to rehearse her favorite piece, Debussy’s "Claire de Lune." She is an avid ice hockey fan and a proud supporter of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Comments are closed.