Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey sees mixed results in weekend set vs. UConn

PHOTO BY FALON MORAN/DFP FILE PHOTO
PHOTO BY FALON MORAN/DFP FILE PHOTO

The Boston University women’s hockey team continued its strong stretch of play this weekend, collecting three points in a split against the University of Connecticut.

With the tie at UConn (7-8-3, 3-5-1 Hockey East) on Saturday, and the victory on home ice in a Sunday matinee, the Terriers (12-7-1, 9-3-1 Hockey East) have now gone 6-1-1 in their past eight contests.

“The biggest thing is we’re scoring goals,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “Whether it’s either of the top two lines or the kids that are playing on the other two lines, we’re getting goals, we’re getting opportunities, and we’ve scored on the power play pretty well also.”

In Saturday’s action, despite taking a 3-0 first period lead, BU had to settle for a 4-4 tie in overtime. The Huskies came storming back to score three goals of their own in the third period to salvage the draw.

Sophomore forward Victoria Bach continued her recent hot streak with a goal at the 12:26 mark in the first period to get the scoring going for BU. Deflecting junior defender Alexis Crossley’s shot past UConn goaltender Annie Belanger, she netted her third goal in two games, and 10th of the season.

Senior forward Rebecca Russo lit the lamp next for the Terriers, scoring her first of two on the night just over three minutes later. The Westport, Connecticut, native added her second goal at the 18:50 mark in the period to put the Terriers in front by a commanding 3-0 margin.

The Huskies got on the board 3:39 into the second period, as sophomore Theresa Knutson put in her first of two goals on the night off an assist from freshman Jordy Zacharias and sophomore Justine Fredette, respectively.

With less than five minutes to go in the second stanza, junior forward Samantha Sutherland put the Terriers back up by three goals. Despite heading into the third period with the lead intact, BU was outshot 11-4 in the second frame.

UConn began its ferocious comeback with a Knutson goal just 33 seconds into the third period. Defenseman Jaime Fox scored her first collegiate goal to make it a one-score game, and then Fredette capped off her four-point night, and the Huskies’ comeback, with a goal past the pads of BU sophomore goaltender Erin O’Neil at the 17:39 mark.

Despite allowing four goals on the night, Durocher said he has been impressed with his starter’s play in net recently.

“She’s been steady,” Durocher said. “I’m sure there’s a goal or two she’d like to grab back maybe in each game, but she’s had situations where she’s had to make big saves in different parts of the game, and she’s done that. I like the fact that she’s gone and handled pucks around the net better than she was earlier in the year.”

Both teams only mustered three shots in the overtime period, closing out a disappointing night for the Terriers.

On Sunday, though, the Terriers got revenge, playing with aggression from the opening faceoff en route to a 4-3 victory.

BU didn’t waste any time getting on the board, as senior winger Sarah Lefort flipped the puck across the crease to classmate and fellow forward Kayla Tutino for a one-timer on the opening shift of the game.

The Huskies responded with a goal of their own at the 9:36 mark in the first period, as Zacharias scored off a wild misdirect from the point.

With six minutes left to go in the period, Lefort skated down the ice and dangled past UConn defensemen, leading to her seventh goal of the season, this time on a shorthanded try.

The first line continued its dominance in the second stanza, as Bach added a goal 35 seconds into the period, making it 3-1 Terriers.

The Huskies did not go away, though. Knutson, who leads the team in goals, cut the deficit to one at the 14:17 mark in the period, firing a wrister past O’Neil. Zacharias tied the score at three with less than eight minutes to go in the game, but the Terriers had the last laugh in this one.

Adding to her stellar night, Lefort scored the game-winner for BU at the 14:20 mark in the third period.

Despite the recent string of victories for the Terriers, Lefort was quick to note that the team is simply taking it one game at a time. If each player continues to focus on the task at hand, the team will sustain its success.

“We’re just trying to focus on the little details,” Lefort said. “Whether it be in practice trying to compete in every drill, trying to win battles on the side of the boards and everything, so as long as we focus on the little things, the wins will keep coming.”

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