Ice Hockey, Sports

Split decision

The Boston University women’s hockey team got through its first weekend road trip with mixed results, defeating Union College, 3-2, Friday before losing, 2-0, to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Saturday.
In the regular season opener for both teams, the Terriers (1-1) dominated the first two periods, outshooting Union (0-1) by a 33-2 margin.
‘[The first two periods] were a reflection on our control of puck possession,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said. ‘During that time, we were the ones who controlled the play.’
BU’s first goal came 18 minutes into the first off the stick of junior defenseman Sarah Appleton with assists from sophomore Jillian Kirchner and freshman Jenelle Kohanchuk, both of whom would be heard from later in the contest.
One period later, Kirchner ‘-‘- who scored the overtime winner a week earlier against Dawson College ‘-‘- made it 2-0 with assists from senior captain Gina Kearns and Kohanchuk.
The third period saw an offensive surge from the Dutchwomen, as senior Suzy Pocock put the biscuit in the basket with 13 minutes left.
BU countered six minutes later when Kohanchuk returned the Terrier lead to two, giving the freshman a total of three points on the evening.
‘She’s off to a wonderful start,’ Durocher said. ‘I was glad to see her exhibition performance [in which she had two goals and an assist] didn’t jinx her in the regular season.’
Soon after, the Union deficit was reduced to one goal after two Terrier penalties, combined with the strategic decision by the Dutchwomen to pull goaltender Lundy Day and create a six-on-three situation. Union took advantage, as junior Jackie Koetteritz scored with 41 seconds left in the game.
It was too little too late for the Dutchwomen, however, as BU held on for the 3-2 victory.
Senior goaltender Alysse Wilcox earned the win in net with 12 saves, most of which came in the third period.
It was a win the Terriers could not enjoy for long, as the next day brought the RPI Engineers (1-1), a fellow Division-I program that has also been varsity for four years. The teams split their previous four meetings, with the home team prevailing in every contest.
The Engineers, trying to bounce back after a 3-2 home loss to Northeastern University to start their season, put up their first tally on a goal by sophomore Kendra Dunlop 12 minutes in.
The Terriers saw numerous advantages in the second period, putting 11 shots on net, but thanks to the efforts of RPI goaltender Sonja van der Bliek and the rest of the Engineer defense, a goose egg remained on the scoreboard for BU.
‘It just wasn’t our day,’ Durocher said. ‘There were times when we couldn’t quite get our stick on [the puck] or didn’t find the open person in a two-on-one. We just didn’t have any puck luck.’
In the third, the Terriers were forced to persevere through a two-man RPI advantage to keep it 1-0. However, a goal by junior Allysen Weidner with 67 seconds left in regulation virtually ended all hope for a Terrier comeback. Even a last minute two-man advantage bore no fruit for BU.
Van der Bliek was outstanding between the pipes, saving all 23 shots on the afternoon. Lost in the Terrier defeat was Wilcox’s 33-save effort.
The Terriers play their first home games of the young season at Walter Brown Arena Friday and Saturday against No. 5 Mercyhurst College.
‘We have to come in with some confidence that we can beat a nationally ranked team,’ Durocher said. ‘They beat us twice at their place last year. Hopefully, we’ll have some better fortune at home this time.’

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