Ice Hockey, Sports

Haber and Wilcox give strength in net

It takes time to build a successful team. Four years isn’t a long time, but somehow Boston University women’s hockey coach Brian Durocher has managed to build a successful program in that short period.
The lynchpin of the program’s success is superior goaltending. Durocher not only has a star in senior Allyse Wilcox, a first-class goalie with All-Star credentials, but her backup, junior Melissa Haber, has also had an impressive career with several notable starts.
A cornerstone of the team since its move to Division I, Wilcox is a fixture in the Terrier net. As a freshman in 2005-06, Wilcox finished with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 28 games.
In her sophomore and junior seasons, Wilcox ranked among the nation’s best. In 2006-07, she made 40 saves against Quinnipiac University on Nov. 29 and 36 more against Providence College on Feb. 10. Last year, she made the All-New England Division-I All-Star team and earned First-Team Hockey East honors.
Sunday against No. 9 St. Lawrence University at Walter Brown Arena, Wilcox showed off her supreme skills in her most remarkable performance of the young season. She finished with 31 saves and was perfect in the first two periods.
‘I thought she played amazing,’ junior forward Melissa Anderson said. ‘There was one shift when I was out there and our line sort of messed up. She had our backs. I have so much confidence when she’s in the net. I know she’ll always be there to bail us out.’
‘I always want to put my team in a position to win,’ Wilcox said. ‘We only had a two-goal lead, so I didn’t want to give that up.’
Haber has had an impressive career of her own. In just two years, she has already solidified her role as a reliable goaltender for the Terriers.
As a freshman in 2006-07, Haber ranked in the top 20 nationally with a .910 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average. Though she did not get as many starts in her sophomore campaign, Haber recorded a program-record 50 saves last season against the then-No. 7 University of Minnesota.
This season, Haber looks ready to stake her claim as one of the conference’s top goaltenders. In her excellent performance against Clarkson University Saturday at Walter Brown, she registered 28 saves and allowed one goal to give the Terrier offense some much-needed breathing room.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
‘She had an outstanding performance,’ Durocher said. ‘She was highly competitive, and I think she was relaxed out there as well. I’ve said all along that she is an established Division-I goalie.’
Whichever goalie Durocher chooses to start against the No. 4 University of New Hampshire on Thursday will be in for a challenge. The Terriers have yet to defeat the Wildcats since joining Division I.
‘We need to get a point out of them,’ Wilcox said. ‘We haven’t done that yet. That’s our goal this year.’
The battle-tested Wilcox, however, is confident her team can have success against the Wildcats this year.
‘This year has been tough already,’ Wilcox said. ‘We’ve played a couple of nationally ranked teams, and we’re doing pretty well against them. We have our confidence, and we know we’ll be able to get some points out of them.’

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