The Boston University women’s ice hockey team put past and current struggles behind it over the weekend when it completed a two-game sweep of the University of Vermont at Walter Brown Arena.
The two victories guaranteed the Terriers (13-9-5, 10-6-0 Hockey East) a repeat appearance in the Hockey East Tournament.
Junior goaltender Melissa Haber posted her first shutout of the season Saturday, stopping 23 shots and helping her team earn a 4-0 blowout against Vermont (5-22-1, 3-12-0). Haber has not given up a goal against the Catamounts in her career.
Senior forward Gina Kearns’ late-game theatrics Friday allowed the Terriers to narrowly escape with a win in the first game of the series. Kearns scored in the final three minutes of the game, just edging out Vermont’s defense for a 3-2 win. The score was Kearns’ 12th goal and second game-winner of the season.’
‘That was the mark of a goal-scorer, the mark of a kid who can truly score under pressure. And we needed it,’ BU coach Brian Durocher said of Kearns’ heroics. ‘It’s huge when your captains can do that for you. The win was really important for us after having so many frustrations, having outshot our opponents by a significant margin and not having much to show for it.’
Kearns’ weekend performance put her two points closer to becoming the first Terrier ever to score 100 points in her career. She currently has 96 career points.
The team that showed up for Saturday’s game was entirely different than the one that had lost to Vermont in December. BU’s offense was dominant, with four different Terriers scoring goals.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
Senior Erin Seman, sophomore Lauren Cherewyk and freshman Tara Watchorn all tallied two points, with a goal and an assist each. Junior Jenn Arms scored her first goal of the season to top off BU’s offensive performance.
The game started off slow for the Terriers despite a significant lead in shots for most of the first period. Even with a two-man advantage for 52 seconds, BU was unable to score until the final seconds of the period. At 19:37, junior Melissa Anderson passed the puck to Cherewyk, who ripped off a shot from the left faceoff dot to tally her 10th goal of the season.
The Terriers struggled with multiple penalties in the second period that put Vermont on the power play for over five minutes and gave them a two-man advantage for over two minutes. Haber dominated the net, however, stopping seven shots in that span and preserving her chance for a shutout.
Friday’s game was a different story for the Terriers, with the Catamounts matching BU shot for shot and the outcome in doubt until the final minutes.
At 10:24 in the first period, BU sophomore Jillian Kirchner found the open net on a power play, scoring off assists by Kearns and senior Sarah Russell.
The Terriers were able to hold off the Catamounts despite hurting themselves with several penalties in the first. However, just as the Terriers were coming off a defensive stand with two players sent to the penalty box, Vermont sophomore Molly Morrison tied up the score.
Junior Jonnie Bloemers gave the Terriers the lead once again when she ripped a shot into the net off an assist by senior Laurel Koller. But less than two minutes later, Vermont found a way to tie the game yet again. Junior Brittany Nelson of the Catamounts banged in a rebound to tie the score at 2-2.
Neither team was able to score again until Kearns’ game-winner. A pass from Watchorn allowed Kearns to take advantage of a breakaway, shooting past the Catamounts’ defense for the late score.’ ‘
‘I didn’t really get the shot that I wanted, but luckily it trickled through,’ Kearns said. ‘It feels good to get the win and two points in Hockey East.’