In five out of the six years of the No. 4 Boston University women’s hockey team’s existence, the Terriers have had one constant: at least one victory against Union College each season.
The Terriers (3-1), who have outscored Union 29-10 in the process of accumulating a 7-0 record against the Dutchwomen, look to continue this tradition in their seventh season.
“It’s a team that over the years we’ve had success against right from the beginning of the program,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “I expect a competitive, hardworking team will show up here on Saturday.”
The highly-touted Terriers enter this weekend’s contest, the last of a five-game home stand, having swept a two-game series against Niagara University in the first series between the schools in program history.
During the course of the weekend, BU proved its resiliency as the team came from behind in both games to win.
Friday night, the Terriers fell behind Niagara a mere 2:07 into the game; however, senior captain Jenn Wakefield scored the equalizer with just more than five minutes left until the second period on a power-play goal to bring BU back up to speed.
This served as Wakefield’s first point out of six on the weekend as the team captain went on to score three goals and have three assists.
She was named the Hockey East Co-Player of the Week for the second-straight time because of her efforts.
“The award was well deserved,” Durocher said. “She’s done a great job with this team. She’s a tremendous goal scorer and . . . I don’t think anybody shoots the puck any harder than her in college hockey. The pucks have been going in for her.”
The Terriers took the lead with two goals in the third frame, the first of which was scored by senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk on a power play and the second by freshman forward Kayla Tutino, short-handed, for her first collegiate goal.
On Saturday the Terriers fell behind in the second period when the Purple Eagles took a 2-1 lead. However, 12:13 into the frame, Wakefield scored to even it up. Kohanchuk followed that up a little more than a minute later with her third goal of the series and her second-straight game-winning goal.
Junior forward Isabel Menard added to the offensive barrage with less than a second left to the frame with her second tally of the season.
Wakefield scored again 5:14 into the third period to account for the final score of 5-2.
While Durocher was pleased with his team’s performance, he said he is still looking to see the Terriers improve defensively throughout he course of the season.
“I think we’ve got enough talent offensively here that if we get the focus on playing sound defensively and taking away the middle of the rink we’ll score our goals in time,” Durocher said. “But I want to keep making sure we work there.”
BU’s lineup will still be missing some key players this weekend as senior defenseman Tara Watchorn and redshirt freshman defenseman Caroline Campbell will still be out because of injury.
Watchorn, who is out because of a concussion, suffered a setback this week and Campbell, who has an injured ankle, is still on crutches.
Despite this, Durocher is optimistic about the depth of his team.
“With the injuries, it’s an opportunity for someone else to step forward and get more shifts,” Durocher said. “So far there have been people who definitely seem relaxed out there and are playing pretty well.”
The Dutchwomen (1-2) will come into Saturday’s game after playing Northeastern University on Friday.
Last weekend, Union defeated Sacred Heart University 9-2 in an offensive outburst that would become the team’s first win of the season. Sophomore Stefanie Thomson and junior Rhianna Kurio, who lead the team in goals, scored their team leading two-goals a piece during the game.
Back when the teams met up in October of last year, the Terriers defeated Union 6-2 on the backs of Kohnachuk and sophomore forward Marie-Philip Poulin who each had one goal, and Wakefield who had two tallies.
An interesting part of this game will come into effect if Union junior Talia Menard plays her first game for the Dutchwomen. Talia is the twin sister of BU’s Isabel Menard.Both of the women transferred out of Syracuse University this past summer.
“It’s going to be a fun family rivalry and an opportunity to play against each other,” Durocher said. “I think they’ll both enjoy an exciting college hockey game and try to beat the other one.”