In just the third game of the No. 4 Boston University women’s hockey team’s season, freshman forward Kayla Tutino picked up a rebound and slipped the puck past Niagara University’s netminder to give the Terriers a 3-1 lead.
The short-handed tally, which was one of Tutino’s two points during the game, served as her first collegiate goal as well as a precursor to what should be expected of her for the rest of her time in a BU (4-1) uniform.
“There’s no question people are going to find out how good of a hockey player she is over the years,” said BU coach Brian Durocher after the Oct. 7 game. “She skates, she’s competitive, she’s much stronger than you might see if you look at her height and immediate stature.”
After Tutino’s performance this past weekend against Union College, it won’t take years, but merely a few games for other colleges to take note of her ability.
The Lorraine, Quebec native notched three goals during the contest against the Dutchwomen (1-4), one of which was short-handed, for her first collegiate hat trick.
“It’s a good team effort and I’m happy I got three goals,” Tutino said. “But sometimes you need luck too, so I was glad it was on my side today.”
With about eight seconds left to the first period, the Terriers found themselves tied with Union after a goal from each team in the beginning of the frame.
Junior defenseman Kathryn Miller took the puck into BU’s offensive zone where junior forward Jill Cardella picked it up and skated behind the net. Cardella then passed it to Tutino who was sitting in front of the net. After two attempts that were thwarted by Union’s defense and goaltender Shenae Lundberg, Tutino slipped her third shot past Lundberg to give the Terriers a 2-1 advantage heading into the second stanza.
“She’s a kid who plays with tremendous energy,” Durocher said. “She’s fearless out there as far as going to the net and fighting her way through traffic.”
Tutino then struck twice in a three-minute span of time to cap off BU’s scoring.
With the third period just barely underway, Union took a player advantage when junior forward Taylor Holze was called for interference.
A man down, Cardella took a shot that Lundberg was able to stop but could not keep a hold of. Tutino picked up the rebound and slipped it past Lundberg for her second goal of the game and second short-handed goal of the season.
Tutino then finished off the hat trick 4:43 into the frame when senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk passed the puck through a Union player’s legs to junior forward Shannon Mahoney. Mahoney then passed it across to Tutino who notched her fourth goal of the year.
“The girls are really great about it,” Tutino said of her transition to BU. “They’re all really helpful, very supportive. So it wasn’t a big transition. The speed of the game is obviously really fast and stuff, but I got used to it real quick.”
Although the Terriers are only five games into the season, Tutino has managed to keep pace with some of the star players on the team. Tutino’s four goals is tied with Kohanchuk for the second most goals this season behind senior captain Jenn Wakefield, who has seven.
During Saturday’s offensive barrage where BU went on to have 44 shots on goal, Tutino had six shots, second only to Wakefield’s eight.
“Despite the fact she’s not the tallest kid on the squad, she’s one of the kids that’s very strong in her skates and strong on her stick,” Durocher said. “A couple of those plays she was spinning around and just found a way to get her stick on [the puck] down by the net.”