Ice Hockey, Sports

Terriers’ power play strong in 5–4 victory

The No. 5 Boston University women’s hockey team met No. 10 Northeastern University on the ice Wednesday night, beating the Huskies (11–9–2, 5–6–4 Hockey East) 5–4 to extend BU’s unbeaten streak to 11 games.

The Terriers (15–3–3, 10–2–1 Hockey East) last met the Huskies on the ice Oct. 16, where the Terriers came away victorious, 4–1. Four different players registered goals for BU.

On Wednesday, BU was led by freshman Sarah Lefort, who scored her first career hat trick and her first two power-play goals of the season.

Six minutes into the first period during a power play, Lefort picked up a rebound and sent the puck to the back of the net to put the Terriers up, 1–0. Senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk and junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin assisted on the play.

Five minutes later, while on yet another power play — NU junior Sonia St. Martin was sent to the box for holding — junior Louise Warren scored her one goal for the night, giving the Terriers a 2–0 lead.

BU coach Brian Durocher attributed BU’s scoring to its strong offensive lines, which have more experience than some of the NU players.

“People can key on the line, but with us I think it’s hard because you have two ‘A’ lines, and certainly you have two other lines that can play college hockey at a really significant level,” Durocher said. “So it’s a hard matchup. It’s a nice problem for us to have as coaches, but a tricky one sometimes for opponents.”

Sixteen minutes into the first period, NU scored the last goal of the opening frame.

Sophomore Lucie Povova cut BU’s lead in half with a power-play goal.

BU entered the second period with 1:41 remaining on a power play from the previous period. Not even a minute in, Lefort scored her second power-play goal of the night, and her career, to increase BU’s lead to 3–1.

Nine minutes later, senior forward Isabel Menard scored on assists from junior forward Louise Warren and freshman forward Dakota Woodworth. It was her ninth goal of the season.

BU remained unchallenged until the last second of the period, when junior Brittany Esposito whipped the puck in with less than a second left on the clock, cutting BU’s lead in half yet again. At the end of two periods, BU led Northeastern, 4–2.

Despite BU’s lead throughout the game, Durocher said the team lacked the control they had when they met Northeastern on the ice in October.

“The last game we played, we seemed to be in control. I think we were a little sharper moving the puck,” Durocher said. “I think we have a little bit more of an experienced team, but their kids are getting used to college hockey now.”

Halfway through the third period, Lefort scored her third goal of the game to push the BU lead to 5–2, giving her the first hat trick of her career and BU its final goal of the night.

Northeastern made a strong effort to overcome the deficit at the end of the game.

NU cut BU’s lead down to two after a power-play goal by sophomore Kendall Coyne 17:53 into the third, after which Durocher immediately called a timeout.

“I was maybe hoping it was a 58-minute game,” Durocher said. “But truth be told, we didn’t quite close out either period — the second or the third. We gave them a big goal, and it gave them a little bit of light in the second.

“We answered that by getting the fifth goal and having ourselves in a nice position, but we ended up giving up another goal, and it was 5–3,” Durocher added.

Ten seconds after Coyne’s goal, NU freshman Paige Savage slipped a goal right past goalkeeper Kerrin Sperry, which represented NU’s last goal of the night.

“Then obviously a crazy goal that made it 5–4,” Durocher said. “It was a great chance for them to pull a goalie and tie the game … We’ve got to make sure we close the deal here, and play a real good game like that, and to let three in four minutes really put us behind the eight ball.”

Regardless of the shaky third period, Durocher said the team has been playing well, and he’s proud of their 11-game unbeaten streak.

“I think we’ve been playing pretty darn well here,” Durocher said. “We’ve got multiple people putting pucks in the net. The defense is back to keeping the play a lot simpler. But we’re still playing some tight hockey games.”

Durocher also said the game separated the team from the rest of the league.

“It puts us right on BC’s tail,” Durocher said. “I think we can make this thing a two-team race right now, and look at the biggest picture, which is the NCAA tournament. We want to try to earn our way in there, and this is another step in the right direction.”

BU heads to Burlington, Vt., next weekend to play the University of Vermont on Jan. 25.

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