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Women’s Turn at Beanpot Tonight

Lacing up against archrival BC

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When the women’s ice hockey Terriers lace up tonight against archrival Boston College, they will be playing for more than just bragging rights: the nationally ranked BU team will get the chance to play for the Beanpot championship. Round one of the annual women’s Beanpot Tournament is set to begin at 8 p.m. at BC’s Conte Forum.

Held each year since the 1978–1979 season, the Beanpot features the four Boston-area Division I women’s programs—Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern. The Harvard-Northeastern game is at 5 p.m., also at BC. The Terriers captured their only Beanpot title in 1981 competing as a club team, but have secured two second-place finishes, in 2007 and 2008, since their elevation to the varsity level in 2005.

“Anytime we play Boston College it’s a tough matchup, but since it’s for the Beanpot it definitely ups the ante,” says captain Holly Lorms (SMG’11). “It’s a tremendous honor to have the opportunity to play for it.”

Tonight’s game will be the Terriers’ fourth face-off against BC this season. BU has claimed two of the three Hockey East regular-season contests. Although the teams play in the same league, tonight’s matchup is a non-conference game.

“The thoroughness we’ve had at Conte Forum has been impressive,” says BU head coach Brian Durocher (SED’78). “We’ve been able to generate some opportunities and get pucks into the back of the net. It’s hard to beat someone three times in a season, but the Beanpot is out there. It’s an event that creates a lot of emotion, and it’s another chance to add a first to this program.”

When the teams met for the first time this season back in November, at Walter Brown Arena, BU came away with a 6-3 loss. The next night was a different story: a Terrier 1-0 shutout of the Eagles at Conte Forum, the first victory of their program-best 13-game winning streak.

BU took its second straight game over the Eagles on January 15, when the Terriers triumphed 4-0, again at Conte Forum.

Durocher says the Terriers’ November loss to BC actually helped the team during its recent winning streak. “We learned an important lesson against BC when they really outplayed us,” the sixth-year head coach says. “They gave us a great wakeup call and we really started paying attention to detail since then.”

Forward Jenn Wakefield (CAS’12) has excelled this season playing the Eagles, registering three goals and five assists. Wakefield is a transfer student from the University of New Hampshire new to the team this year, so tonight will be her first Beanpot.

“I’m very excited. Everyone on the team says it’s one of their favorite events at BU,” she says. “I’m expecting a big, tough game.”

Wakefield is just one of a number of Terriers who have shined during a season that has seen the program reach new levels. A 4-0 win over Vermont on January 22 marked the team’s 100th win in program history. The squad has also set new program highs in longest winning and unbeaten streaks and wins in a season, and 12 players have registered at least 10 points and 15 have scored at least one goal.

“We have offensively talented kids, especially with our top three lines,” says Durocher. “We can also roll through seven defensemen who are not only great defensively, but also bring good abilities on the offensive side. Our ability to get the puck out of our end and through the neutral zone has been the real catalyst for our team.”

This year’s tournament is the last opportunity for the three seniors on the squad—Lauren Cherewyk (COM’11), Jillian Kirchner (SAR’11), and Lorms—to claim the ultimate Boston bragging rights.

“This is my last chance to say, ‘I won a Beanpot,’ and only people that go to one of the Boston-area schools can say that,” Lorms says. “Playing against BC will be tough and fun. It’s always a great game. This is the year the Terriers bring it home.”

The Terriers face off against Boston College in the Beanpot opener tonight, Tuesday, February 8, at 8 p.m. at BC’s Conte Forum. The first game, between Harvard and Northeastern, begins at 5 p.m. For tickets, call the Boston College ticket office, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 617-552-4622. Tickets are free with a valid BU ID.

Watch the game via online streaming here. It will also be carried live on WTBU radio.

Matt Caracappa can be reached at caracapp@bu.edu.

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