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Women’s Hockey Battles Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday

Terriers a win away from a trip to the Frozen Four

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Capturing their third Hockey East title in four years last Sunday brought the BU women’s hockey team one step closer to realizing a dream: winning their first NCAA championship. Tomorrow, they take on Clarkson University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. A win will send them to Minneapolis for the NCAA’s Frozen Four on March 22.

“I think it’s a great testament to the kids who have played hockey here,” head coach Brian Durocher (SED’78) says of his team’s latest Hockey East title. “This senior class in particular has had fantastic success being part of all three of them. The one year they didn’t win Hockey East, they went to the NCAA title game.”

The number-three ranked Terriers (26-5-3) defeated the Northeastern Huskies 5-2 last Sunday, clinching their second consecutive Hockey East title. Jenelle Kohanchuk (SAR’13) potted two goals in the victory, and Tournament MVP Kerrin Sperry (CAS’14) stopped 77 of the 79 shots she faced in the two weekend games. Kohanchuk leads the team with 22 goals going into the NCAA tournament, 9 of them in her last 6 games.

“I think the key to success for me has just been the motivation of the playoffs and wanting to win a national championship,” Kohanchuk says. “I think I’ve been using my speed a lot more, battling more in the corners, and being a lot more eager to win the battles to get the puck to our team and keep possession.”

The Terriers face a formidable competitor in Clarkson’s Golden Knights, who finished their season with a 28-9 record, falling in their most recent contest to Harvard University 4-2 in the ECAC semifinals.

“We’re going to have to play through a talented team,” Durocher says of Clarkson. “We’re going to have to be disciplined and avoid making turnovers in the neutral zone. They have a talented senior goalie in Erica Howe, and she’s going to be a good last line of defense.”

The Terriers are riding an 8-game winning streak dating back to February 16, and in their last 23 games they’ve racked up an impressive 19-2-2 record.

Boston University BU, womens ice hockey terriers, hockey east champtionship NCAA, Jenelle Kohanchuk, Kathryn Miller

Kathryn Miller (COM’13) is the lone senior on the Terriers blueline, a defense that gave up just three goals during the Hockey East tournament.

For the team’s seniors, Saturday’s game promises to be poignant, win or lose. It will be the last time they play at Walter Brown Arena, a place they affectionately call “Wally B.” The team won its first NCAA tournament game at Walter Brown—triumphing over Mercyhurst College 4-2 in 2011.

“I think it’s a really historic building, and there have been a lot of memories here,” says Kathryn Miller (CGS’11, COM’13). “It’s a great place to play, a great atmosphere, the band’s always here, which makes it really exciting. It’s going to be bittersweet because it’s my last game here, but I’m hoping to get the win and get to Minnesota for the Frozen Four, so that’s all that matters.”

Miller is one of nine members of the Class of 2013, a class that has been incredibly successful playing for BU. They’ve posted a record of 93-35-20 in 148 games over the past four years.

“My hat’s off to Jill Cardella, Kathryn Miller, and all the rest of the kids in that group,” Durocher says. “They’ve been part of this program for four years, and I think they’ve really made it a team this year, which is real exciting for them and a testament to the type of people they are. Forget their hockey abilities—they’re great people.”

The BU women’s hockey team will host the Clarkson Golden Knights in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m. at Walter Brown Arena, 285 Babcock St. Tickets are $6 for the general public, $4 for students, faculty, staff, children, and senior citizens.

Paul Ryan can be reached at pryan15@bu.edu.

2 Comments

2 Comments on Women’s Hockey Battles Clarkson in NCAA Quarterfinals Saturday

  • Sam Lynch on 03.15.2013 at 9:28 am

    Ladies, you are an inspiration, especially for young girls who are growing up now always having had access to a girls hockey program. Good luck Saturday, and hope a trip to Minneapolis on 03/22 is in your future!

  • K.O on 03.15.2013 at 4:23 pm

    Good luck! Use the playoffs to improve and try to surpass Minnesota.

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