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Terrier Icewomen Go After Fourth Consecutive Hockey East Title

Team faces Northeastern tomorrow in tournament semifinals

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The BU women’s ice hockey Terriers are out to continue their dominance of the Hockey East tournament when they take on Northeastern in the second semifinal game tomorrow in Hyannis. (The first semifinal pits BC and UConn at 1:30 p.m.) The Terriers (21-8-3) have not lost a league playoff game since 2011. Should they clinch the Hockey East title Sunday, they would become only the second team in history to win four consecutive women’s Hockey East titles.

The seventh-ranked Terriers’ skill was evident during last weekend’s quarterfinals, when they outscored the University of Vermont 15-3 in two games at BU. Assistant captain Kayla Tutino (COM’16) paved the way for the Terriers, recording five goals in the games to tie the Hockey East record of Jenn Wakefield (CAS’12) and earn Hockey East Player of the Week honors.

“Kayla  is one of the kids that if you set the bar for fitness, training, competitiveness, being a good teammate, she’d be right near the top of the list,” notes head coach Brian Durocher (SED’78). “What she’s doing, coming back from an ACL injury, is unbelievable.”

Much of the team’s success this season can be attributed to captain Marie-Philip Poulin (CAS’15). The two-time Olympic gold medalist has filled up the stat sheet this year with 47 points (22 goals, 25 assists), and is ranked seventh in the country. She has demonstrated a knack for the clutch as well, scoring four game-winning goals this season. Poulin is a one of three finalist for this year’s Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey—the first BU icewoman ever to make the top three. She also holds the record for the most points registered in a Hockey East tournament (8). Her most notable accomplishment, however, may be the accolades she draws from both coaches and players for her work ethic and leadership qualities.

“She’s one of the most humble players out there,” says Victoria Bach (CGS’16), like Poulin a Canadian. “She’s an unbelievable captain, and she’s someone I’ve looked up to ever since I was little. Playing on her team has just been incredible, as I’ve learned so much from her not only on the ice, but off the ice as well.”

Bach has had a spectacular season herself. The freshman sensation’s 12 points in February were the most of any NCAA rookie, earning her Hockey East Rookie of the Month honors earlier this week. Like Poulin, Bach triumphed in the Hockey East quarterfinals, registering back-to-back three-point games that helped BU secure its eighth consecutive Hockey East semifinal appearance.

But the quarterfinals were a team effort, with strong performances from Sarah Lefort (SAR’16), Rebecca Russo (CAS’16), Samantha Sutherland (CAS’17), and Shannon Doyle (SED’15) that helped BU thrash Vermont. Despite last week’s sweep of the quarterfinal series, players say they are taking nothing for granted as they prepare for tomorrow’s semifinal game.

“We just have to play hard and play our game,” says Tutino. “We know Northeastern is going to come out firing; they’re a good opponent. We can’t get too confident. Hopefully, we’ll go out there and play our system. If we do that, we’ll have a good chance.”

BU women's ice hockey coach Brian Durocher

Brian Durocher (SED’78) has guided the women’s ice hockey team to the Hockey East semifinals eight seasons in a row. Photo by Eric Miller

The Terriers have gotten the best of the Huskies this season, winning three out of their four contests. The games have been fairly close, however, with BU outscoring Northeastern by a razor-thin margin of 13-12. The Terriers will be keeping an especially close eye on Huskie forward Kendall Coyne, who is fifth in the nation in points (51), and fourth in goals (28). Coyne also leads the nation in short-handed goals (4), a testament to her incredible speed.

“We have to keep a close eye on Kendall Coyne,” says Durocher. “She’s a game-breaker, and she has great speed. She finds the dead spots in the ring and then—boom—all of a sudden she jumps on you, and turns nothing into a 2-on-1 or a breakaway. We have to know where she is all the time on the ice.”

The BU players know they have to concentrate on getting by Northeastern, but the prospect of facing off against top-ranked BC in the championship game is very much on their minds. The winner of the earlier BC-UConn semifinal will advance to Sunday’s final, as will the victor in the BU-Northeastern matchup.

“The possibility is definitely there,” says Tutino. “After how our last game against them ended in a draw in OT, we would love to play them again. And if we play them, we’ll play extra-hard because of who they are. But we’re just going to focus on Northeastern first, and go from there.”

The Boston University women’s ice hockey team will take on Northeastern University tomorrow, Saturday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. at the  Hyannis Youth & Community Center’s Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Rink, 141 Bassett Lane, Hyannis. If they win, the Terriers will play in the women’s Hockey East championship game Sunday, March 8, at 1:30 p.m. against the winner of Saturday’s BC-UConn semifinal, at the same location. Saturday’s semifinal game will be shown live on Hockeyeastonline.tv. Sunday’s championship game will be shown live on NESNPlus, and will be broadcast on NESN that evening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for both games are $10 per person. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $5 per person.

Emmanuel Gomez can be reached at mannygo@bu.edu.   

2 Comments

2 Comments on Terrier Icewomen Go After Fourth Consecutive Hockey East Title

  • Andrea on 03.06.2015 at 10:03 am

    Best of luck this weekend! We are all rooting for you.

  • lilia angarita on 03.06.2015 at 11:44 am

    Excellent

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