BOSTON — With two goals a minute apart in the third period, Boston University broke a deadlocked game and earned its first Beanpot win as a varsity program by a 3-1 margin over Northeastern.
“Because we’re the new team, if we can be in it in the third period, it gives us a shot of adrenaline,” said Brian Durocher, BU coach.
That third period advantage was on display thoughout the Beanpot, both tonight and in last week’s semifinal game with Harvard. Combined, the Terriers outscored their opponents 3-0 in the third period of the two games.
The first goal of the game-clinching pair came from Gina Kearns, when she broke in alone for the score after coming out of the penalty box. Just 56 seconds later, Nicki Wiart poked home a Laurel Koller shot that Northeastern goalie Marisa Hourihan had stopped but not smothered.
It was the second time in the game that two goals had been scored less than a minute apart. In the final minute of the second period, BU’s leading scorer Laurel Koller and Northeastern’s Ali Bielawski scored 13 seconds apart.
The three BU goals were representative of the season for the Terriers, as each one was scored by the top scorers on the team.
“They have been pretty darn consistent,” said Durocher. “Laurel Koller is a good, strong skater who is difficult to knock off the puck. Gina Kearns has got lots of dipsy-doodle in her. And Nicki Wiart may be the most subtle scorer on the team. She produces in so many different ways, with lots of versatility.”
Getting the win for BU was backup goalie Karilyn Pilch (26 saves), who made the start to rest normal starter Allyse Wilcox.
“She earned the start, because she’s a great kid and a great competitor,” said Durocher. “I wanted to give her a start in a Beanpot game, so this game was an easy choice.”
The last time BU had beaten Northeastern in a Beanpot game was in 1981, when the Terriers won their first, and only, Beanpot title.
“Someone got the puck for me, and we’re going to put it in a special place, and hopefully in the future we’ll have some other pucks from Beanpot finals to put there,” said Durocher.
The two teams are at similar positions, developmentally, which made for an interesting game, according to Northeastern coach Laura Schuler.
“They’re a first year program, and we’re rebuilding our program,” she said. “[Durocher] had a full year of recruiting, and he obviously got the right personnel.”
The two teams stand three points apart in the conference and will be battling it out in the standings during the final weekends of play.
Boston University next plays Maine at Walter Brown Arena, where the Terriers are 8-4-2, before travelling to No. 1 New Hampshire for the final game of the season. Northeastern will travel to Vermont for a pair of games, before returning to host Niagara for two to close out the year.