BOSTON — The Boston University Terriers, after having taken four points from a top-ranked team over the weekend, continued their winning ways on Tuesday, beating Northeastern University 2-1.
I dont think either of our goals hit the back of the net, said BU coach Brian Durocher.
The story of the game though was Northeasterns standout goalie Florence Shelling. Entering the game first in the nation in overall save percentage (.940), the freshman net minder was on top form, turning aside multiple shots off of breakaways. In the second, she wowed the crowd with a remarkable save. About five minutes in, BU had the puck down low with a scrum in the crease. With Schelling drawn to the left post stomach down, the puck was almost dead center on the doorstep. Terrier forward Holly Lorms picked up the puck and sent it towards the twine.
The puck, despite heading to a seemingly-empty net, didnt hit the twine. It didnt cross the red line. Instead, Schellings glove came out of nowhere, preventing BU from taking the lead.
That was the most unbelievable save Ive seen in a while, said Flint. Shes been hot right now.
Durocher, who had seen Schelling play for the Swiss National Team, could only laugh in disbelief at the save. Shes almost [playing] in the wrong league, he said.
It was a huge save to keep it even, said BU co-captain Gina Kearns. Shes the backbone of their team.
On offense, the Huskies had problems breaking out and setting up. NU was outshot 32-18, only taking three in the middle frame.
We didnt take enough shots, said NU coach Dave Flint. He added that his team had chances, but the Terriers clogged up the passing lanes.
Northeastern capitalized on its first power play. With Laurel Koller called for cross-checking, Kristi Kehoe forced a rebound between BU goaltender Melissa Habers right pad and the post to make it 1-0.
BU responded 48 seconds later when Jenelle Kohanchuk, who had not played since January 18th due to a bout with mono, brought the puck up the right side boards. With her line peeling off for a change, she just wanted to get the puck to the net. After wrapping around the net, she backhanded one that snuck in to tie the game.
I got the monkey off my back early, said Kohanchuk, who was still struggling to get back to 100 percent playing shape. I was dead tired after every shift.
Kearns and Tara Watchorn got credit for assists; for Kearns, it was her 97th point in her career. With just three regular-season games left (and a minimum of four possible games), the senior needs just three points to become the first Terrier to reach the 100-point mark.
The two goaltenders settled into a groove from then till the end of the second, and while Schelling made the important saves, Haber made the routine. In 12 starts this season, Haber has surrendered 3 or more goals only twice this season.
There have been very few games where the goaltending hasnt given us a chance to win, said Durocher. We dont beat too many teams 5-2 or 6-5.
Jenelle Kohanchuk would be the reason BU broke the tie late in the third. The freshman, whose point-per-game average would be 9th nationally had she not missed the past seven games, reunited with Jillian Kirchner and Kearns to re-form the K-Line which produced 30 combined goals for the Terriers and ignited their offense in the first part of the season.
We double-shifted her in the beginning, Durocher said of Kohanchuk. But she rallied in the end.
With a minute remaining in regulation, Kohanchuk brought the puck up the right side and passed it to BU co-captain Sarah Russell. The defender tipped it just under Shelling, giving BU the 2-1 lead.
The forwards were caught lull, Flint said. Were still making those [young] mistakes, adding that NU has had lapses in the third this year.
For the first fourth-year senior class at BU, the Beanpot offered a chance to reflect on what they have accomplished”and what they havent. In the past two years, BU made the Beanpot final before falling to BC in 2007 and Harvard in 2008. The program has yet to win the pot at the varsity level.
I didnt want to be playing in the consolation game [as a senior], said a reflective Kearns. I didnt want us to leave here with out the Beanpot.
The only seniors that might be more frustrated than the Terriers — twice the bridesmaids, not yet the brides — are the Huskies. Since entering as freshmen in 2005, the Northeastern senior class has gone 0-8 in Beanpot games.