DULUTH, Minn. — Boston University and Minnesota-Duluth have now faced each other twice in the history of the programs and each team remains undefeated in those games.
“We spilled our guts and so did BU,” UMD coach Shannon Miller said.
For the second consecutive day, the Terriers (11-3-3, 6-2-1 WHEA) and the Bulldogs (7-8-3, 6-7-1 WCHA) skated to a tie in Duluth.
“Couple of exciting games,” BU coach Brian Durocher said. “I don’t know if we played our best, but it was exciting.”
On Sunday, nobody could break the tie, because neither could score, and the game ended with the scoreboard still reading 0-0.
It wasn’t because the two teams didn’t have chances, though.
Officially, the Bulldogs had a wide 38-19 in shots on goal, but the prime scoring opportunities were far more even.
However, goalies Kerrin Sperry of BU and Kayla Black of UMD won every encounter.
“Credit to UMD,” Durocher said. “They had the extra person back the whole night and they were breaking up all those rushes.”
With 3:25 remaining in OT, Zoe Hickel stole the puck and carried to the net, but her shot was saved.
With a minute to play, the Terriers’ Jenelle Kohanchuk broke in on a two-on-one, but her shot bounced harmlessly off of the crossbar.
The game almost ended in regulation.
BU’s Marie-Philip Poulin had a good look midway through the final frame, but her shot from the slot clanked off the crossbar.
“That entire line is probably better than everybody on my team,” Miller said of Poulin with Kohanchuk and Sarah Lefort on her wings. “Just reality. So we as coaches kept saying, ‘We’re doing a great job containing them [and] when is that going to end?’ At some point, they’re going to get through, and they did, and they had a couple of good chances.”
The Terriers also had UMD hemmed in its own zone for much of the final minutes of regulation, but they were unable to convert that territorial advantage into a goal.
“I think in the third period, we finally accepted the situation and dumped it in a little more and made them go 200 feet,” Durocher said.
For the game, the Terriers were 0-for-2 on the power play, while UMD did not capitalize on any of its four chances.
Both teams had a number of quality chances in the opening period, but Black and Sperry were able to keep their nets clear of pucks. The Terriers nearly scored off of the opening faceoff and then the hosts dominated the next several minutes and had Sperry scrambling, but their best chance hit iron.
“We had point blank chances – great chances,” Miller said. “We just couldn’t get a bounce. Sometimes, you just can’t buy a break and that was today, clearly.”
In the closing minutes of the frame, the Terriers were able to get behind the Bulldogs’ defense repeatedly. Louise Warren had a breakaway opportunity, but Black sealed off the five hole to thwart the attack.
“The thing that disappointed me probably both games was the first 10 minutes,” Durocher said. “They were 9-1 or 9-2 in shots both nights. Last night, I thought we were giving away the middle of the rink; maybe concentration wasn’t there. Tonight, I thought we’d be on focus. We didn’t seem to have any tempo. We didn’t seem to be collecting the puck. We didn’t seem to be facing the play. If you’re looping and circling, it can come and bite you in the tail. Credit to Kerrin Sperry that she kept us alive both nights and gave us a chance to get a couple of points.”
However, the Bulldogs couldn’t finish any more than the Terriers could.
“We’re just having trouble getting in a rhythm,” Miller said. “People get injured and so lines change.”
The break likely comes at a good time for both teams after 130 minutes of hockey.
“We definitely peaked this weekend as far as our play and we’re still pretty banged up,” Miller said.
“I think everyone is happy to have a little bit of a break,” added Poulin. “I think we’ve been going really strong since the start of the season.”