Boston University head coach Brian Durocher earlier this week said he wanted his team to come out with a sense of purpose in the Frozen Four.
His Terriers did just that Friday night, scoring a goal within the first three minutes of each period in a 4-1 win over Mercyhurst in its Frozen Four semifinal game at Ridder Arena.
The first goal came just 13 seconds into the contest when Jenelle Kohanchuk shot the puck over the shoulder of Lakers’ goaltender Stephanie Ciampa.
“We’re breaking out through our zone and the only thing I can think on my mind is to get the shots on net because we always want to start off strong,” Kohanchuk said. “I took the shot right away and I don’t know how it managed to get in the back of the net, but however the shot got back in there, we got that opportunity and we wanted to get going.”
Durocher said every coach wants to see his team play with a lead, but scoring first allows a team to set a tempo and loosen up.
“To get that jump makes a big, big difference in this game,” said Durocher. “It breaks the ice, gets you relaxed and I’ve always said, if you get one goal, they need three more before you are really in panic mode.”
It’s essentially a race to three goals, Durocher said, so being on top early provides a cushion.
Mercyhurst head coach Michael Sisti said he thought giving up the early goal might settle the nerves of some of his players.
“Obviously, that didn’t happen and that was a huge momentum swing,” said Sisti. “It was tough to recover from.”
Boston University scored its second goal when Isabel Menard lit the lamp in the opening minute of the second period.
The eventual game-winning goal gave his team further momentum, Durocher said. From there, the Terriers cruised, adding a third goal in the opening minutes of the third period and a fourth six minutes later.
As Boston University prepares to face unbeaten Minnesota Sunday afternoon in the NCAA championship game, Durocher said getting out to an early lead could be crucial should goals be hard to come by.
“We’d love to have it happen again come Sunday, but it’s a new game, new chapter,” Durocher said. “We’ll see what happens.”