BOSTON - Allyse Wilcox made 36 saves as the Boston University womenís ice hockey team defeated Providence, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena. Sophomore Gina Kearns scored the game-winning goal at 17:24 in the first period to give the Terriers (17-9-3, 8-7-2 HE) their first win over Providence (13-12-4, 10-3-3 HE) this season.
Sophomore Nicki Wiart opened the scoring for BU, notching her tenth goal of the season at 9:52 in the opening period. After Kearnís goal, the Terriers held onto their 2-0 lead until a goal by Providence at 14:39 in the second period. With just one second remaining in regulation, Kearns found the back of the net again, with an empty-net goal to secure the win.
Entering Saturdayís game, Providence remained just one of two schools in Hockey East that the Terriers had yet to beat this season. At 8:21 in the first period, sophomore Erin Seman nearly put BU on the board when she gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone and skated it across the blueline. As she entered into Friar territory, Caitlin Malboeuf tripped Seman, ending the play and putting BU on its first power play of the game.
The Terriers spent the first half of the power play adjusting to their opponentís aggressive style of play. After crossing the blueline, sophomore Sarah Russell took a shot from the top of the left circle that hit the post, leaving a rebound for Wiart at the bottom of the circle. Wiart directed the puck towards Bugden, beating her left side, and putting the Terriers up, 2-1, at 9:52. BU has now recorded a power-play goal in its last three outings.
Despite trailing, Providence dominated the first period offensively, taking nearly three shots for every one BU took. Mari Pehkonen led her team during the period with four shots on goal.
Towards the end of the period, freshman Jonnie Bloemers brought the puck across the blueline, passing to Kearns. As the co-captain blasted a shot just wide of the goal, one of Providenceís defensemen barely tipped the puck, redirecting it past Bugden at 17:24. BU took a 2-0 lead against the Friars for the third time this season.
At 19:11, BUís Melissa Anderson and PCís Colleen Martin were both hit with penalties, closing out the first period four-on-four.
The home team worked hard to protect its two-goal lead during the second period, holding its opponent to fewer shots and scoring opportunities. However, at 13:02, Seman was called for slashing, giving Providence its first player-advantage of the game. The Friars tested Wilcox throughout the penalty, but remained scoreless until 14:39, when Sonny Watrous blasted a shot from high in the slot, beating Wilcox in the five hole, to put the score at 2-1. Kristin Gigliotti and Erin Normore assisted on the goal.
Just 12 seconds after the goal, Anderson went to the box for slashing, giving PC the opportunity to tie the game. BU killed off the penalty, allowing the Friars just one shot during the two minutes, and ended the middle stanza up by a goal.
The Terriers fought to hold onto the lead during the final 20 minutes of play. Both teams were aggressive, combining for 11 penalties, with only three resulting in power plays, all for the Terriers. At 10:06, Jenna Keilch was called for tripping, putting BU on its fifth power play of the game. Then at 10:27, PC was penalized again when Rachel Crissy was called for holding, giving the Terriers a five-on-three for 1:39. BU couldnít convert and entered the remaining minutes of regulation up by a single goal.
Providence pulled its goaltender with 1:38 remaining in the game. Of the 11 third-period penalties, eight occurred with less than one minute remaining. After matching penalties between Seman and Sarah Feldman, Providence skated with five players to BUís four, for the remainder of the game.
As the seconds sped off the clock, the puck was cleared out of the Terriers zone to Kearns, who the it right by the goal line, taking a wide-angle shot and scoring at 19:59 to give BU the 3-1 nod. Kearns ended the game with two goals, earning third star of the game honors for her efforts.
Wilcox took home first star for making 36 saves and improving to 9-7-1 on the year, while Bugden earned the second star for making 23 save and allowing only two goals.
The 3-1 victory puts BU on a three-game winning streak that it hopes to prolong on Tuesday night when the team travels to Conte Forum to face Boston College in the Beanpot championship game. The Terriers defeated Northeastern, 4-2, last Tuesday to advance to the finals. Faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.