BOSTON - Freshman Sarah Lefort notched her first career hat trick as the No. 5 Boston University women's ice hockey team defeated No. 10 Northeastern, 5-4, on Wednesday night at Walter Brown Arena.
BU (15-3-3, 10-2-1 WHEA) had a 5-2 lead with 2:07 remaining in regulation, but Northeastern (11-9-2, 5-6-1 WHEA) scored twice in a span of 10 seconds to cut the Terrier lead to just a goal. The Huskies pulled their goaltender to try to even the score, but the BU defense held its ground and preserved the victory.
Along with Lefort, junior Louise Warren and senior Isabel Menard each lit the lamp. In total, nine skaters tallied at least one point, with Warren (1g, 1a), senior co-captain Jill Cardella (2a) and senior Jenelle Kohanchuk (2a) each earning multiple points. Junior Kerrin Sperry stopped 18 shots to earn her 12th win of the season.
Lefort gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead on the power play at the 5:59 mark of the opening period. Northeastern goaltender Chloe Desjardins (16 saves) saved a shot from junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin, but Kohanchuk gathered the rebound and quickly pushed the puck to Lefort, who then got the biscuit on her backhand and lifted it into the net for her 11th goal of the season.
Warren made it 2-0 nearly five minutes later with a wicked wrist shot. Senior Kathryn Miller began the play with an outlet pass to Warren. She got it to Cardella, who drew two defenders to her in the NU zone before sending a pass to Warren, who deposited her ninth goal of the season.
Northeastern got a goal back at the 16:09 mark of the first period when Lucie Povova notched a power play goal. The Terriers finished the period strong, however, and outshot the Huskies by an 11-6 margin.
The BU power play wasted little time making it a 3-1 lead when play resumed for the second period, as Lefort logged her second power play strike of the game just 56 seconds into the stanza. Cardella got the puck to junior Shannon Doyle at the top of the zone, who fired a shot on net. The puck trickled through Desjardins' five-hole and Lefort capitalized on the rebound in the crease.
Menard made it a 4-1 lead and forced Desjardins out of the game with a goal at the 9:30 mark of the second period. Freshman Dakota Woodworth won a battle behind the net and got the puck to Menard, who found Warren in the right circle. Warren's shot was saved, but Menard was in perfect position to slot the rebound home.
The Huskies waited until the last possible moment of the period to cut the Terrier lead to 4-2. Kelly Wallace forced a turnover behind the BU net and Brittany Esposito wrapped around the left post and somehow got the puck past Sperry's outstretched right leg and over the line with one-tenth of a second remaining.
Lefort's hat trick was completed with 10:14 remaining in regulation. Kohanchuk forced a turnover at the Northeastern bench and got it to the freshman forward, who beat Northeastern netminder Kelsey O'Sullivan (17 saves) for her 13th tally of the season.
The Huskies' comeback began when Kendall Coyne scored a power play goal to make it a 5-3 game. On the ensuing faceoff, Wallace won the puck at center ice and got it to Paige Savage, who scored with 1:57 to play in the period.
BU claimed the conference portion of the regular-season series, as the Terriers also topped Northeastern on Oct. 16. They will be idle until Jan. 25, when BU heads to Vermont for a single game against the Catamounts. Puck drop will be at 2 p.m.