BOSTON, Mass. - Freshman forward Dakota Woodworth's first collegiate goal proved to be the game-winner as the No. 3 Boston University women's ice hockey team edged Rensselaer, 3-2, on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena.
BU (2-0-0, 1-0-0 WHEA) scored all three of its goals in the first period to take a 3-0 lead. RPI (1-1-1, 0-0-0 ECAC) got two goals from Eleeza Cox to make it a 3-2 game entering the third period, but BU killed two penalties and held the Engineers to just five shots in the final frame to preserve the win.
It was the home opener for the Terriers, who raised two banners to the rafters before the game. Former Terrier and 2012 Hockey East Best Defenseman Kasey Boucher was on hand as last year's squad was honored for winning the second Hockey East title in program history and for the team's third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
Senior forward Jenelle Kohanchuk and freshman forward Sarah Lefort scored the other two Terrier goals, while seniors Jill Cardella and Kathryn Miller each had two assists. Junior Kerrin Sperry made 17 saves to earn her second win of the season.
Kohanchuk got the Terriers' first goal just 4:09 into the contest when she skated to the front of the net and knocked in senior Isabel Menard's rebound. Miller also got an assist on Kohanchuk's first goal of the season. It was the first goal for Kohanchuk since Oct. 8, 2011, after she played in just seven games last year.
Lefort made it a 2-0 game over five minutes later when she fluttered a shot over Engineer goaltender Kelly O'Brien (30 saves). With the Terriers in the midst of a power play, Cardella sent the puck to the front of the net, and Lefort was in perfect position on the left post to get her third goal of the season. Junior co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin also earned an assist on the play.
Woodworth's first collegiate goal made it a 3-0 BU lead with just 2:07 remaining in the first. Miller passed the puck to Cardella before going off for a change. Cardella then dropped a pass back to Woodworth in the left circle, who took a shot that changed direction and got past O'Brien.
RPI responded with 41 seconds left in the opening stanza. Poulin won an offensive-zone draw all the way back to the neutral zone. Toni Sanders got to the loose puck and skated in for a shot on Sperry, which was stopped. Cox followed up with the rebound, however, and made it a 3-1 game entering the first intermission.
Cox cut the Terriers' lead to just one halfway through the second period. After digging hard against two Terriers along the half-wall, she got the puck behind the net to Clare Padmore and charged to the net. Padmore fed the puck in front back to Cox, who deposited it past Sperry.
Sperry recovered well after the goal and made two huge stops to maintain the status quo entering the third period. BU staved off two RPI power play opportunities and a minute of 6-on-5 hockey as the Engineers elected to pull their goaltender in the final minute of the game.
BU will be back in action on Saturday (Oct. 13) when Union visits Walter Brown Arena for an afternoon affair. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.