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BOSTON - Freshman Jenelle Kohanchuk scored in the third period to break a 1-1 deadlock and lift the Boston University women's ice hockey team to its first postseason win in program history, a 2-1 triumph over cross-town rival Northeastern in the first round of the Women's Hockey East Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena. The Terriers improve to 18-10-7 and will face sixth-ranked Boston College in the semifinals on Saturday (March 7) in Durham, N.H.
OTHER LINKS: Dave Flint Audio (mp3) - Brian Durocher Audio (mp3)- Gina Kearns Audio (mp3)
Senior Gina Kearns put BU on the board in the first period and senior Allyse Wilcox made 22 saves to earn the win for the third-seeded Terriers, who advance to the Hockey East semifinals for the second straight season.
Senior Missy Elumba scored the Huskies' lone goal, while freshman Florence Schelling was sensational in defeat, stopping 35 shots. Sixth-seeded Northeastern ends its season at 12-20-3.
Kohanchuk scored the game-winner at 12:47 of the third period, netting her 14th goal of the season unassisted when she gained control of the puck at center ice, dodged a defender and scored with a backhanded shot. The BU defense held strong after that and the Huskies were only able to pull their goalie for 13 seconds as the game wound down.
Kearns, BU's all-time leading scorer, potted the opening tally of the contest and the first postseason goal in program history late in the first period. With Northeastern junior Ginny Berg in the penalty box for bodychecking, sophomore Jillian Kirchner took a shot that was saved by Schelling, but Kearns was there to bat in the rebound for her team-leading 15th goal of the season at the 17:49 mark. It was the Terriers' only power-play tally on three opportunities, while the Huskies were 0-for-6.
After holding a distinct 16-5 advantage in shots on goal in the first period, the Terriers faced a more determined Northeastern squad in the middle frame as shots in the second period were even and the Huskies tied the game at 14:33. Sophomore Julia Marty was coming out of the penalty box and got the puck to senior Kristi Kehoe, whose shot was saved by Wilcox before Elumba punched it in through traffic for the fourth goal of her senior campaign.
BU outshot the Huskies, 37-23, in the game, winning their fourth contest against Northeastern this month.
The Terriers now advance to the Hockey East semifinals at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H., where they will face second-seeded BC at 3 p.m. after top-seeded host New Hampshire battles fourth-seeded Providence at noon. In the regular-season series with the Eagles, each side won on the other's home ice before BC captured a shootout win in the rubber match in Chestnut Hill.
Tickets for the 2009 Women's Hockey East Championship may be purchased through the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling 603-868-7300 or by logging on to www.unhwildcats.com. Student from Hockey East schools are eligible for a complimentary ticket, with a valid student ID, at the box office on game day.