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BOSTON - Thanks to a game-tying goal from senior Gina Kearns with 11 seconds remaining in regulation, the eighth-ranked Boston University women's ice hockey team captured a shootout win over Providence after tying 3-3 in Hockey East action on Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena. It was the second straight shootout win for the Terriers, who are now 5-2-3 overall and 4-0-0 in the conference, matching the program record with a seven-game unbeaten streak.
With the Friars clinging to a 3-2 lead late in the third period, Providence was whistled for a penalty to put BU on the power play with just under a minute to go. Pulling the goalie for a six-on-four advantage, Kearns came through at 19:49, hammering home a rebound off a shot from junior Melissa Anderson that was saved by Friars netminder Danielle Ciarletta.
"I think the kids felt like they could put on a rush at the end," said BU head coach Brian Durocher. "It almost looked like it was for naught because I think we outshot them by a reasonable number, we outchanced them, we outattempted them, but it took right to the last 20 seconds to tie the game."
Neither team was able to break through in the overtime period, despite the Terriers going on the power play for the final 1:43, so the game went into the books a tie and the teams prepared for a shootout to gain an additional point in the conference standings.
Both teams matched each other shot for shot over the first three rounds of the shootout with freshmen Laura Veharanta and Ashley Cottrell scoring for Providence and junior Melissa Anderson and freshman Tara Watchorn posting tallies for BU, the latter on a shot she needed to make to keep the Terriers alive. Moving to sudden-death rounds, PC freshman Kate Bacon couldn't get past BU senior goalie Allyse Wilcox and senior Erin Seman gave the Terriers the win by going five-hole to score.
The Friars took their first lead of the contest late in the first period on the power play when Bacon banged in a long pass from senior Brittany Simpson at the 19:00 mark.
The Terriers turned a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead over a one-minute span in the second. Senior Sarah Russell took a long shot that was saved, but sophomore Jillian Kirchner was there for the rebound to even the score with a power-play goal. 58 seconds later, sophomore Lauren Cherewyk found the puck in a skirmish in front of the net and sent it in to extend her point streak to five games and give BU a 2-1 lead.
The Friars evened the score before the second period was out on an improbable goal by Veharanta on the power play. The rookie winger took a shot that was saved by Wilcox, but popped straight up in the air and came down behind Wilcox perilously close the goal line. The puck was sent out of immediate danger, but Veharanta was there for a second effort that evened the score. Providence took the lead at 5:32 of the third when senior Mari Pehkonen scored off a rebound from a Veharanta shot.
Ciarletta was impressive between the pipes for Providence, making 35 saves as BU held a 38-22 advantage in shots on goal that was especially pronounced over the third period, with a 19-4 tally in the Terriers' favor. Wilcox stopped 19 shots for BU.
The Terriers now have a 12-day break before returning to action on Nov. 14, kicking off a five-game road stretch at Princeton