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BOSTON, Mass. - Senior Gina Kearns scored to break a 2-2 tie with less than three minutes to play to power the Boston University women's ice hockey team to a 3-2 win over Vermont on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena. Sophomore Jillian Kirchner and junior Jonnie Bloemers also scored for the Terriers, who improved to 12-9-5 overall and 9-6-0 in Hockey East action.
Kearns also tallied an assist earlier in the game to bring her career point total to 96 as she seeks to become the first Terrier to score 100 career points. Senior Allyse Wilcox made 25 saves between the pipes for BU as the Terriers held their opponents to two goals or less for the fifth straight game.
Sophomore Molly Morrison and junior Brittany Nelson netted power-play goals for the Catamounts and sophomore Peggy Wakeham assisted on both goals. Vermont received a 22-save performance in net from junior Kristen Olychuck, but fell to 5-21-1 overall and 3-11-1 in league play with its third straight loss.
Vermont answered each BU tally in the first two periods to keep the score level before Kearns gave the Terriers the lead at 17:02 in the third. Sophomore Holly Lorms won a faceoff in the defensive zone, getting the puck to freshman Tara Watchorn, who skated up to the neutral zone before making an alert pass that sprung Kearns on a breakaway to score her team-leading 12th goal of the season.
BU owed its first goal to another great play by Kearns at 10:24 of the opening frame. With Vermont freshman Kailey Nash in the penalty box for bodychecking, senior Sarah Russell found Kearns in front of the net and Kearns deked Olychuck and dished to Kirchner, who had an open net to tally the seventh goal of her sophomore campaign.
The Catamounts had a chance to draw even when senior Caroline Bourdeau and Watchorn were both in the BU penalty box for a 34-second spell in the first. Vermont head coach Tim Bothwell called his timeout before the two-man advantage began and two seconds after Bourdeau returned to the ice, Morrison knocked in her fifth goal of the season, glancing it off a defenseman's skate at 16:59.
Bloemers put the Terriers back on top early in the second, potting her fourth goal of the season when senior Laurel Koller set her up with a pass from behind the net at the 2:41 mark in the middle frame.
The Catamounts tied the game again less than two minutes later, taking advantage of a penalty on senior Kelley Karnan when Nelson jammed in a rebound for her third goal of the year after Wakeham ripped a shot from the blue line.
Vermont held a 27-25 edge in shots on goal for the game, with the two side matching each other shot-for-shot in the first and third periods. The Catamounts were 2-for-6 on the power play while BU went 1-for-6 on the man advantage.
The Terriers return to the ice on Saturday (Jan. 31) to wrap up the two-game series with Vermont at 3 p.m. at Walter Brown Arena.