ERIE, Pa. - Senior Jillian Kirchner and junior Jenelle Kohanchuk scored in a 50-second span, as the No. 3 Boston University women's ice hockey team advanced to the national championship game with a 4-1 win over No. 2 Cornell in the NCAA semifinals at Tullio Arena on Friday night.
The Terriers improved to 27-6-4 and became the first Hockey East school to advance to the national title game.
Cornell's Karlee Overguard gave the Big Red a 1-0 first-period lead before graduate student Catherine Ward evened the game midway through the stanza. Kirchner and Kohanchuk then tallied goals 50 seconds apart in the second to give BU a 3-1 advantage. Senior Holly Lorms added an empty-netter in the third to account for the 4-1 final.
The Terriers and Cornell were both 0-for-3 with the player advantage. BU outshot the Big Red by a 31-15 margin. Freshman netminder Kerrin Sperry turned aside 14 shots.
Cornell took a 1-0 lead at 5:29 of the first period after Karlee Overguard and Rebecca Johnston successfully executed a two-on-one rush. Johnson passed to Overguard in between the circles, where she slid the puck through Sperry's legs.
Ward scored 5:08 later to tie the game. At the blue line, the defenseman passed to freshman Marie-Philip Poulin at the top of the left circle, where she one-touched the puck back to Ward. The Montreal, Que., native then rifled a slap shot past Mazzotta.
In the second period, BU scored twice in a 50-second span to grab a 3-1 advantage. Sophomore Taylor Holze passed to classmate Kathryn Miller at the blue line, where her shot was turned aside by Mazzotta. From the slot, Kirchner wristed the rebound into the net with 2:13 left in the frame.
Kohanchuk extended the Terrier lead at 18:37. Junior Jenn Wakefield sent a pass to Kohanchuk in the slot, where she moved to the puck to her backhand before lifting a shot high to the glove side.
In the third period, Lorms sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 2:40 remaining. With the goaltender pulled, Kohanchuk passed to Lorms, whose shot from between the circles went off the crossbar and into the net.
BU will return to action on Sunday (March 20) when it plays for the national championship against No. 1 Wisconsin. Opening faceoff is set at 2 p.m.