ERIE, Pa. - Freshman Marie-Philip Poulin scored and classmate Kerrin Sperry made a career-high 32 saves, but the No. 3 Boston University women's ice hockey team fell to No. 1 Wisconsin, 4-1, in the national championship game at Tullio Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Terriers, who were the first Hockey East school to play in the NCAA title game, finished the season at 27-7-4.
Wisconsin took a 2-0 second-period lead before Poulin's goal halved the deficit later in the stanza. The Badgers added two markers, including an empty-netter, late in the third to account for the 4-1 final.
BU was 0-for-1 on the power play and the Badgers were 1-for-3 with the player advantage. The Terriers were outshot by Wisconsin by a 36-16 margin. Badger netminder Alex Rigsby turned aside 15 shots as Wisconsin (37-2-2) won its fourth national championship.
Wisconsin outshot the Terriers by a 10-4 margin in the first period. While on its lone power play of the frame, senior Holly Lorms nearly gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead. Junior Kasey Boucher's shot went off Lorms' shin guard right outside the crease, but the puck was turned aside by Rigsby.
The Terrier penalty kill was then put to work as Wisconsin generated two power plays. During its first opportunity, the Terriers, who blocked 25 shots in the game, blocked five shots from the perimeter. Later in the frame, a loose puck found its way to the front of the net, but Sperry was able to cover the puck amidst the goalmouth scramble.
In the second frame, Wisconsin scored the first two goals before BU halved the deficit. Sperry was called upon again in the stanza, as she made 16 stops. Her first big save came just 1:33 into the period, when Hilary Knight skated past the Terrier defense and her backhand attempt stopped.
The Badgers got on the board at 2:25 when Carolyne Prevost tallied for Wisconsin. Alev Kelter took a shot from the blue line that Prevost redirected at the top of the crease.
The spotlight then turned to Sperry as she made several big saves. Midway through the period, she stopped two point-blank shots and later thwarted Prevost's breakaway chance.
While on the power play, Wisconsin scored again to take a 2-0 lead with 4:44 left in the period. Knight set up a backdoor play to Brooke Ammerman, who banged the puck into the back of the net.
Poulin responded just 24 seconds later to cut the lead in half. The forward picked up the puck along the left-wing boards, cut to the net and moved the puck to her backhand before depositing it to the top-right corner.
In the final stanza, Wisconsin scored twice in the final four minutes. At 16:37, Mallory Deluce scored on a rebound and then Prevost added an empty-netter with 18 seconds left to give the Badgers a 4-1 advantage.
NOTE: Graduate student Catherine Ward was named to the All-Tournament Team.