MADISON, Wis. - Sophomore goaltender Kerrin Sperry made a career-high 37 saves, but the No. 5/4 Boston University women's hockey team suffered a 3-0 setback against No. 1 Wisconsin on Friday afternoon at the Kohl Center.
Sperry was sharp right from puck drop, as she made 17 saves in the first period. She was also aided on defense by the return of senior blue-liner Tara Watchorn, as well as the debut of redshirt freshman defenseman Caroline Campbell. The North Reading, Mass., native matched a season-high with 37 saves, a mark set against North Dakota, also of the WCHA.
The Terrier penalty kill went to work at the 5:13 mark of the first period as sophomore Kaleigh Fratkin went to the box for slashing. BU (5-2-1, 0-0-0 WHEA) did well to keep Wisconsin (8-1-0, 5-1-0 WCHA) to the perimeter and limit its scoring chances. The Terriers allowed just three shots on goal on the Badgers' first power play chance.
Sperry's first test came with about 11:25 remaining in the first period. Hilary Knight came towards the cage uncontested, and Sperry stoned her. Carolyne Prevost was there for the rebound, but Sperry was ready and made the second save to keep the game scoreless.
The Badgers struck first at the 11:55 mark of the opening stanza. Madison Packer had the puck in the slot and passed it to Brittany Ammerman, who was stationed in the left circle. Ammerman one-timed the puck under Sperry's pads for the goal.
BU nearly equalized with about 4:20 to play in the first frame. Rookie forward Kayla Tutino retrieved the puck from behind the net and threw it in front for Cristina Wiley. The junior forward got a stick on it, but Badger netminder Alex Rigsby was able to deflect it out of harm's way.
The Terriers won the faceoff battle in the first period, 11-7, and controlled play in the final minutes. Tutino and senior captain Jenn Wakefield each had a chance late in the first, but Rigsby made two solid saves to deny BU.
Just 31 seconds into the second stanza, Jenn Wakefield took a penalty, but once again the BU penalty kill was fantastic, allowing just one shot on goal and coming up with two key blocks.
Sophomore forward Louise Warren nearly had the first goal of the game for BU when she found herself right in front of Rigsby. However, Rigsby was well-positioned for the point-blank shot and made the save.
Warren was also involved in another near-miss about halfway through the second period. She made a great play in the neutral zone, as she chipped the puck past a defender and beat her to the puck to create a 2-on-1. Junior forward Taylor Holze raced into the offensive zone with Warren, but Warren's pass just missed Holze's stick.
Ammerman struck again for Wisconsin at the 13:19 mark of the second session. She was positioned between the faceoff circles, and one-timed a pass from Brianna Decker past Sperry.
Sperry made a great save to keep BU in it with nearly three minutes to go in the period when she robbed Katy Josephs with a blocker save.
BU began the third frame on a power play that carried over from the final seconds of the previous period. Fratkin had the best chance with a backhander in front, but the Terriers were unable to capitalize with the player-advantage.
Wakefield nearly got a goal back with 8:04 remaining in regulation, but her shot hit the crossbar and deflected out of play. The senior captain, along with Warren, led the Terriers with four shots on goal.
The Badgers made it 3-0 at the 14:37 mark of the stanza with a shorthanded goal, as Kelly Jaminski took a pass from Ammerman and scored. It was the first shorthanded goal that the Terriers allowed this season.
The BU penalty kill had another strong game, going 3-for-3 and allowing just four shots on goal. The Terriers have killed off 41-of-44 power play chances they have faced.
This was the first time the Terriers were shutout and lost a Friday contest since Jan. 29, 2010, when they dropped a 2-0 decision to Connecticut.
BU will look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this year when the two teams do it again on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.