HYANNIS, Mass. - Senior Jenelle Kohanchuk scored twice in the third period, including the game-winner, to help lift the No. 4 Boston University women's ice hockey team to its second straight Hockey East title with a 5-2 win over Northeastern on Sunday afternoon at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center.
BU (26-5-3) never trailed as it defeated Northeastern (23-11-2) for its third league title in program history, all of which have come in the last four seasons. With the win, the Terriers earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This senior class becomes the first in program history to play in an NCAA tournament.
Junior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was named the Hockey East Tournament MVP after she allowed just three goals in three games and posted a 42-save shutout in the semifinals against Providence. Sperry stopped 77 shots in two games this weekend and 93 over the three-game tournament.
Three juniors joined Sperry on the All-Tournament Team, including Shannon Doyle, co-captain Marie-Philip Poulin and Louise Warren. Kohanchuk's two goals were complemented by markers from freshman Sarah Lefort, senior Isabel Menard and sophomore Kayla Tutino. Each of those players also had an assist for a two-point afternoon.
Menard now holds the career tournament scoring record with 13 points (2g, 11a). This is the second straight season that Poulin has been named to the All-Tournament Team and the second time that a BU goaltender won Tournament MVP honors; Melissa Haber ('10) accomplished the feat in 2010.
Menard opened the scoring just 4:06 into the proceedings thanks to good work by her linemates. Tutino began the play in the offensive zone by getting the puck to Warren, who found Menard alone in front of Northeastern netminder Chloe Desjardins. Menard faked out Desjardins and slotted home her 15th goal of the season.
A strong individual effort from Lefort resulted in the Terriers second goal. Off a neutral zone faceoff right outside the Huskies' zone, Lefort stole the puck from Maggie DiMasi and rushed up the right wing on Desjardins before roofing a shot over the blocker side for her 21st goal of the season.
Kendall Coyne brought Northeastern within a goal 2:22 into the second period. The Huskies' forecheck forced a BU turnover and Coyne was in perfect position at the right post to hammer home her 37th goal of the year.
Sperry and the Terrier penalty killers were a big reason that the Terriers escaped the middle stanza with a 2-1 lead. BU killed all three penalties it faced and allowed just two shots on goal thanks to strong shot blocking in front of an up-to-the-task Sperry.
After the Terriers turned aside a strong start to the third period for Northeastern, the "Nine Line" extended the Terriers' lead to 3-1 just 2:37 into the frame. Poulin rushed up the left wing and went across the top of the crease for Kohanchuk, who buried her 21st goal of the season.
The Huskies' Kelly Wallace made it 3-2 with 8:40 remaining in regulation, but Kohanchuk answered again just over a minute later. Lefort gathered the puck behind the net and fed Kohanchuk in front for the tap-in and the senior's team-leading 22nd goal of the campaign. Tutino finished the scoring on the power play with 4:58 left to play thanks to a nifty deflection from a Kaleigh Fratkin shot.
The Terriers will learn their opponent in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament when the eight-team field is announced on NCAA.com at 6 p.m.
BU forward Jenelle Kohanchuk WHEA Final Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)
BU forward Marie-Philip Poulin WHEA Final Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)
BU goalie Kerrin Sperry WHEA Final Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)
BU head coach Brian Durocher WHEA Final Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)