BOSTON - Sophomore Sarah Lefort's third-period goal broke a 1-1 tie and propelled the Boston University women's ice hockey team to a 2-1 win over Yale on Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena.
BU (3-1-1) improved to 5-1-3 all-time in home openers while Yale dropped to 0-2-0 on its season. Freshman Maddie Elia notched her first collegiate goal while senior Kerrin Sperry stopped 30 shots for her third win of the season.
Before the game, recent graduates Jill Cardella, Shannon Mahoney and Cristina Wiley took part in a ceremony as three banners were raised honoring last year's incredible postseason run. The Terriers won the Hockey East championship, advanced to the NCAA tournament and earned a Frozen Four berth during the 2012-13 campaign.
After a scoreless first period, Elia opened her collegiate account at the 6:48 mark of the second stanza. Lefort collected the puck in her own zone and got it to freshman Samantha Sutherland at center ice. She left it for Elia, who rushed into the Yale end and fired a shot that Jaimie Leonoff (36 saves) stopped. Elia converted the rebound, however, to give BU the early lead.
Yale responded with 7:29 to play in the middle frame. Stephanie Mock won an offensive-zone draw back to Paige Decker, whose shot was stopped by Sperry. Mock was in perfect position to deposit the rebound and tie the game, 1-1.
Lefort scored her second straight game-winning goal just 6:08 into the third period. After a faceoff in the Yale zone, a Bulldog forward tried to find one of her teammates at the opposite point. Lefort intercepted the pass, however, and streaked in alone before tucking the puck under Leonoff's pads for her third goal of the season.
The Bulldogs earned a power play chance with 7:14 remaining in regulation, but Sperry stood tall in what was one of her best sequences of the season. She made seven saves during that two-minute stretch to keep her team in front late in the game. Yale pulled its goaltender with 16 seconds to play, but the Terrier defense pinned the puck along the wall and preserved the win.
BU will open its Hockey East schedule on Tuesday when the Terriers travel to crosstown rival Northeastern. Puck drop at Matthews Arena is slated for 7 p.m.