- BOSTON — 108 seconds in and the Minnesota Golden Gophers struck first. They would score four more times, twice more in the first eight minutes, to defeat the Boston University Terriers, 5-1.
Minnesota held BU to 15 total shots on goal while throwing 50 at Victoria Hanson, starting her eighth consecutive game.
“In some way, they backed down just a little bit,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “They get a three-nothing lead, you do not play quite the same way as if it’s a tie game or one-nothing.”
BU drops to 11-7-1 on the season while Minnesota improves to 15-2-2 over the first semester.
Rebecca Leslie was listed as a game-time decision. After warm-ups, she was deemed fit to play. The junior finished with one shot block, two shots on goal, and a -1 rating.
“It gave us a top player, but was not quite herself tonight, did not quite have the jump,” Durocher said. He decided to sit Leslie for the final seven minutes, “just so nothing coo-coo happened in a 4-1 or 5-1 situation.”
The game-winner for Minnesota came at the most opprotune moment. Sarah Steele broke her stick trying for a slapshot at the end of a BU power play. Kate Schipper, down to block the shot, sprang on the loose puck. Steele turned to the bench for a new stick, then turned back a split second later to see Schipper past her.
“They got some good fortune and we do not need that to happen to a talented team like that,” Durocher said.
Sarah Potomak added to her assist from Megan Wolfe’s opening goal with Minnesota’s third goal. Potomak and Kelly Pannek were without linemate Dani Cameranesi, the NCAA leader in goals, thanks to a lower-body injury sustained in the Wisconsin series. They did not miss a beat all night.
Pannek’s three assists on the night pushed her to 29 for the season, extending her NCAA lead in helpers. She leads the next closest player — Brittany Howard of Robert Morris — by nine.
“They did not stop getting shots,” Durocher said. “Victoria [Hanson] made some good saves, our kids fought a little harder defending-wise, but still it ends up a 5-1 game.”
The only goal of the second came on a turnover deep in the defensive zone. The clearance attempt by BU came up the center of the zone to the waiting stick of Cara Piazza for her fourth of the season.
“The one word for our kids is that we’ve got to bring a little more fight tomorrow,” Durocher said. “I thought a couple kids brought the fight, but there was not a high percentage that did.”
Minnesota goaltender Sidney Peters had moments of uncertainty in the blue paint. Turnovers caused by Natasza Tarnowski and Natalie Flynn led to several scoring chances, but Peters sprawled out to stop all of them.
“Sometimes, that’s what happens with goalies who do not have as much rythm or as much play going on,” Durocher said.
One turnover deep in the defensive zone came free for Mary Parker. The graduate student was on a breakaway, but only had the left half of the ice to work with. She made the most of it, depositing her 17th of the year behind Peters. Parker took seven of BU’s 15 shots on goal.
Durocher credits Sammy Davis and Samantha Sutherland for their puck possession on a night where shots were tough to come by. “They were really a shining light they way they possessed the puck,” he said.
The 12-year head coach was realistic about his prospects in the rematch tomorrow afternoon. “It’s a team you have to get 38, 40, 42 saves and try to come up with a 3-2 win,” he said. “They’ve got the wealthiest state for talent, and they are the show there.”