BU women take on top seed Wisconsin for crown
ERIE, Pa. — Brian Durocher didn’t take over a team at Boston University in 2004. He created one.
The day after he was hired to become the inaugural coach for the Terrier women’s hockey team, he crafted a wish list of players. Among the names on it was Danvers, Mass., native Meghan Duggan, a Cushing Academy forward who was desired by many Division 1 programs.
Durocher’s recruiting pitch wasn’t lengthy. He didn’t have much to offer a player with so many options. And besides, Duggan was set on playing at Wisconsin.
“One of the problems we had in the beginning was we weren’t ready for people like her,’’ Durocher said. “We had a wonderful school, a coach that had been around hockey for a while, and a pretty good place to go to school and we were going to be a good hockey program. But we weren’t quite ready in the sense that in the beginning we may not have the kids on the ice that were going to challenge her every single day, and the league was still growing.’’
Now, Durocher said, his team “can play with anybody in the world. I think we’re ready for people like her now.’’
This afternoon, Durocher will lead BU into its first national championship game. The third-seeded Terriers will face top-seeded Wisconsin, including Duggan, who will be playing the final game of her collegiate career. Yesterday, Duggan was named winner of the Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the top player in women’s collegiate hockey.
Duggan, who has set program records and led the Badgers to a pair of national titles, never regretted her decision to leave Massachusetts, but she can appreciate the recent success of programs like BU and Boston College.
“What Coach Durocher has done with the Boston University program and for them to be here in their first Frozen Four is incredible,’’ Duggan said. “I think he has a great group of girls and . . . he’s done an outstanding job with his team and building them in such a short period of time.’’
Forward Holly Lorms, a native of Brookfield, Wis., received numerous letters from BU leading up to her junior year in high school. The summer before her junior season, she attended a camp where Durocher was a coach. By the time the week was over, Lorms wanted to add BU to her list of candidates.
“I got in the car with my parents and I told them I really needed to look at BU,’’ said Lorms, now a senior at BU. “I fell in love with his coaching style and I respected him so much for how he cared about his players.’’
In its third season, BU added Lorms, Jillian Kirchner, and Lauren Cherewyk. During their freshman season, BU reached the Hockey East playoffs for the first time. Two years later, the Terriers won the program’s first Hockey East title. Today, they will be the first Hockey East team to play for the national title.
“We’re appreciative that the administrative people have decided to make women’s hockey important and allowed it to grow,’’ Durocher said. “I use Vermont and BC as two great examples. They were programs that had women’s teams but didn’t have the resources, and all the sudden the resources are there. BC’s here with us [at the Frozen Four] and Vermont is on the way up and our program has been given the resources when we started six years ago to be a good team. Did we know we were going to be here? No, we didn’t. But it certainly was the goal.’’
Monique Walker can be reached at email@example.com.