Terriers tie BC in back-and-forth affair

The No. 3 Boston University women’s hockey team played a wild game at No. 8 Boston College on Saturday that fittingly ended in a 5–5 tie.

The Eagles (3–3–1, 2–2–1 Hockey East) came into the game coming off of a 7–1 rout of the Terriers (7–2–1, 3–1–1 Hockey East) Wednesday night, so it was crucial for BU to not suffer back-to-back defeats against its fierce rival.

It was a back and forth game from beginning to end, and the scoring started early. Less than two minutes into the first period during a scrum in front of BU’s net, forward Kate Leary located the puck and put it in the net to get BC on the board first.

The Terriers retaliated 9:51 into the game when junior forward Louise Warren put a shot through goaltender Megan Miller’s legs to knot the score at one. Freshman forward Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga got the first point of her collegiate career with an assist on the play.

Minutes later, Warren and Ribeirinha-Braga connected for a goal once again. It was Warren’s second goal of the game and it marked the first multi-goal game of her collegiate career.

“Louise was at the top of the charts today and I feel good for her because she has had her chances but been a little snake bit around the net,” said BU coach Brian Durocher.

BU’s 2–1 lead lasted fewer than seven minutes, as defenseman Blake Bolden shot a puck off of Sperry’s glove and into the net to tie the game up with 51 seconds remaining in the first period.

The next two periods were similar to the first, as the teams continued to exchange goals, with neither team taking more than a one-goal lead all game.

After Bolden got her second goal of the game 6:03 into the second period with a slap shot that got through Sperry’s legs, Sperry put on a 14-minute goaltending clinic.

The Eagles began to control the pace of play, as they possessed the puck in the Terriers’ zone and took a series of shots for the majority of the second period. The Terriers were able to rely on Sperry to make incredible saves and keep the deficit at 3–2.

“[Sperry] made enough unbelievable saves to give us a chance and thankfully we took advantage of it,” Durocher said.

When forward Taylor Wasylk was called for a hooking penalty with 4:34 remaining in the second period, BU had a chance to take some pressure off its goalie. Less than a minute into the power play, junior defenseman Shannon Doyle took a slap shot that senior forward Isabel Menard deflected past Miller for a goal to tie the game at three apiece.

The shots on goal favored BC, 33–13, at the end of the second period, but due to BU’s opportunistic offense and stellar goalie, the Terriers made the game extremely competitive.

The third period showcased some more back-and-forth play, with both teams finding answers to one-goal deficits.

Sophomore forward Alex Carpenter put BC in the lead, 4–3, 5:06 into the period as she skated past two BU defenders and took a shot from the left circle that beat Sperry glove-side.

This time, it took only 1:43 for the Terriers to tie the game up. Freshman forward Sarah Lefort skated the puck down the left side of the ice, with sophomore defender Shannon Stoneburgh keeping up on the other side of the net. Lefort fed the puck to Stoneburgh, who put it in the net to knot the score once again.

It was Stoneburgh’s third point of the season, and all three points have come in games against BC.

“It seemed like we held our composure pretty well. We hung around,” Durocher said. “I think there was a gap there of some minutes where nobody scored, but we were able to tie it at four and it gave us some legs — boom — we get a quick one right after.”

The Terriers took a one-goal lead 7:21 into the third period as Menard fed a puck to Warren right in front of the net. The puck deflected off of Warren’s skate and into the net, giving Warren her first career hat trick.

Warren said it was a team effort that led to her fantastic performance.

“We were moving quicker off faceoffs. We were forechecking hard. We weren’t giving them as much time and space [as we did in the game on Wednesday]. We were moving the puck well,” Warren said. “It was just all-around a better game by our team.”

The fifth and final one-goal comeback of the game occurred at 11:57 of the third period. Freshman Lexi Bender took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Sperry over her right shoulder.

Regulation ended with the teams even at five goals apiece, despite BC having more than twice as many shots on goal as BU (43–21).

The five-minute overtime period proved indecisive, as neither team could register so much as a shot on goal. After an extremely hard-fought game, both teams earned a point and another chapter of the rivalry was put in the books.

“’Opportunistic’ was something that worked for us today,” Durocher said. “And it’s a big point coming out of here.”

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