With no help from a crucial disallowed goal in the second period, the Boston University women’s hockey team fell to No. 7 Boston College Tuesday night at Kelley Rink in the Beanpot semifinal.
Both teams came out with an open-ice style of play. The Terriers (18-9-1, 11-5-0 Hockey East) were firing from the get-go, as they posted two shots on goal in the game’s opening 30 seconds.
However, about three minutes into the contest, forward Haley Skarupa forced a turnover in BU’s defensive zone. Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was able to turn the breakaway chance aside, but it spurred a dangerous pattern, as BC (20-4-3, 14-1-1 Hockey East) came close to breakaways on a few more occasions.
This trend finally came back to bite BU, however. Nearly seven minutes into the period, with BU on the power play, sophomore forward Dakota Woodworth attempted to make an outlet pass, but it was intercepted by forward Dana Trivigno, who had an open path to the net. She deked to the left and took a shot that was saved by a sprawling Sperry. Senior Taylor Wasylk picked up the rebound at the right side of the net and put it into the top left corner for the shorthanded goal.
BU coach Brian Durocher attributed the breakaways to the Terriers’ mental errors.
“Those are the mental things that aren’t all about skill … We got the back person who’s supposed to have a little defensive mentality — not there,” Durocher said.
“We go crashing into the corners, all we have to do is just jump on the back side of that kid in the corner for Boston College and we’re in great defensive position, but we go smashing in there and the puck bounces the wrong way.”
After BC’s score, BU’s defense tightened up and became much more difficult to penetrate. After freshman forward Maddie Elia took a penalty with 6:23 remaining in the period, however, junior Emily Field capitalized with a wrist shot from the circle that gave BC the 2-0 lead.
The real gut shot came with just seven seconds remaining in the frame, when Wasylk threw the puck to the front of the net and found Skarupa’s stick, who put the puck through Sperry’s pads to give BC a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the locker room.
“It was a heck of a good first period if you’re a Boston College fan,” Durocher said.
The second period seemed equally as unpromising for the Terriers, as they did not register a shot on goal until 11:20 into the period. However, BU was as opportunistic as a team can be, as that shot — a wrister over goaltender Corinne Boyles’ shoulder from sophomore forward Sarah Lefort — resulted in its first goal of the game and cut the deficit to two.
With BU’s shot total mounting and momentum shifting in its favor, BC took a tripping penalty 14:30 into the period. In the midst of a scramble in front of the net, the puck tipped off Russo’s skate and slowly trickled through Broyles’ pads and into the net.
For a moment it appeared as though the Terriers cut the deficit to one. But after a review of the play, the referees determined the goalie was not given the opportunity to play the puck, and the goal call was reversed due to goaltender interference.
Despite two consecutive dangerous power plays and a number of scoring opportunities in the final few minutes, the second period ended with the Terriers behind 3-1.
“All of a sudden we get a great shot from a big-time goal-scorer in Sarah Lefort and then it looks like we might have a 3-2 game,” Durocher said. “And there’s a huge difference between 3-2, 3-1 going into the third.”
The third period got off to a similar start as the second, as the Terriers registered only one shot on goal 10 minutes into the frame.
The period saw both teams produce relatively little offense, as the scoring chances were limited.
With 2:13 remaining in the final frame, just moments after BU pulled its goalie, BC put the puck into the open net before Sperry even made it to the bench, sealing BU’s 4-1 defeat.
“There were too many chances — forget the power play goals, the two breakaways, some other opportunities — it just made for too much work for everybody back there when [we] should’ve kept the game a little more simple,” Durocher said. “And it’s probably somebody’s hockey game at 2-1 if we do that.”