On the night of the Beanpot Championship, it was the consolation game that was packed with tension and excitement.
In a contest that was not decided until there were 10 seconds remaining in overtime, the Boston University women’s hockey team fell to No. 4/6 Harvard University 3-2 at Conte Forum Tuesday night.
“It was a consolation game where both teams were playing with a pretty good conviction,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “And that doesn’t always happen when you’re a little bit disappointed with not getting to the finals.”
The Terriers (19-10-1, 12-5-0 Hockey East) came out firing, putting up 12 shots on goal in the first period against a very stout Crimson (20-3-3) defense that allowed a miniscule 1.28 goals per game heading into the matchup.
Unfortunately for BU, Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer — who allowed just 1.48 goals per game before tonight — was in top form, stopping all 12 shots.
With 5:09 remaining in the first period, forward Jessica Harvey started the scoring, getting the puck past senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry and putting Harvard up 1-0. Her score stood as the only goal of the period.
The second period had a similar pace to the first, with BU winning the shot battle 12-8. But this time, the Terriers were able to capitalize early in the frame.
At the 3:30 mark of the period, the NCAA’s leading goal-scorer, sophomore forward Sarah Lefort, netted her 27th goal of the season to put BU on the board and tie up the game.
After impressive goaltending for the remainder of the period, the teams headed back to their respective locker rooms with one goal apiece at the end of two.
In the third period, the tide began to turn, as the Crimson got the better of the scoring opportunities. But a charging penalty on forward Miye D’Oench 8:44 into the period sent BU on a crucial power play.
The Terriers made the most of the opportunity, as freshman forward Maddie Elia sent the puck over to Lefort, who ripped a shot on net. Senior captain Louise Warren, who was stationed in front of the cage, deflected the shot off her stick and into the net for the power-play goal. The score gave BU the 2-1 lead with 10:04 remaining in regulation.
The one-goal lead was not enough, though. D’Oench, who took the penalty that led to BU’s second goal, was able to redeem herself less than three minutes later, scoring the game-tying goal.
“We were up 2-1 and then unfortunately we didn’t keep our composure in the last 10 or 11 minutes,” Durocher said. “[We] made some less than good reads, they tied it pretty quick.”
Regulation ended with the winner yet to be decided, as the teams were knotted up at two despite a total of 65 shots on goal in the three periods.
For BU, the shot total continued to mount in overtime, with the team registering six shots in 4:50. The Crimson, on the other hand, registered just two shots on goal in that time frame.
But that was all Harvard needed.
With the seconds winding down and the teams seemingly headed toward a draw, D’Oench chased down a puck in BU’s defensive zone and started a quick two-pass sequence, sending the disk to defenseman Marissa Gedman, who passed it over to forward Samantha Reber, who took the shot and beat Sperry, giving the Crimson the 3-2 victory with just 10 seconds remaining in overtime.
Durocher said his team can take positives from the nail-biting loss, but ultimately, it is all about getting the win.
“From a confidence standpoint, they can look at the fact that they did territorially play pretty well and got plenty of shots,” Durocher said. “But it probably gets offset by the fact that it leaves a real hollow feeling, and part of this game is being able to close the deal.
“I’ll make sure they recognize … how hard they played and how well they played for the most part, but it can be a broken record if we’re not taking care of business.”