Some streaks are meant to be broken, and for the Boston University women’s hockey team, that was the case Friday night at Walter Brown Arena.
The Terriers (24-8-4, 18-6-3 Hockey East) entered the first game of the Hockey East quarterfinals against the University of Maine on an eight-game unbeaten streak, however, that streak was snapped as BU fell to the Black Bears (15-13-8, 9-11-7 Hockey East) 3-2 in double overtime.
BU head coach Brian Durocher said the team was able to put pressure on Maine, but imperfect execution kept the Terriers out of the net.
“We probably didn’t execute a couple of our goals, grade A shooting chances, as well as we’d like,” Durocher said. “But, we did generate plenty of opportunities. We did get a lot of pucks back to the point … We just could not get the one that would decide the game.”
Senior forward Vendula Pribylova opened the scoring for Maine 3:47 into the opening period. Pribylova, rushing up the right side, attempted to pass the puck backwards to her teammate. But instead the puck bounced off and past BU Terrier senior goaltender Corinne Schroeder to give the Black Bears the early lead.
Durocher said earlier in the week that the postseason can be unpredictable, and he repeated that sentiment Friday night.
“They find one off a skate, and early in the game it goes off our skate,” Durocher said. “If people tell you there is no luck involved in sports, I might argue with them.”
The Terriers were given a chance to tie the game just over six minutes later as sophomore forward Liga Miljone was whistled for tripping. However, Maine denied the BU power-play unit.
For a team that ranks first in the NCAA in scoring, BU was left off the board at the end of the first period.
Maine extended their lead 1:20 into the second stanza, as sophomore forward Ali Beltz tipped in a shot from junior defenseman Taylor Leech.
Less than three minutes later, the Terriers found some life as they were awarded their second power play of the game when Maine sophomore defender Ida Press was whistled for interference.
Junior forward Nara Elia redirected a pass from junior forward Jesse Compher to put BU on the board 5:15 into the second stanza of the power play. Neither team scored in the remainder of the period, and the Terriers entered the final period down 2-1.
As the clock counted down to the final five minutes of regulation, it appeared that the Black Bears would be crowned the victor. However, the Terriers had other ideas.
Sophomore forward Emma Wuthrich found the stick of Elia with a cross-crease pass in front of Maine senior goalie Carly Jackson. Elia redirected the puck into the back of the net to tie the game with less than four minutes to go in regulation.
Both teams applied pressure with the hope to score a late goal and take game one. However, neither team scored and extra hockey would be needed to decide the outcome.
After forcing overtime, it appeared the Terriers prevailed just over a minute into the extra period. Compher knocked the puck past Jackson and BU celebrated. However, after video review, it was determined that the puck bounced off Compher’s hand. Therefore, no goal was scored.
Both teams showed plenty of opportunities to end the game throughout the extra period, but neither found the back of the net, so another period of hockey would be needed.
Freshman forward Ida Kuoppala scored 10:21 into double overtime to claim Maine as the victor and put BU in a position where its season could be in jeopardy.
Durocher said he didn’t see the replay, but he stood by the referees’ decisions.
“It ended off going off a skate from what I think the review said,” Durocher said. “I haven’t seen it, but people did say definitely there was no kicking motion [and] it went in. Good call for them.”
The Terriers will be back in action Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena for game two against Maine.
When asked about the quick turnaround for game two, Durocher said the effects are the same for both teams.
“It’s even for both teams,” Durocher said. “Somewhere in there, there may be a little bit of fatigue … Our job is to push it to Sunday, and their job is to be on the bus tomorrow night going home. So, we will see who gets their jobs done.”