Ice Hockey, Sports

Women’s hockey splits home and away with No. 4 Boston College

Junior forward Victoria Bach has five goals and seven assists through BU's first nine games. PHOTO BY SARAH SILBIGER/ DAILY FREE PRSS STAFF
Junior forward Victoria Bach has five goals and seven assists through BU’s first nine games. PHOTO BY SARAH SILBIGER/ DAILY FREE PRSS STAFF

One of the greatest rivalries in college hockey served up two intense clashes this past weekend, as the Boston University women’s hockey team played a home-and-home series against No. 4 Boston College.

The Eagles (7-3-2, 6-2-0 Hockey East) came out on top Friday evening at Conte Forum, besting the Terriers (4-4-1, 3-4-0 Hockey East), 5-3. Come Saturday afternoon, a turnaround was in order, though, as the Terriers emerged as 5-3 victors before a raucous Walter Brown Arena crowd.

BU head coach Brian Durocher thought his team played well both games, but simply had more compete on home ice.

“We played a pretty damn good game [Friday] night,” Durocher said. “That might of been just as good or better of a 60-minute game. But we had a couple of physical errors and maybe one that [junior goaltender Erin O’Neil] would have liked to have gotten back and that can change the game.”

In the first encounter, sophomore forward Sammy Davis opened the scoring 15 minutes into the first period with a power-play finish.

Over halfway into the second frame, the Eagles got on the board courtesy of freshman Caitrin Lonergan. Lonergan leads the Eagles with 15 points and eight goals, and was also awarded Hockey East Rookie of the Month Wednesday.  

Just 17 seconds later, Davis fired again, giving the Terriers a 2-1 lead. The Eagles tied it up before the end of the frame, however, on a power-play goal from defenseman Erin Connolly.

Junior forward Nina Rodgers then scored her first goal as a Terrier three minutes into the final stanza. However, the Terriers couldn’t answer two goals from freshman Delaney Belinskas and another from senior Kristyn Capizzano.

Come Saturday, the Terriers had a newfound energy and used a five-goal third period to fuel a comeback. Junior forward Victoria Bach netted two goals and freshman forward Deziray De Sousa scored her first collegiate goal for the game winner.

De Sousa said it felt good to score against BC and that she was impressed with her team’s energy level throughout the game.

“Today we had more compete and we didn’t give up,” she said. “We played hard every shift.”

The first frame brought ample opportunities for both teams, but sophomore Makenna Newkirk found net first, putting the Eagles up 1-0. It was the first of two power-play goals scored by the Eagles. Defenseman Grace Bizal then cushioned BC’s lead 1:25 into the second period, striking on the power play.

The Terrier defense tightened up, though, limiting the Eagles to just five shots on goal in the second frame. After the second period, O’Neil had already made 21 of her eventual 34 saves.

However, the offense had its struggles, as it was stymied repeatedly by goaltender Katie Burt, whose 2.04 goals-against average is the league’s fourth lowest.

Just 40 seconds into the final frame, Bach got the ball rolling for the Terriers.

“The first couple periods we had a lot of shots, but nothing to really sneak by,” Bach said. “Once we got that first goal, the goalie got a little shaky and we just used that to our momentum. We kept the shots going.”

Lonergan answered almost immediately for the Eagles, making it a 3-1 game.

Graduate student forward Mary Parker scored BU’s only power-play goal of the game nearly four minutes later. Before the horn blew on the 5-3 decision, Bach netted another, De Sousa scored her first goal to take the lead and Rodgers scored an empty netter.

“There was a little more at stake for us to try to lock away some of the demons,” Durocher said. “The kids answered the bell, got a couple breaks and took advantage of them.”

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