The Boston University women’s hockey team entered this weekend’s series against No. 2 Boston College with much momentum and anticipation. However, the Terriers (6-8-3, 3-6-3 Hockey East) came out of their dual matchups with the Eagles (13-1-3, 7-0-3 Hockey East) without a single victory.
For Friday’s game, BU headed down Commonwealth Avenue to face off against BC. The Terriers got off to a strong start, being aggressive on the attack and keeping the puck in the Eagles’ zone for most of the period.
The game remained scoreless well into the period until senior forward and captain Rebecca Leslie, No. 4 in the nation for scoring, put one between the posts with 61 seconds left in the first frame.
BC responded in the second with a one-timer from freshman forward Daryl Watts that flew past BU senior goaltender Erin O’Neil’s side to tie the game.
Both teams would see several more power play opportunities throughout the period, though neither were able to capitalize on them, and the period ended with the score still tied.
The third period began, and this time it was the Terriers that started out with the power play. Senior forward Nina Rodgers put BU back in the lead after sliding one past the Eagles’ senior goaltender Katie Burt.
The Eagles came along to make it even again when BC forward Makenna Newkirk sent the puck to senior defenseman Toni Ann Miano and flicked a wrist shot past O’Neil and into the top shelf.
The Eagles had several more opportunities to score while the Terriers continued to get hit with penalties in the latter half of the third. However, the Eagles never saw the back of the net and both teams played into overtime.
Not much came of the five-minute overtime, with it being a back-and-forth affair with few real scoring opportunities. The tie remained, and the final score was 2-2.
Although not a loss for BU in the standard meaning, the game was a large blow to the Terriers’ roster as two separate players suffered injuries that prevented them from finishing the game. Among them were Rodgers and junior defenseman Connor Galway.
“Nina’s got a knee injury that they have not completely determined the severity of, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope its mild,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “Connor has a thumb injury that will probably keep her out until after the break.”
Both teams headed across town the next day to compete on BU’s home turf. The Terriers felt the absence of some of their key players early in the game as BC was aggressive on the attack, keeping the puck in BU’s zone for the period’s majority.
Despite this, it was Leslie who would score the first goal of the game at 16:44 in the first period. The Eagles left the first period with a one goal deficit despite landing 18 shots on goal, all of which were stopped by O’Neil.
BC would strike back after returning for the second with Watts firing a shot that deflected off the corner post and into the net, making the score 1-1. The Eagles would find themselves in the lead later in the period after Watts saw the back of the net yet again on the power play.
The Terriers’ response came from Leslie, who followed her previous goal with another on the power play to tie the game again at the end of the second.
However, BC came back in the third period to gain a comfortable lead when Newkirk and defenseman Serena Sommerfield scored within two minutes of each other, making the game 4-2 in favor of the Eagles and taking the wind out of BU’s sails.
The Terriers were relentless for the remainder of the third, firing shot after shot at Burt who saw several jaw-dropping saves, but BU lost the game 2-4.
Durocher said he believes that the team will see overall improvement if it focuses on bettering its power play performance.
“We didn’t always capitalize on the power play when we could have,” Durocher said. “We’ve been sort of up and down with the penalties this year, so we could always do better there.”