The Boston University women’s hockey team pulled off a 3-2 victory over Harvard University in the opening round of the 40th annual women’s Beanpot tournament at Boston College Tuesday evening.
Both teams started the first period somewhat sloppy, with several missed passes and whiffed shots, but it wasn’t long before the Terriers (11-14-6, 6-11-5 Hockey East) started putting points on the board.
Less than four minutes into the game, BU senior forward Victoria Bach wove past traffic and fired a wrister at Harvard (9-13-2) sophomore goaltender Beth Larcom, which saw the top right corner of the net and put the Terriers on the board.
BU would continue to pepper the Crimson with shots, resulting in another goal from Bach two minutes later. Bach scooped up the puck on the rebound and fired the puck past Larcom, getting her second goal of the game and her 34th of the season.
On that play, Harvard received a two-minute minor, and the Terriers wasted no time adding to their lead. A wrist shot by freshman forward Jesse Compher from point blank saw the back of the net just 14 seconds into the power play and 10 minutes into the game, the team found itself already up 3-0.
“I thought we came out on fire,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “We had a great start to the game.”
However, Harvard began to step up its game, and improved on its defense.
The Crimson saw some redemption when sophomore defenseman Ali Peper fired a deflected shot from the point, and fellow freshman forward Brooke Jovanovich capitalized and put the rebound into the back of the net at 14:03 in the opening frame.
The Crimson had another power play opportunity following the goal, but again were unable to make anything of it and the first period ended with the score 3-1 in favor of BU.
Harvard maintained its momentum going into the second period, getting several good shots on the Terriers, including a slapshot by Crimson senior defenseman Chelsea Ziadie from the blue line that BU freshman goaltender Corinne Schroeder denied.
The Crimson got another scoring opportunity when the Terriers received a penalty early in the period, giving Harvard a 5-on-4 advantage.
With just three seconds left in the power play, Ziadie fired another blue line slapshot. The shot flew through traffic and saw the top shelf of the net before Schroeder could register it, reducing Harvard’s deficit to just one goal.
For the remainder of the period, both teams would go back and forth, neither securing the upper hand. However, the Crimson went into the third period with another man advantage after BU received a penalty with just 18 seconds left in the second.
Despite going into the final period with the advantage, nothing came of Harvard’s power play. The Terriers would get their own power play opportunity not too long after, but were also unable to make anything of it.
For the majority of the period, Harvard saw very few scoring opportunities, struggling to get the puck out of its zone. BU finished the night outshooting Harvard 32-26.
Larcom was pulled to give the Crimson a 6-on-5 advantage, and for the last few minutes of the game BU saw heavy attacking from Harvard.
However, the Terriers’ defense held firm with back-to-back saves from Schroeder, who ended the night with 24 saves. The defining moment of the game came when when both teams fought furiously for the puck right in front of the BU net.
Amidst the chaos, senior forward Haley Mullins managed to tip off the puck toward the goal. Schroeder registered the puck and got on top of it just before it crossed the goal line.
With that, the Terriers held onto their lead all the way to the buzzer, and emerged victorious with a score of 3-2.
“We just have to try to be thorough, put a little more pressure on the net,” Durocher said. “But the kids fought defensively, fought hard. We don’t know who we’ll be playing up against next week, but we just have to keep playing defensively and be opportunistic on offense.”