The Boston University women’s hockey lost 4-3 in overtime to the University of Maine in Orono Sunday afternoon, bringing its 2017-18 season to an end.
The Black Bears (19-13-5, 11-9-4 Hockey East) secured a win in the third game of the best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals.
In Sunday’s final matchup of the series, the Terriers’ (14-17-6, 8-11-5 Hockey East) pair of power-play goals from senior forwards Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach gave them a lead, which they held for the first and second periods.
BU’s third goal came early in the third period as sophomore forward Natasza Tarnowski sent the puck past Maine sophomore goaltender Carly Jackson in an unassisted effort to extend the Terriers’ lead to 3-0.
The turning point of the game came in the middle of the third period, when Black Bears senior forward Brooke Stacey scored her first career hat-trick, knotting the game with 4:28 remaining in the game.
With neither team able to score a fourth goal in regulation, the game headed into overtime.
BU head coach Brian Durocher said that he tried to lighten the mood with a joke for the players heading into the overtime period.
“After the way things shook out with the three goals in the third period, it was certainly a dejected locker room, and you have to do something to keep it loose going into the period,” Durocher said.
Sophomore forward Tereza Vanisova, assisted by Stacey and defenseman Alyson Matteau, scored the deciding goal of the game less than five minutes into overtime, securing Maine the victory.
On Friday, in the first game of the series, the Black Bears snagged an early lead when freshman forward Josefine Engmann scored less than five minutes into the first frame.
Maine padded its lead and ended its scoring for the game with two more goals in the first period. Despite responding with two goals of its own, BU could not get another goal past Jackson, falling to Maine 3-2.
The second game yielded a more favorable result for BU.
Bach and Leslie opened the scoring for the Terriers with the first two goals of the contest.
Freshman forward Jesse Compher followed up Leslie’s goal with her first short-handed goal as a Terrier.
A stand-alone goal by Maine’s Vanisova early in the third period did not help the Black Bears gain a foothold.
Leslie’s second goal of the matchup sealed the victory for BU, who took the second game 4-1 and pushed the series to a third matchup.
Over the weekend, the Terriers’ senior class dominated play for BU.
Senior goaltender and assistant captain Erin O’Neil played an impressive three games, making 86 saves and allowing only five goals.
Durocher tipped his hat to O’Neil, praising both her play this weekend as well as her leadership on and off the ice.
“I point to Erin O’Neil, who, for the second year in a row somebody sort of took the number one job away from her, and she was always an unbelievable teammate, a leader, a locker room presence,” Durocher said. “It became clear from our teammates when they elected her [a] captain this year. I’m really happy she had a marvelous weekend this year.”
In game one, Bach scored her first of two power-play goals over the series.
In the quarterfinals, she and Leslie tallied the most points for the Terriers with three goals and three assists each. Senior forward Nina Rodgers also notched a goal of her own.
For Durocher, the senior class played an important role in leading the team through what he called somewhat of a trying situation.
“We had so many people hurt, and it just continued right through the end of the year,” Durocher said. “I know injuries are part of the game … but the seniors were real leaders.”