By: Max Wolpoff
Despite the best efforts for this one to end in regulation, Erin O’Neil and Madison Litchfield kept their opponents off the score sheet in the final period. In the first of two meetings this weekend to end their season series, the Vermont Catamounts and the Boston University Terriers finished their tight contest in a 3-3 draw. BU moves to a 13-8-2 (10-4-2 Hockey East) mark on the season while UVM goes to 6-16-2 (4-8-2 Hockey East).
The situation seemed simple enough: Vermont needed a win to keep their hopes of hosting round one of Hockey East tournament play at Gutterson Field House; Boston University needed a win to keep their bid for the No. 2 seed in the conference alive. Last time these teams met, Maddie Elia led BU with two goals while Erin O’Neil made 23 saves en route to a 5-3 win. However, that game was almost three months ago.
The Catamounts ended their second six-game losing streak of the season with a road win against Dartmouth to end the 2015 portion of their season. The Terriers came in contention with Northeastern for the No. 2 spot in the conference by the time the ball dropped in Times Square. Today, Vermont ensured they did not dissapoint the home-town crowd.
On just the second shift of the game, Alexis Woloschuck forced a turnover in the offensive zone while Rebecca Leslie corralled the puck to give BU the first lead of the match. Both goaltenders traded saves for nine minutes until a Katherine Pate shot found Mackenzie MacNeil’s stick for the tying redirection.
With a BU defender in the box, Vermont made short work of their power play as Taylor Willard found the back of the net in 21 seconds. Despite having another power play soon after, the Catamounts failed to capitalize and the score remained 2-1. Woloschuck’s one shot on goal in the game got denied by Litchfield, but Samantha Sutherland put the easy rebound home for her fifth of the season.
On a carry over of a late second period penalty, Victoria Bach scored her team-leading 14th goal on the year 34 seconds through the second. With Bach’s goal, seven different Terriers tallied points in this affair; Woloschuck, Sammy Davis, Sarah Lefort, and Alexis Crossley all had an assist on the night.
UVM did not finish the second quietly. Again on the power play, Willard’s shot initially was waved off by on-ice officials. Upon further review, the officials overturned their call and the game began anew with a 3-3 tie.
Litchfield denied Leslie, Elia, and Kayla Tutino on point-blank chances on top of her eight saves of the period while O’Neil stopped all six shots that came her way as well. When the clock hit 0.00 for the third and fourth time, no decisive goal had been scored and both teams secured one point in confernce play. O’Neil finished the game with 24 saves while Litchfield stopped 32 of BU’s shots.
The two teams will face off again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. from Gutterson Field House.