By: Max Wolpoff
Boston College proved again, as if there was any doubt left, that it is the number one team in Women’s College hockey. Harvard succumbed to an 8-0 onsluaght, and Boston University came out on the losing end of a hard battle with cross-town rival Northeastern on the semifinal weekend of the 38th annual Women’s Beanpot.
The Harvard Crimson (12-9-1, 9-6-1ECAC) allowed five goals in the first period, giving head coach Katey Stone sufficient reason to yank starter and last year’s Beanpot MVP Emerance Maschmeyer. Brianna Laing allowed two more in the second and one final goal in the third as the Eageles improved to 28-0-0 (19-0-0 Hockey East). Defenseman Megan Keller and forwards Alex Carpenter and Tori Sullivan each scored twice.
In the night cap, the Terriers (17-10-2) looked to avenge a 7-1 loss to Northeastern (24-4-1) from last October and set up an identical final to the Men’s tournament. In the first twenty minutes, nothing could stop them.
Quick transitions and a relentless forecheck gave the Sacrlet ad White control over the pace of play. On one of those transition plays, Rebecca Leslie found Rebecca Russo across the slot for her 13th goal of the season. Husky goaltender Brittany Bugalski saved the other 12 shots that period to maintain the score line into the middle frame.
“BU came out fast and we were back on our heels. They really took it to us in the first period” Northeastern head coach Dave Flint said.
Shortly after puck drop on the second twenty minute interval, senior Kendall Coyne reminded everyone why she is an Olympian. Off Hayley Scamurra’s faceoff win in the Terrier zone, the NCAA’s leading scorer held the puck briefly before releasing a deceptive wrist shot past Erin O’Neil.
“When she’s on the ice, you have to know she’s there” Boston University head coach Brian Durocher said. The opposition needs “three or four players probably thinking about defense first. We’ll worry about offense when other people get on the ice.”
Northeastern would score again late in the period despite defensive efforts from Alexis Woloschuck and Sarah Steele. Woloschuck stopped a wrap around attempt by sliding on her knees clear across O’Neil’s crease to prevent the shot and Steele’s shot block attempt did not stop Lauren Kelly from her fourth goal of the season. After 19 total period shots, the Huskies took the advantage into the final period.
Coyne doubled her school’s advatage after finishing Denisa Krizova’s pass on a two-on-one break. That was one of only five Husky shots in the period.
Consecutive penalties from Shely Herrington and Krizova gave BU a golden chance to claw within one goal. With O’Neil on the bench for the sixth attacker, Alexis Crossley buried her high slot shot.
Despite their best efforts with the extra skater, BU could not find the tying marker and withdraws to the Consolation Game against the Harvard Crimson next Tuesday afternoon. Northeastern also improves to 13 straight victories on the way to the Beanpot final.
One player worth mentioning that did not end up on the scoresheet is sophomore Victoria Bach. Her seven shots paced all Terriers and trailed only Coyne’s nine for the game high. Multiple chances came her way, but Bugalski stood tall to each attempt.
Coach Durocher threw in a “The Real Slim Shady” reference in answering a question about takeaways from this game. “We gotta figure out what team we’re gonna be in the biggest games.”
“The biggest thing I’m gonna ask my team to do is ‘can we come back with the exact same intensity and same focus?’ so that, against a real good team, we keep ’em to three goals.”