By: Max Wolpoff
In just twenty minutes, the Boston University Terriers scored five goals and allowed one to complete the comeback against the visiting New Hampshire Wildcats. BU improves to 18-11-2 overall and 15-4-2 in Hockey East as they push for the second seed in the conference tournament.
New Hampshire (10-20-1, 7-14-0 Hockey East), by virtue of Connecticut’s win today, is out of contention to host the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament. If the season ended today, BU would host Vermont on the last weekend of February in a best-of-three series.
After two periods, Boston University trailed New Hampshire 3-1. Only Rebecca Leslie’s goal thirty seconds into the second period got past UNH goaltender Kyra Smith. Cassandra Vilgrain swiped the early lead for the visitors with two goals in the first period.
Rebecca Leslie, known more for her passing than scoring, hit the net to halve the Wildcat lead early after the intermission. Three consecutive second period penalties limited BU’s offensive potential and maximized time for the Wildcats. Amy Boucher restored the two goal advantage and the Terriers went into the break trailing.
Senior Rebecca Russo led off the third with a bang, scoring only twelve seconds into the final frame. Leslie again assisted on Russo’s goal, as they have done so often this season. Russo scored again on the power play to tie the contest with about 14 minutes remaining.
The Terriers entered the last twenty minutes with 15 shots on goal; they proceeded to fire 23 on net with Smith making 18 saves on the 22 she faced. Sophomore Erin O’Neil saw a steady workload with 11, 13, and 10 shots in each of the three periods to earn her # win of the season.
Freshman Sammy Davis pierced the twine for her 14th of the season and BU’s first lead of the contest, but Jonna Curtis re-tied the score at four. Within minutes, BU went on the penalty kill for the fifth time in the game.
Only this time, the short-handed Terriers found the lead again. Sophomore Victoria Bach sprung Leslie up ice and she snapped it past Smith for her tenth goal of the season. The short-handed marker is also Leslie’s fourth such goal this year, tied for first in the NCAA.
With Smith on the bench for the extra attacker, O’Neil kept the door shut to finish with 30 saves. Junior Alexis Crossley floated a puck at the yawning cage for her seventh of the season and BU’s sixth in the game.
The Terriers and Wildcats will draw again tomorrow afternoon from Walter Brown Arena to end the season series. Should BU win, they are still in position to knock off Northeastern to attain the second seed in Hockey East.