By: Max Wolpoff
University of Vermont goaltender Madison Litchfield, a junior and the only Vermont native on the active roster, posted 42 saves last night to keep Vermont in the game against Boston University. This afternoon, her offense provided enough of a cushion to withstand a late Terrier charge and win Game 2 by a score of 3-2.
The win marked the first time all season the Catamounts defeated the Terriers. Barring a Maine Miracle at Boston College later tonight, this will be the only Hockey East Quarterfinals series to require a decisive Game 3.
“They did what they had to today, taking advantage of some opportunities” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “The thing that bother me most about the game is that we gave up three goals [and an empty netter]. We gave up the first three.”
Very little went the way of the home team for the better part of forty minutes. Daria O’Neill’s center point shot hit Alyssa Gorecki and Taylor Willard to draw first blood for the visitors on the power play.
Rachel Ade and Saana Valkama added goals in the middle frame to put BU back on their heels. Coach Durocher had to use his timeout at around the midway point of the contest in an attempt to settle the game down.
“I thought the last five minutes of the second period and a decent amount of the third, we played with a sense of urgency,” coach Durocher said.
From the last five minutes of the second into the third, BU seemed to grab the game back, but Litchfield remained strong in the crease.
With puck drop in the third, Durocher juggled the lines. Jordan Juron jumped up from the third line to the first line while BU captain Kayla Tutino joined the third trio. Rebecca Leslie even took a shift on the top line toward the end of the contest.
“Sometimes, when you’re in that situation, you can throw all the names in a hat, pick ’em out, and it just gives the kids a little renewed life,” Durocher said.
Oddly enough, it took a tripping minor to Tutino to spark BU’s offense. Both Leslie and Victoria Bach would strike on Vermont’s skater advantage to bring the home side within one.
A late flurry of offense from BU did not find the net. Victoria Andreakos skated with her own blocked shot and slid the puck to Valakama for the dagger into the yawning cage. Erin O’Neil was already pulled for the extra skater.
Durocher confirmed that she will start once again tomorrow, her third game in as many days.
BU again played without the services of Connor Galway and Samantha Sutherland. Coach Durocher said both are getting better, but are not expected back in the lineup for tomorrow’s game. They worked on the ice after the game for an informal skate.
“I think it would be safe to say there’s optimism that they could be around if the season goes past tomorrow,” Durocher said. “We gotta get by tomorrow without them and see what happens from there.”
The final day of the season awaits one of these teams tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is at 3 p.m. from Walter Brown Arena.