By: Max Wolpoff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Boston University mounted two comebacks in this series-opening game in Happy Valley. Defensively, neither team gave the other much to work with, and the Terriers and Penn State Nittany Lions settled for a 3-3 tie.
Senior captain Laura Bowman went 18-6 in the faceoff dot, adding an assist and the second goal for Penn State. Senior Maddie Elia led all Terriers with seven shots on goal, with one going in to tie the game mid-way through the third.
Junior Erin O’Neil finished 65 minutes with 32 saves on 35 shots. Hannah Ehresmann countered with 29 saves on 32 shots.
Head coach Brian Durocher liked “pretty much everything,” he said, about O’Neil’s performance in net.
After killing off the first of five penalties, the Terriers let in the first goal. Bella Sutton wound and fired through a mess of traffic in front of O’Neil, and the puck managed to find the twine. BU went into the first break trailing for the second straight game.
69 seconds into the second period, the Terriers got a gift. Mary Parker threw a shot in toward Ehresmann, it hit something, and found its way into the net to tie the game. A minute later, BU went one to the good and would strike again.
Co-captain Alexis Crossley found the back of the net on the power play for her 20th collegiate goal in her 102nd game. Elia and Rebecca Leslie assisted on the tally, putting BU up 2-1.
Bowman, who led all Nittany Lion players with five shots on goal, knotted the game back up at two at 10:09 of the second. The Blue and White held the offensive zone for over 90 seconds before scoring.
“They [the Nittany Lions] do a real good job in that short area passing, they move the puck up well, they fight hard down low,” Durocher said. “I think our team picked up their compete in the second and third period.”
To open the third period, Durocher shuffled his lines. He slotted Sammy Davis on the top line with Parker and Victoria Bach.
“We became a presence in front of their net,” as the game went on, he said. They will evaluate the trio’s performance to see if it will be implemented tomorrow’s game.
Amy Petersen beat O’Neil high to her glove side on a power play early in the third to put the Nittany Lions ahead by one. The Terriers got caught on a bad shift change, only putting three players out to defend and not four.
Just under four minutes later, Elia slid one underneath Ehersmann’s pads to tie the game up again. The goal marked Elia’s 80th collegiate point and third goal of the season.
For both sides, this was their first trip to the extra frame this season. Despite many chances for Penn State, they could not put one home. Few chances went BU’s way, and they managed to force a tie.
The Terriers will focus on putting what they can on the ice for the next game, starting a mere 18 hours after game one’s conclusion.
“Just try to be what we were in the second and third period, right out of the gate,” Durocher said.
The Terriers now go 2-1-1 (2-1-0 Hockey East) while the Nittany Lions move to 1-3-1 (0-0-0 College Hockey America). The teams will rematch Saturday afternoon from Pegula Ice Arena at 2 p.m. The game can be heard live on http://mixlr.com/wtbusports/.