Women’s Hockey: Eagles Strike Late to Sneak Away

By: Max Wolpoff

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On the strength of three third period goals, the Boston College Eagles snuck away from this battle with Boston University for a 5-3 win in Hockey East play.

Sammy Davis scored twice for BU, alongside Nina Rodgers’s first goal as a Terrier. BU went one-for-four on the power play and five-for-six on the penalty kill against the top-ranked extra-woman unit in the NCAA. The Terriers trailed for a total of 8:15, holding and losing three separate one-goal leads.

“It’s anybody’s battle with seven, eight minutes left, and they come up with a goal to tie it, but then get one to win the game,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “I loved the fight in our team. I think the goals that were scored at the end of the game were physical errors. Us coaches can live with physical errors.”

Junior Erin O’Neil made her first start in net in over two weeks, stopping 34 of BC’s 39 shots that came on net. In the first period, the rust showed as she came out too far to challenge routine shots.

“Made some real good stops, made some real, I call them five-bell type of beautiful saves,” Durocher said. “Maybe she wants to get one of those last two in the third back.”

She also had a lead to work with after Davis tipped in her second goal of the year from on top of Katie Burt’s crease. The slapshot came from Sarah Steele at center-point on the power play, got tipped down, then squirted through Burt’s leg pads.

“I like the composure, I like what they did on the power play for the most part,” Durocher said. “That’s been a pretty solid part of our team.”

Both teams employed a high-press forcheck in the opening frame, but BC stuck with it the entire game while BU drifted back to their modified neutral-zone trap by the second.

Durocher stressed that his team needs to “play intelligent, and don’t let them come flyin’ up the rink. They’ve got some of the best kids in the league.”

In the second, 17 seconds after freshman Caitrin Lonergan scored her team-best seventh of the season, Davis crashed the net to tip in a centering pass from Natasza Tarnowski. Erin Connolly slammed home a back-door pass with 92 seconds left to bring the sides to dueces wild at the horn.

Rodgers got on the board thanks to a centering pass from Mary Parker on a three-on-two rush after a BC giveaway. For the next three goals, the Eagles would captialize on Terrier turnovers.

Delaney Belinskas scored twice and Kristyn Cappizano hit the empty net to seal the victory for the home team. Burt made 33 saves while playing extra-aggresive, out on top of her crease at numerous points in the contest.

“We’ve still got a couple kids that are a little bit snakebit out here, you know, talented players,” Durocher said. “But it’s great to see other kids are gaining confidence, other kids are getting opportunities to put pucks in the net. A lot of your goals are gonna be those grubby ones.”

Tonight’s contest marks the first game of the season in which BU scored first and lost.

The teams will faceoff again, this time from Walter Brown Arena, tomorrow afternoon. Durocher did not hint at who would start in net, or if any lineup changes would be made. Neither goaltender, to him, has separated herself from the other.

“We’ve gotta find ways to win games with three goals, we shouldn’t need to get four and five in a game,” Durocher said.

Author: Max Wolpoff

Journalism student at Boston University ('19), lifelong fan of the Washington Capitals. Current broadcaster for the Boston Blades of the CWHL. If you ever need him during the week, Max is probably studying for something.

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