BOSTON — Heading into the third period, the Boston University Terriers trailed Boston College 2-0, looking down the road to a four-game losing streak. 20 minutes and five goals later, BU won their first regular season game over BC since 2012, the year before this senior class came to Comm. Ave., 5-3.
It would not be easy. Power play goals from Makenna Newkirk in period one and from Grace Bizal in the second brought the Terriers face-to-face with another Hockey East loss.
“Nothing was really going our way,” sophomore Victoria Bach said. As the team sat in the locker room during the second intermission, they resolved to “flick a switch, and I think that’s what we did,” Bach said.
“I can read all the body language, I can read lips a little bit, our posture was not good,” head coach Brian Durocher said. In the locker room, before going back out for the final period, “I just told ’em ‘I don’t care if we lose, but I can’t have that around’,” he said.
Bach got the turnaround going, stealing the puck deep in the Terrier offensive zone, sliding around one defender then potting the puck through Katie Burt’s legs.
“She was kinda at the side of the net, and I just happened to slip it through her five-hole,” Bach said.
Caitrin Lonergan scored 17 seconds later to bring back the two-goal advantage. That would be BC’s only even strength goal today.
“That third goal could’ve been game over and BC walks outta here with a win, but I think there was little more at stake for us to try to knock away some of the demons,” Durocher said.
Erin O’Neil shut the door from there, stopping the next 13 Eagles’s shots for 34 saves on the game. She started for the second straight game after not playing for two weeks.
“Last night, I liked the fact that she was out of the net in great shape for 50 minutes, then there was a whisker of a hiccup,” Durocher said. “Today, she did a great job; I don’t think she’s gonna get the ones that got in.”
Erin Connolly got drawn into a hooking penalty by Samantha Sutherland, and Mary Parker tipped-in her seventh goal of the year. Alexis Crossley, who took the initial shot, and Rebecca Leslie assisted on the tally.
Two minutes later, with Bach gliding into the offensive zone and the Terriers changing behind her, BU tied the game. Bach credits assistant coach Katie Lachapelle for being able to use the defender as a screen.
“She actaully took two wooden boards and taped some shin pads to it, we’ve been practicing shooting through the D,” Bach said.
Then, with half a period left, Deziray De Sousa picked the best time to score her first collegiate goal.
Maddie Elia and Sarah Steele combined to take away the puck from BC, and De Sousa parked herself in front of Burt. Steele’s shot came to Burt and was kicked out, but De Sousa had her stick down to tap it behind the goal line while falling to the ice. Her goal stood up as the game-winner.
“We played as a team, we kept going, we kept our compete up, we didn’t get as many penalties, Bach got us started off, and that kinda hyped us up,” De Sousa said.
The Eagles hemmed the Terriers deep for seven of the remaining 10 minutes. O’Neil and the defense held them off, combining for five blocks in the final 20 minutes and 17 for the total game.
With Burt pulled for the extra attacker, Bach blocked a shot and found Nina Rodgers in the neutral zone to try for the empty cage. From the red line to the top of the face-off circle, Rodgers carried the puck in before hitting the net, sealing the 5-3 win.
Coach Durocher did keep a game puck from the victory; it will go on the wall in the equipment room.
This game marks the second conference loss for the Eagles after losing to Maine, BU’s next opponent, two weeks ago. Burt finished the game with 21 saves on 25 shots she faced. The Eagles finished a combined -16, due to scoring two of their three goals on the power play, where no minuses are awarded to the shorthanded team.
Bach led all Terriers in shots with six, Parker had four points thanks to three assists, and Maddie Elia managed an assist on the game-winner while staying out of the penalty box the entire game.
Next weekend, the Terriers will bus up to Orono, Maine for a Friday-Saturday series against the Black Bears. But, for tonight, these players have the chance to celebrate a win over their B-Line rivals in the Fall Semester for the first time in their collegiate careers.
“We know how we have to play now to compete with them, and I think if we do those little things right, it should be some good games,” Bach said.