By: Jarett Leonard
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Boston University women’s hockey team will meet Harvard University in the consolation game of the Beanpot tournament.
This is the fifth straight year the two teams have squared off in the annual tournament, with the Crimson topping the Terriers in the 2013, 2014 and 2016 consolation games while adding a semifinal round win in 2015 en route to the title. Harvard has won seven of its eight Beanpot games against BU with the only Terrier win coming in the 2012 semifinal.
BU let a third period lead slip away in its 3-2, semifinal loss to rival Boston College last week. After the Eagles opened the scoring just 1:17 into the contest, the Terriers grabbed the next two goals from junior Nina Rodgers and senior Maddie Elia. BU could not hold on, though, as BC scored two goals of its own in the third period to reverse the Terriers’ one goal lead and advance to the championship game.
Harvard, on the other hand, trailed for nearly the entirety of its opening round game and fell 4-1 to Northeastern. The Huskies scored 59 seconds in and took a two goal lead to the middle period. Junior Lexie Laing’s tally midway through the second period gave the Crimson life, but Northeastern would add two more goals to drop Harvard.
The Terriers captured a 4-3 overtime victory in the teams’ only meeting this season on Nov. 22. Graduate student Mary Parker’s goal gave BU an early edge against her former team, and after freshman Ali Peper tied the score in the second, Parker scored again to regain the lead. Junior Rebecca Leslie extended BU’s advantage in the third period, but the Crimson came storming back in the final four minutes on goals by senior Sydney Daniels and junior Haley Mullins to force overtime. Then just 3:14 into the extra frame, junior Victoria Bach scored to give BU the win as junior Savannah Newton recorded an assist on the play, her career-best third helper of the game.
Harvard comes into the matchup winless in its last six games, though they did threaten a couple of the nation’s top teams over the weekend. The Crimson fell 2-1 to No. 5 St. Lawrence on Friday before battling No. 3 Clarkson to a 2-2 draw the next day.
Lexie Laing leads Harvard with 14 points this season on five goals and nine assists while Daniels has a team-high eight goals.
Crimson coach Katey Stone, now in her 22nd season, has split the goaltending duties three ways, with seniors Brianna Laing and Molly Tissenbaum along with freshman Beth Larcom all seeing time in net. Brianna Laing’s 2.34 goals against average is best among the three while she and Tissenbaum both have a .918 save percentage. Tissenbaum started the Beanpot semifinal game, then Laing and Larcom split the contests over the weekend.
Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena and will be followed by BC-Northeastern in the championship game at 7:30 p.m.