By: Brian Lombardo
BOSTON — A tie was perhaps the most fitting of all the possible results for Friday night’s women’s hockey matchup. Both the Terriers and the Huskies put forth efforts deserving of a win. The true battle happened between the pipes tonight as Terrier goaltender Corinne Schroeder (23 saves) and Huskies goaltender Annie Belanger (43 saves) stopped a combined 66 shots.
The Terriers broke open the scoring late in the first period when Natasza Tarnowski notched her first goal of the season. Tarnowski converted on a beautiful feed from Abby Cook that lead her directly into space in the slot where the UConn net minder couldn’t react with enough time.
With all of the game’s momentum heading into the second period in BU’s favor, the Huskies answered back and took the life out of the Terrier offense. In the second period, UConn allowed the Terriers only six shots on net.
In addition the Huskies found the game’s first tying goal when Natalie Snodgrass scored at the 9:33 mark of the second frame. The crowd inside Walter Brown Arena could feel the momentum start to shift in Connecticut’s favor as they out-skated and out shot the Terriers going into the third period.
BU seemed to settle in to a grove in the third period, regaining the look of the team that took advantage late in the first. Instead, a sloppy breakout pass left a rolling puck on the stick of UConn captain Justine Fredette, who fired a laser past Schroeder to take the first lead of the game for the Huskies at 2-1. Fredette’s strike came at the 7:53 mark of the third.
As the clock began to tick down, it was noticeable that the Terriers started to play with great urgency; forgetting what the scoreboard read and focusing solely on the game plan that Coach Brian Durocher had instilled in them.
The game was 49.6 seconds away from a loss for the Terriers when senior captain Rebecca Leslie played hero by knocking in a goal to bring the game to 2 a piece. The goal came with Schroeder off the ice, leaving the net empty in favor of an extra attacker.
Coach Durocher said that in deciding who he trusts most late in a game as an extra attacker, “it’s important to look for someone who has it going.”
Durocher thought the sophomore Tarnowski was his best skater on Friday, but an icing late in the third made it impossible for him to put her on the ice for any longer of a shift.
The team played flawlessly with the net empty. Forechecking hard in the offensive zone to keep the puck in and finding the right person to put a shot on net at a crucial time late in the contest.
“Being able to find the one we needed was huge,” Coach Durocher admitted as he reminisced the final few minutes of the third period.
At this point in the season, the Terriers won’t turn their nose up at a split of 2 points in Hockey East play. With picking up a single point Friday, the team separated themselves from Merrimack College for sole possession of 7th place in the conference. The Terriers now hold 2-6-2 overall record with an in-conference record of 1-5-2.
The Terriers will take the rest of this weekend off before starting preparation for a two game series next weekend in Burlington, Vermont against the UVM Catamounts.