By: Akshai Wadhwani November 28, 2017
BOSTON — In a helter-skelter of a contest that included five goals in the third period, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team eventually triumphed over visiting Brown, 6-4, on Tuesday evening.
The Terriers (6-7-2 overall, 3-5-2 Hockey East) finished strong at the tail end of a grueling six-day stretch, which saw them play back-to-back games in the post-Thanksgiving weekend before returning to Walter Brown Arena with two days rest to face the Bears. The result gives BU its fifth win in the month of November, making the last four weeks the best stretch of play the Terriers have had all season. Brown, meanwhile, fell to 1-10 with the loss.
BU looked to have the game firmly in their hands by the end of the first period, holding a 19-2 shot advantage and finding the net through senior co-captain Victoria Bach. The Bears, however, fought back in the middle stanza, scoring twice off ten shots to bring the game level after freshman center Jesse Compher’s first career goal doubled the Terriers’ lead.
BU then plunged ahead once more just past the midway point of the second period, with Rebecca Leslie bursting through the middle on a terrific solo run before slotting the puck home in the top corner.
The 3-2 scoreline set up a hectic final frame. Less than five minutes in, Brown equalized via forward Veronica Alois; the Bears then overtook the Terriers for the first time that night, when Sena Hanson struck 45 seconds later for her second goal of the game.
Facing multiple blown leads and a 4-3 disadvantage, BU remained composed. Compher brought honors even in nine minutes into the period, striking a midrange shot past the outstretched glove hand of Brown goaltender Calla Isaac. Victoria Bach then netted her second goal of the game before assisting Rebecca Leslie in a three-on-one to confirm the 6-4 final.
The Terriers finished with 51 shots, more than doubling Brown’s total of 21. They were relatively successful on special teams, scoring three power-play goals on seven opportunities. Defensively, BU held the visitors to single digits in shots during both the first and third periods.
Rare is the occasion when Victoria Bach is not mentioned as an individual standout, and Tuesday’s matchup was no exception to the rule. The Terriers’ leading offensive outlet notched 13 shots on target, as well as a pair of goals and three assists. Bach credited her personal success to her teammates.
“Our line’s really clicking right now…definitely lots of credit to my linemates,” Bach said. “I think we’re really starting to pick it up [as a team], and we’re in a place where we want to be. So we just have to keep pushing forward.”
Another notable performer was center Jesse Compher. The freshman, who has been dominant in the faceoff circle already this season, became BU’s twelfth goalscorer with her pair against Brown.
“It took a little long, so once it happened, it felt like the monkey was off my back,” Compher said of her first collegiate goal. “It was good just to get a team win out there today.”
“She’s one of those people that has to become the second wave,” Head Coach Brian Durocher added about the first-year. “She’s played extremely well, she’s played good in the defensive end…to get one that’s kind of a grubby one — off the shoulder — and then to get one that’s a little more traditional, it’s a real good way to get her started. There’s a lot of hockey left, she could contribute quite a bit.”
“To answer the bell, and be resilient, and come back after going down 4-3, it’s a huge win for us,” Durocher said of the team effort. “These kids are good players, and they get it, but sometimes they forget [things] under duress or in a game situation…tonight wasn’t the case. They were spot on.”
Next Up: The Terriers will get another short two days’ rest, then share hosting duties with returning arch-rival Boston College; they will play the Eagles on Friday at 2 p.m. in Chestnut Hill then track back to Walter Brown Arena for a rematch at home on Saturday at 3 p.m.