By: Akshai Wadhwani December 1, 2017
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — After losing 4-3 when the two teams met in late October, the Boston University women’s ice hockey team forced a 2-2 tie on Friday with arch-rival Boston College at Conte Forum.
The Terriers twice saw leads cancelled out by Eagle goals as the game finished deadlocked after three periods and an overtime frame. BU maintains a record of 6-7-3 overall on the season, with a 3-5-3 record in Hockey East. Meanwhile, BC stays top of the conference standings at 6-0-3, with an overall record of 12-1-3.
The Terriers broke through at the tail end of the first period — after 14 shots on target — finding the net with one minute remaining. Senior Rebecca Leslie hit home off help from Deziray De Sousa and Victoria Bach, scoring her 13th goal of the season. The strike boosted Leslie above teammate Bach for the third-most goals in Hockey East play.
The Eagles drew level on the other side of the intermission, scoring 58 seconds into the second stanza. BC’s Daryl Watts continued her league-leading offensive play with a power-play goal, assisted by Caitrin Lonergan and, surprisingly, goaltender Katie Burt. Watts continues to lead Hockey East with 13 goals in conference play.
The third period started in the same way as the second, but at the opposite end. This time, a mere 30 seconds were needed before BU’s Nina Rodgers put the Terriers back in front. The goal came assisted by Leslie and sophomore Abby Cook, marking the former’s sixth straight game with a recorded helper.
The Eagles immediately began knocking on the door for another equalizer, notching seven shots with five on frame in the next nine minutes. BU caved just before the midway point of the period, with Toni Ann Miano netting the hosts’ second goal.
The Terriers forced five more saves out of Burt, but were unable to come away with a game-winner. An overtime period could not move the scoreline, and the game finished 2-2.
Shot count finished narrowly in BC’s favor, at 38-36; the Eagles also came out on top in the face-off circle, winning 34 of 59 puck drops. BU, however, may feel confident about the result, especially since the honors-even outcome precedes a rematch at Walter Brown Arena tomorrow afternoon.
“It was a real good hockey game,” Head Coach Brian Durocher commented. “I thought we carried it in the first [period]. [BC] answered back with some good play in the second, but I think we were still ahead in shots and doing pretty well.
“I give the kids credit for taking care of business…and getting out with a point. It’s never easy on the road to get points, and [BC] is obviously a very good team. So to come up with the hockey points on the road, it’s a good sign,” Durocher added.
The Terriers have now played four games in the past two weeks, with no more than two days rest in between any of them — including back-to-back games against Minnesota State and Wisconsin in the days following Thanksgiving. Durocher, however, remained admirably confident in his team’s fitness levels.
“It seems like they are holding up well,” Durocher said of his team. “I give the kids a lot of credit. They’re well conditioned…To the best of their ability, they don’t seem to be showing the wear of five games in eight days.”
In terms of strategies for tomorrow’s home rematch, Durocher pointed to keeping Terriers out of the sin bin.
“We’ve been really good about staying out of the penalty box…we don’t want to put [BC] on the power play too often,” Durocher said. “There’s going to be some infractions, some penalties. But you start getting up to a half dozen or more, that puts a lot of stress on you. It takes a lot of minutes away from you scoring offensively. So we have got to do a better job there, and we just have to continue to structurally play sound.”
Next Up: The Terriers will return back to Boston with Friday’s opponents in tow; they will host Boston College at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday, completing the weekend’s crosstown series. Puck drop will be at 3 p.m.