BU Skates to Tie with Top-Ranked BC

BU womens hockey was in a mood to play spoiler Saturday afternoon at Walter Brown Arena when they hosted top-ranked Boston College. And they almost pulled the trick…twice.

The No. 6 Terriers (21-8-3, 15-5-1 WHEA) twice held leads on the Eagles (30-1-2, 20-0-1) and saw a game-winning goal by Kayla Tutino get called off in overtime before settling for a 1-1 tie in BU’s final home game of the regular season.

“It was a terribly exciting game,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “It had everything a fan would want; overtime, goals getting waved off, penalties, good opportunities, great players playing great and good goaltending at both ends.”

The Eagles were looking to become the first team in the 13-year history of the conference. BC joins UNH — who also went 20-0-1 in 2007-08 — as the only programs to go through the season without a conference loss.

The Terriers were able to draw first blood at the end of the first period. With BC’s Lexi Bender off for tripping, a Lillian Braga shot was deflected, finding its way to Sarah Steele, who fired a shot from the right point. Katie Burt made the initial save before Samantha Sutherland buried the rebound for her sixth goal of the season, giving BU the 1-0 lead with 1:16 remaining in the first.

While BU had the momentum going into the locker room after the first period, it was BC who came out firing in the second period. The Eagles dominated the play in the middle 20, outshooting the Terriers 20-2 in the frame. Haley Skarupa scored her 28th goal of the season 4:01 into the period to tie the score, 1-1. Skarupa’s tally was all the visitors would get in the period, as Victoria Hanson (34 saves) stood on her head, making 19 saves.

“She played unbelievable all through the game,” said Durocher on his netminder. “She controlled the pucks better, made some back door saves in the second period when BC really took it to us.”

The Terriers survived the lopsided second period and went into the third with a 20-minute game on their hands. BU took advantage, their 21 shot attempts in the final period besting BC’s 18. BU took the lead with 6:59 left when Maddie Elia scored her fifth goal of the season, giving the Terriers the 2-1 lead.

A few minutes later, BU would give its archrivals life. With 2:58 left in the game, Sarah Lefort took a body checking penalty, putting BC on the powerplay. The Terriers penalty killing unit had the upper-hand for much of the Eagles man-advantage, but BC eventually cashed in, with Dana Trivigno scoring her 13th goal of the season with 1:15 remaining in regulation.

In overtime, it looked like the Terriers pulled the upset with 2:34 remaining in the extra-session, when Kayla Tutino tipped a Marie-Philip Poulin shot past Burt. But the goal was waved off when it was ruled Tutino interfered with the goaltender. Instead of BU walking off with their first win over a No. 1-ranked team in program history, they were a man-down.

“I didn’t see in real-time exactly what was going on,” said Durocher of the call. “I got the interpretation from the official, they have a tough job, they have calls to make, and they made their call.”

The draw Saturday afternoon set things up nicely for the Hockey East tournament, which kicks off next weekend with the best-of-three quarterfinal round. The two teams are the strongest squads in the conference, and barring a major upset will face each other on March 8 in Hyannis with the Hockey East title on the line. The programs account for the last four conference titles (BU 3, BC 1), but have never faced each other with Bertagna Trophy at stake.

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Posted by: Patrick O'Rourke on