After an overtime win in the first of two weekend games against Maine, Boston College women’s hockey returned to the Black Bears’ home ice to try to close out the season series with a win. Heading into Saturday’s game, BC trailed behind rival Boston University in the Hockey East standings by just one point. The Eagles needed to win their afternoon game to edge out BU and settle into second place before their final game of the regular season.
But after yet another deadlocked contest that went into overtime, BC (15-13-3, 13-10-2 Hockey East) fell to Maine (13-13-7, 9-11-6) in the final seconds for the first time since Oct. 15, 2016, all but securing BC’s third-place seed for the Hockey East Tournament.
In a play that mirrored Friday’s matchup, the Black Bears were the first to draw blood. Maddie Giordano took advantage of the heavy traffic in front of Kelly Pickreign and ripped a shot from the circle. Pickreign couldn’t wrap up the rebound, and Ida Kouppala snuck it by her, putting Maine ahead of the Eagles early in the period.
The Eagles were able to break away on multiple occasions to try to even up the score, but Maine goaltender Carly Jackson was always right there to cover up the puck. The Black Bears were also outshooting BC throughout the period, easily able to settle into the Eagles’ zone throughout the initial frame.
It soon looked as though Maine would extend its lead early on. With no one in front of her, Michelle Weis took a chance from the circle, and it paid off. Her shot went right above Pickreign’s shoulder and secured Maine’s second goal, at least for the time being. The Eagles challenged the play on the account of Weis being offsides, and after officials reviewed the play, the point was revoked.
The Eagles opened the second frame much more aggressively, making it difficult for the Black Bears to get out of their own defensive zone. After over 20 minutes of full-strength hockey, Jillian Fey was called for the first penalty of the game after checking Liga Miljone into the boards. The Eagles easily killed it off, denying Maine the opportunity to capitalize on the advantage.
Despite creating more noise in the second frame, BC failed to connect to tie up the score. The Eagles usually break out in the second period, but halfway through the frame they had yet to get the puck past Jackson.
Late in the period, the Eagles had their first power play of the night. Celine Tedenby was called for hooking, giving BC an advantage when it needed it most. But after multiple clears by the Black Bears, the Eagles still couldn’t capitalize. As the game progressed, the physicality ramped up, but both teams stayed out of the box for most of the afternoon.
After two scoreless periods for BC, the Eagles made swift work to open the third. Caroline DiFiore broke away from her defenders and ripped a shot on the cage. Jackson was able to clear away her attempt but couldn’t cover the puck. Kelly Browne saw her chance and took it. Connecting with the rebound, she saw an opening in the net and snuck in a shot, giving the Eagles the equalizer they desperately needed.
Halfway through the period, Tereza Vanišová was taken down by Maegan Beres as she crossed the blue line, resulting in Beres sitting for two minutes. The Eagles killed off their second penalty of the afternoon, denying Maine from the opportunity to pull ahead for the second time.
As the game wound down, both had begun to look tired. The Eagles weren’t winning many face offs, but Maine’s defense was making sloppy mistakes, allowing BC to set up good shots on Jackson.
Despite the opportunities, BC couldn’t capitalize, and regulation ended much like Friday’s game: in a tie.
Four and a half uneventful minutes passed in the extra period, and the teams remained locked at one apiece. But with 30 seconds left in overtime, Vanišová closed in on Pickreign on a partial breakaway. The senior ripped a shot on the goaltender that just cleared her shoulder, securing the sudden-death win for Maine in its final home game of the season.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Editor