By Gillian McMahon
Despite a gutsy effort throughout the third period, the second game of the Battle of Comm. Ave did not result in a split for the Boston University Terriers (2-4-0, 1-3-0 Hockey East). The Boston College Eagles (5-2-1, 4-0-0 HE) came out of the gates flying with two early goals scored by sophomore forward Katie Pyne and senior defenseman Alexie Guay that left the Terriers a little shaken up on their home ice.
Even after a tough first two minutes of the game, the Terriers played a solid first period with many opportunities at the back of the net.
The Terriers and Eagles went back and forth throughout the night with both quality shot attempts and great saves by the goaltenders on both sides.
With about five minutes to play in the first period, senior forward Julia Nearis found the back of the Eagles’ net. The highlight reel play started with freshman defenseman Brooke Disher skating between the circles and feeding a cutting Nearis who put her stick skills on display.
“It’s a neat move,” head coach Brian Durocher said of the play in his post-game comments. “[Nearis] came in… like she’s going to go left and pulls it back right, just kind of feathers one up there in the upper half of the net.”
The Eagles halted the momentum the Terriers were trying to gain by scoring another pair of goals within a minute to take a 4-1 lead as the first period winded down. The first was a shot by senior forward Hannah Bilka and assisted by sophomore forward Abby Newhook. The second goal came from Guay and assisted by Newhook and Bilka, an Eagle line that was successful all night.
Bilka scored again at the 16:46 mark of the second period, proving to be the game winner.
The Terrier penalty kill was reliable on the night, especially with locked-in netminder Callie Shanahan between the pipes. The sophomore has been splitting time with graduate student Andrea Brändli to start the season.
“Real talented goalies, one’s a little bit older, a little more worldly. Callie is the kid who’s just on the rise and when you do something in a year when nothing’s expected, you know, part of the learning curve is to come back and relax the following year, and I think you’re going to see that she will,” Durocher said.
In the second period, the Terriers had a hard time getting things going offensively. They can certainly get out and skate on par with the Eagles but without clean, disciplined play, and attention to detail, making a comeback proved to be a difficult task.
Though scoring has been one of the Terriers main pain points carrying over from last season, the third period saw some success in the offensive zone.
Senior captain and defenseman Nadia Mattivi found the back of the net from the right circle to make it a 5-2 game with ten minutes remaining. Her second goal of the season was assisted by forwards junior Catherine Foulem and senior Brooke Ersoy on the Terrier first line.
It was then that the Terriers turned to go on a quick scoring streak as Julia Shaunessy scored on the power play, after a previous chance for a tip in went just wide of the pipes.
Freshman forward Clara Yuhn scored the Terriers final goal at the 13:03 mark of the third period assisted by graduate student defense Alex Allan and sophomore forward Christina Vote for a final score of 5-4.
“5-1 is a pretty big deficit to get back on and we just kind of said we just got to take it one goal at a time and eventually that was the case. We started our really good forecheck and started to put the pressure on, and they weren’t that good in their own zone, and we took advantage of it,” Nearis said.
The Terriers’ energy seemed to ignite midway through that third period, but it was just a little too late. A bright spot was the definitive control of the puck throughout the third, with most of their time being spent in the offensive zone. Even as the clock wound down, there were plenty of quality chances to even things up, especially from junior forward Lacey Martin, Mattivi and Nearis.
“It’s been three games here I think at home, we’ve given up early goals. That’s got to end,” Durocher said. “But what happened in the third, maybe gave them just a little more belief because the belief we have to gain is scoring goals.”
Next weekend the Terriers will play a home-and-home series against Merrimack College. Friday’s game from North Andover will start at 6 p.m. and Saturday will be a 3 p.m. puck drop at Walter Brown Arena.
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