By Mitch Fink
The Boston University women’s hockey team was on the doorstep.
Julia Nearis nearly scored on a shot from the point. Brooke Disher couldn’t quite finish a grade-A chance near the post –– she blasted one more shot, but it trickled wide.
BU generated an offensive onslaught in the final minutes in Saturday’s showdown with Boston College, but it wasn’t enough. The Eagles (18-12-1, 15-10-0 Hockey East) survived, eking out a 2-1 win over the Terriers (10-16-3, 9-12-3 HEA) at Walter Brown Arena.
“In the end we got some chances, and just didn’t quite cash in or capitalize,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said post-game. “Credit the opponents, and I think credit to our skaters and goaltender that we made this a real exciting good hockey game.”
BU started off hot. The Terriers played with a spark, firing chances on net and effectively breaking up chances in their defensive end.
“We had pace, we had confidence and we got some pretty good puck movement,” Durocher said.
But BC settled in as the period went on.
The Eagles got on the board first with just under three minutes to go in the opening frame. Freshman defenseman Cailin Flynn ripped a shot which deflected off the skate BU junior defenseman Julia Shaunessy, leaving junior forward Gaby Roy all alone on net. Roy snuck the puck through BU goalie Andrea Brändli’s equipment for the tally.
Then, shortly after BC killed off a penalty early in the second period, senior defenseman Alexie Guay doubled the Eagles’ lead on a seeing-eye shot from the point that whistled into the top corner of the net.
Haylee Blinkhorn cut the BC lead in half with 5:21 to go in the second period. Blinkhorn received the puck in the slot from Lacey Martin and sniped the top corner, giving the Terriers some much-needed momentum heading into the final stanza. Maggie Hanzel also assisted on the tally, marking her first point as a Terrier.
BU couldn’t generate much offensive zone time in the first half of the third period, but began to turn up the heat as time winded down. Just as the Terriers opted to bring on an extra skater and empty the net with a minute and a half remaining, BC forward Jenna Carpenter was called for a tripping penalty. The Terriers kept Brändli on the bench for a 6-on-4 advantage, which led to BU’s best chances of the night.
The Terriers, though, just couldn’t quite find a way through BC grad student netminder Abigail Levy.
Next, BU will take on Harvard in the Beanpot consolation game Tuesday. Since the Terriers played Northeastern in the tournament opener last week, BU will play all three Beanpot schools within the span of the tournament.
Senior captain Nadia Mattivi was sidelined due to an illness, according to Durocher.
As has been the case in most games this semester, Brändli kept the Terriers within striking distance. The graduate student netminder made 31 saves, which gave BU a chance to tie things up late.
With the win, the Eagles swept this season’s three-game series between BU and BC.
Puck drop for the Beanpot consolation game is slated for 4 p.m. at Conte Forum with full coverage on the blog, Instagram @boston.hockey.blog and Twitter @BOShockeyblog, so be sure to follow along.