Black Bears fall twice to Boston College twice (5-0,3-1) in final regular season games. Matthew Lavoie, Maine Campus

The University of Maine Black Bears (17-12-5) and the Boston College (BC) Eagles (27-3-3) kicked off their weekend series Friday afternoon at the Alfond. They faced off once this year on the Eagles’ home ice, where Boston College had a 7-2 victory over the Maine Black Bears. BC picked up where they left off with a commanding 5-0 shutout over Maine.

Despite the outcome, BC got off to a slow start, not recording their first shot until nearly seven minutes into the first period. Midway through the first period Maine’s second-year goaltender Carly Jackson had a huge sprawling save on an open shot in front to keep the score knotted at zero. With 5:38 left in the period, BC’s second-year forward Caitrin Lonergan picked the top left corner to break the tie. From there it was all Eagles. With .7 seconds left on the clock, BC’s second-year forward Delaney Belinskas got a lucky bounce as the puck trickled past Jackson to beat the buzzer. Maine finished the period leading in shots 11-10.

In the second period, Boston College went up 3-0 when Lonergan blocked a shot in the defensive zone and sprung first-year forward Daryl Watts on a breakaway. BC’s fourth-year goalie Katie Burt poked the puck away from Maine’s fourth-year forward Catherine Tufts on a breakaway to keep the Black Bears scoreless. With 15:45 remaining in the period, Boston College third-year forward Makenna Newkirk ripped one past Jackson to put the Eagles up 4-0. After two periods the BC Eagles led in total shots on goal, 25-18.

Maine’s first-year goalie Loryn Porter took over in net for the Black Bears to start the third. She had a strong third period, stopping eight of nine shots. The lone Eagles goal in the period came from the stick of fourth-year defenseman Toni Ann Miano and slipped through the five-hole on a cross-ice feed from first-year forward Willow Corson with 5:11 left in the period. The final shot total was 34-30 in favor of BC.

“I think the big thing was our changes. We were changing when they had the puck on their stick in the neutral zone and that created a lot of odd-man rushes for them, which they capitalized on. We knew that they were a team that if they had good rushes that they’d be able to put the puck in the net, so I think for us tomorrow it’s just going to be a matter of being more disciplined on our changes, keeping our sticks in the lane and just making sure that we’re back checking all the way through,” Maine’s assistant coach Sara Reichenbach commented.

“I thought we played well and any sort of opportunity that Maine got I thought that Katie Burt, our goalie played great for us and they had a couple of good chances, so it’s always good to go on offense when you have a goalie like that that’s really keeping you, you know, making sure that she doesn’t let anything by her, and I thought our team when they had the opportunity to put pucks in they did,” Boston College Head Coach Katie Crowley said.

The Boston College Eagles and University of Maine Black Bears resume play at the Alfond on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Maine plays strong game, can’t top Boston College

The University of Maine Black Bears hosted the Boston College Eagles on Saturday afternoon at the Alfond. Maine players Brooke Stacey, Tufts, Victoria Hummel, Kristin Gilmour and Mikayla Rogers celebrated senior night as they played their final game at the Alfond. The Black Bears fell to 0-2 on the year against Boston College after being shut out by the Eagles on Friday. Boston College was able to pick up the 3-1 win in this one as well. Porter (2-2-0) got the start in goal for the Black Bears. Burt started between the pipes for the Eagles.

Burt kept the game knotted at zero early on when she came up with a big save on a breakaway, stopping Maine’s first-year forward Michelle Weis. Not long after, BC’s second-year forward Erin Connolly scored the game’s first goal on a backhand in front less than five minutes into the first. With less than a minute to go in the period, Maine’s third-year defenseman Alyson Matteau came up with a big block in front of a yawning cage to keep the deficit at one. The shot total after one was 11-9 in favor of Maine.

Boston College increased the lead to two on a goal from Lonergan off a back-door feed from Watts 7:59 into the second period. The Black Bears still lead in shots after two periods, 18-17.

Maine began the third period on the power play following a tripping call on BC’s third-year forward Molly Slowe, however they weren’t able to capitalize. Porter was able to keep her team in the game on a save on an in-close opportunity in front of the net early in the period. Maine cut the Eagle’s lead in half when second-year defenseman Brittany Kucera picked the top right corner from the blue line 5:31 into the period. However, Boston College extended the lead back to two when third-year forward Ryan Little dug home a loose puck in front. The play was reviewed for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld. Just after the halfway mark in the third period, Burt went down after a collision in front. Although she took a minute to get up, she was able to finish the game and pick up the win for the BC Eagles. Maine led the shot totals 32-29.

Maine’s Head Coach Richard Reichenbach was impressed with his team’s performance.

“I think we played 100 times better than yesterday in all areas of the game. I think our power play still needs a little work and we need to work on finishing, but I was really happy with the difference in effort from yesterday and today,” Richard Reichenbach said

Crowley was also happy with her team’s play.

“We try to stay consistent in how we play and you know, we’re still working on it,” she said. “I mean we have a fairly young team and I thought overall the weekend was very good for us. Maine played much better I thought today than they did yesterday. They put up a little bit more of a fight and it was a little tougher game, but I thought overall it was a very good hockey game and we were able to capitalize on more opportunities.”

Crowley was also very optimistic about her team’s chances in the playoffs. “We have some veterans that have really pulled our younger players along and you know, Katie [Burt] has been great in net for us this year and really stepped up to the plate and I think done a great job for us, so that’s always great to have a goaltender like that and you know, hopefully we can keep the scoring production up and keep going on all cylinders.”

Second-year forward Tereza Vanisova had a strong game for the Black Bears, finishing the game with a plus/minus of +1.

“I think we played well. The whole team played well I think. It was a really good game for us. The biggest problem is probably scoring, like we cannot win with one goal,” Vanisova said.

Maine will be saying goodbye to four outstanding veteran players, as Saturday was senior night and the final regular season home game for the Black Bears.

Stacey is the assistant captain of the team and has played in 129 games in her college career with Maine. During that time she scored 38 goals and had 44 assists for 82 points. Hummel, another Maine forward has played in 96 games, where she’s scored five goals and had nine assists for 14 points.

On defense, Maine is losing Gilmour and Rogers. Gilmour has played in 87 games and posted 16 points with five goals and 11 assists. Rogers had a total of 13 points all coming from assists.

Both the Black Bears and the Eagles ended their regular season play with this game and will move into Hockey East Championship play.