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Photo by Robin Pelkey

Women’s Hockey splits weekend series against Boston University

In Friday afternoon’s game, the Boston University Terriers (5-5-1, 4-5-0 HEA) defeated the University of Maine Black Bears (3-10-0, 2-7-0 HEA) 5-3 in what was a close matchup until the end. Boston University’s third-year forward Victoria Bach got a hat trick in the game this first game of the series.

The Black Bears were consistently able to find the back of the net in the second period, scoring all three of their points in this period while Boston University was only able to find the back of the net once. It took a little over 10 minutes for Maine to find the back of the net on a power play. Second-year left defender Alyson Matteau found the back of the net from the neutral zone off a pass from fourth-year left wing Morgan Sakundiak and first-year center Vendula Pribylova. This was Matteau’s first goal on the season.

It took Boston University another seven minutes to score again and regain their lead.  Fourth-year forward Samantha Sutherland scored off an assist from second-year defender Connor Galway and second-year forward Mary Grace Kelley. Maine did not let this lead stay for long as third-year center Brooke Stacey found the back of the net, just 30 seconds after the Terriers scored. Stacey’s goal was called on the ice as a goal and after it was reviewed the initial call stuck. Third-year wing Catherine Tufts was credited with the assist.

“Cat [Tufts] was driving wide with the puck and I just skated to the net and it just hit my skate and went in,” Stacey said.

This was not all the scoring that the second period would see, as Maine took the lead with less than 20 seconds left in the period. First-year right wing Tereza Vanisova scored off an assist first-year left wing Kara Washer. The Black Bears left the second period with a 3-2 lead.

If the second period was the period of the Black Bears, the third period was the period of the Terriers. Boston came back from a one-point deficit to win the game, 5-2. Bach was able to find the back of the net off an assist from first-year forward Deziray de Sousa and third-year forward Rebecca Leslie 10 minutes into the period. This tied the game up and just two minutes later Boston took the lead.

Graduate student and forward Mary Parker found the back of the net for her eighth goal of the season. Third-year forward Nina Rodgers got the assist on this goal. Despite the Black Bears’ effort to tie up the score, they were unsuccessful. The Black Bears pulled redshirt first-year goaltender Carly Jackson with 1:28 left in the game to get an extra offensive player on the ice. This came back to bite them in the butt when Bach scored her third goal of the game to get a hat trick on the open net two seconds before the end of the game. This goal brings Bach to eight goals on the season.

“I think the first period — we came off a big win with BC — we just wanted to keep the same momentum that we had against BC. I think we came out a little slow, but going into the third period we picked it up and scored some goals,” Bach said.

For the first 19 minutes of the first period the game remained scoreless, but in the last three minutes, both teams found a new energy on the ice. Although both teams came close to finding the back of the net, it was Boston University who was ultimately able to score, with under a minute left in the period. In the final minute of play Bach found the back of the net off a pass from Parker, while Jackson was forward in the goal blocking the first shot on net. Maine was not able to return this goal and first period ended 1-0.

“I thought we had three chapters. We had a pretty good first period, all in all. The second period I give it all to Maine because they won all the little physical battles, the stick battles and we really seemed to struggle there…it was 3-2, maybe 10, 11 minutes left and then all of a sudden we get a couple goals,” Boston University Head Coach Brian Durocher said.

Boston led the shots on goal every period with the exception of the second, where Maine had 13 shots on goal while Boston University only had 11. The night ended with Boston having 32 shots on goal while Maine had 29. Boston University’s third-year goaltender Erin O’Neil got the win on the night saving 26 out of those 29 shots on goal. Jackson took the loss, saving 27 out of 32 shots on goal.

“As the game went on we moved the puck better and were able to cycle and create some offensive chances,” Maine’s Head Coach Rich Reichenbach said. “Just defensively, we got some bad gaps and gave some really good players on BU some space and it ended up costing us the game.”

Vanisova leads Maine to a victory over Boston

In the second game of the series, Vanisova led the Black Bears to a 4-1 victory against Boston University, ending the game with a hat trick in the third period.

The game started off in Maine’s favor but it wasn’t until the final period that they managed to really pull ahead of Boston.  

The third period started off knotted at one with both teams fighting for the victory. Just under three minutes into the goal, Vanisova found the back of the net on a power play, netting the puck into the top-right corner of the goal, right over the shoulder of Boston’s O’Neil. Matteau took the assist on this goal.

This just started the scoring that Vanisova would do. Three minutes later, Vanisova netted another goal, this one unassisted. Vanisova managed to net a puck that O’Neil blocked initially, scoring her second goal of the game. Another three minutes passed before Vanisova was back in a scoring position. Vanisova got a pass from Matteau to go around the back of the net and double back to net the goal on the lower-right corner of the goal. This was Vanisova’s fourth goal of the weekend, moving her to the team high, eight goals on the season.

“We were hardworking all two games and we deserved that win. It wasn’t much of a difference. Our defense side was better than yesterday,” Vanisova said.

Boston was not able to find the back of the net in this final stanza of play, but it was not without effort. Durocher pulled O’Neil out of the net on the power play opportunity, but they were still not able to net the puck in this period, giving Maine the 4-1 win.

Although both teams came out of the gate looking for a win, Boston University scored their first and only goal in the first period 13 minutes in. Parker scored her second goal of the weekend off of an assist from Bach and fourth-year defender Sarah Steele.

“I think we had the same attitude going into the game. We played well in the first period, fought really hard. And then in the second and third period Maine came back and really threw everything at us,” Parker said.

This lead was not long-lived as Maine came right off the puck drop in the second period in a position to score. Less than 30 seconds into the period, Stacey found the back of the net off an assist from Vanisova and Matteau, making the only goal of the second period.

“We gotta give some credit to Maine. They played extremely hard both nights. We got a couple good bounces to get out of here with a win last night. While we had a chance tonight they shut the door on us. I think their goaltender played great as well,” Durocher said.

This game saw more action on the net from both teams. Maine had 32 shots on goal while Boston had 42 shots on goal. Jackson got the win on the night saving 41 of the 42 shots on goal. O’Neil took the loss, saving 28 shots out of the 32. Jackson and O’Neil split the weekend, each goaltender getting a win and a loss.

“I think for her [Vanisova] to finally capitalize on those, and she’s still a freshmen, less than 15 games into her career, and I think as she learns the level and the speed and our systems more. Hopefully we will see more performances like that. But she has been getting those chances so for her to get three wasn’t really that big of a surprise,” Reichenbach said.

With this series over, the University of Maine will go on to play the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. on Friday, Nov. 18 with a puck drop at 7 p.m. Boston University will go on to play Merrimack on the road on Friday, Nov. 18 with a puck drop at 7 p.m.

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