CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston University is a second-year program, and tonight it showed.
The Terriers fell behind by two goals in the first five minutes of its Beanpot semifinal against Northeastern, after putting together a display of shaky skating, bad passing, and mental mistakes. At the same time, Northeastern found open players, clogged up BU passing lanes, and enjoyed a sizable territorial and shot advantage.
As the game went on, however, BU (16-9-3) showed flashes of talent, and eventually scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Huskies (3-23-2) by a 4-2 final score.
“We weren’t quite there in the first period, and they were very good,” said BU coach Brian Durocher. “It was a turning point for us to get even a goal in the second period.”
That turning point came at roughly the midpoint of the game, when BU captain Cara Hendry scored. The Terriers cut their deficit in half on a power play goal, when Sarah Appleton took a fluttering shot from the point that was redirected into the net by Hendry.
BU sophomore goalie Allyse Wilcox held the Terriers in the game to that point, as Northeastern had a 21-9 shot advantage through two periods. Wilcox finished with 28 saves.
BU tied the game 2-2 in the opening moments of the third period, just after a BU penalty negated a power play. After Gina Kearns took a pass from Melissa Anderson off a faceoff, she got Northeastern goalie Sydney Arbelbide (13 saves) to go down early, and skated around her for the easy tap-in goal.
The biggest goal of the game came with just five minutes to go in the third period. Melissa Anderson skated in on net with the puck, which was knocked off her stick by Arbelbide. Erin Seman corralled the loose puck and scored to snap the tie.
Julie Poulin capped the scoring with a long shot that went into an open net, while Northeastern enjoyed a six-on-four advantage with a power play and the extra attacker.
“It was important to win a faceoff to get the puck to Poulin, who was supposed to just send it up the boards,” Durocher said with a chuckle. “Julie just turned and fired it on net. She’d probably tell you she makes that makes that play five times out of five, but I doubt it.”
BU and Northeastern met just three days before and drew 4-4. Seman felt the meeting was advantageous.
“For many reasons, it helped,” said Seman. “We knew their forecheck, we knew their power play, we knew their penalty kill. We knew they would put in extra effort. It helped, but they still threw something new at us.”
Northeastern’s first goal came on an odd play, as Wilcox made a glove save on a Missy Elumba shot, but the puck hopped in the air over the netminder’s glove, and bounced into the back of the net.
The Huskies controlled play throughout the first and had a number of excellent scoring chances, none better than a shorthanded bid by Nikki Petrich that was good for a 2-0 lead.
With BU on the power play, the only BU defender, Poulin, slipped and fell at the blue line, which allowed Petrich to go on a break. When Wilcox went down to make the initial stop, a streaking Amy Goodney picked up the rebound and deposited it top shelf.
Almost as good was a laser beam of a shot by Sanborn on a feed by Missy Elumba. While Wilcox’s first period stats — two goals on 11 shots — weren’t that impressive, she made some excellent saves to keep BU in the game.
Throughout the first period, Northeastern did a good job finding the open player in the offensive zone, while clogging up BU’s passing lanes and taking away the puck. Good passing and puck control led to a territorial advantage and an almost 2-to-1 shot advantage by the close of the opening frame.
“We’re really disappointed in losing this game,” said Schuler. “We thought we were the better team.
“We showed tons of effort, tons of heart,” she continued. “Hopefully we can take that into next week’s consolation game.”
Correction: The sidebar originally stated that BU played in three of the first four Beanpot finals. The correct number is two. USCHO regrets this error.