By Max Wolpoff
BU News Service
BOSTON — Senior co-captain Alexis Crossley knelt down to block the final shot of the game. The horn sounded after 65 minutes of play, and Boston University and Harvard remained tied at six goals apiece.
BU’s final out-of-conference game, the consolation game of the annual Beanpot, ended in a 6-6 tie.
“That was more like a lacrosse game than a hockey game,” Harvard head coach Katey Stone said. “I loved how our kids continued to compete the entire game.”
BU moves to 13-10-6 as the Terriers get set to resume Hockey East play this weekend with a two-game set against New Hampshire. Harvard fought through the game with just 14 skaters, earning its fifth tie to go to 3-17-5 overall. The Crimson are now 1-9-5 in one-goal games or ties.
“Goalies were not in the kind of equipment that I used to wear when we used to give up goals like that,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said. “It was one of those days [where] there was a lot of good offensive play, some funny bounces and some beautiful shots.”
BU’s Nina Rodgers scored the opening tally for her 19th goal of the season after Maddie Elia went flying up ice on a breakaway. Crimson goalie Beth Larcom stopped her with an outstretched right leg, but Rodgers came in to clean it up.
Thanks to a tip-in goal in the second period and an assist in the third, Elia reached 100 career points with a three-point night. Her tip-in goal on a Rodgers shot gave BU a temporary lead.
“It is pretty special playing for such a good program like BU,” Elia said. “It is a lot of my teammates just helping me get better, so I am really thankful for that.”
The Crimson relied on Haley Mullins to keep them in the game early. She scored on a tap-in play below the faceoff circles on a first-period power play, then capitalized on a turnover to throw a shot high on Erin O’Neil.
“I think we needed to [O’Neil] into a game in case something goes on in the playoffs,” Durocher said of O’Neil’s first start since the program’s 6-5, overtime win against Minnesota in December. “Victoria Hanson has established herself as our No. 1 goalie, and that is a credit to her rather than a negative for Erin.”
On Harvard’s third goal, a dump-in from Chelsea Zaidie looked innocent enough as it rolled on net for Erin O’Neil to play it. However, the puck bounced off her stick and behind her to make the score 3-2.
“I think Erin saw a couple BU kids that were fanning out and, late in the process, made the decision that, ‘Oh, I can get this up there quick,’ forgetting that she was right in the middle of the net,” Durocher said. “Pucks break off sticks sometimes.”
Stone took a positive view. “Hey, that’s hockey,” she said. “We’ll take them however we can get them.”
Emerging from behind the net to score her 60th career goal, Victoria Bach knotted the game back up at three goals a side.
Rebecca Leslie’s ninth goal of the season came just 10 seconds before Harvard’s Sydney Daniels tied the game once more. Mary Parker and Lexie Laing then traded goals to bring the contest to a 5-5 tie, followed up by Parker’s second of the game to give the Terriers their final lead with six minutes to go.
“I think moving forward, our team is just looking to build on the good things that we are doing in the game and continue to try to put 60 hard minutes of BU hockey together,” Parker said.
With Larcom pulled for the extra skater late in regulation, Harvard only needed a few seconds for Kate Hallett to jump on a rebound and net her second goal this season.
“We are very, very relentless, and I think that has shown through every single game this year regardless of the outcome,” Hallett said.
Durocher emphasized his team’s offense and compete level heading into their next game against the Wildcats.
“[Harvard] had to answer the bell multiple times with us getting the lead,” Durocher said. “I’ll take those two things out of it.”
Elia finished the game in the penalty box for goaltender interference, but Harvard could not do anything with the advantage. Bach had two chances while shorthanded to round out her team-leading eight shots on goal.
Defenseman Breanna Scarpaci led the Terriers with five of the team’s 17 blocked shots. Tuesday marked her third game getting regular shifts after starting the season as the seventh defender.
“She’s a steady player who does not bring a lot of flash,” Durocher said. “If you are a coach or an astute spectator, you would see that she plays within herself, makes good decisions and is pretty confident around the puck.”
The first matchup between BU and New Hampshire is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Durham.