By Chloe Wojtanik
Boston University News Service
In an adrenaline-filled game ultimately decided by a shootout, Boston University Women’s Hockey punched their ticket to the Beanpot Finals as they battled past the Boston College Eagles 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center in Boston, MA.
BU opened the scoring early on in the first period with sophomore Sydney Healey’s sixth goal of the season, a sneaky backhand shot tight to the net. The Ontario native tapped the puck along the ice and it slipped under the right pad of BC’s sophomore goalie Grace Campbell a little over two minutes into the game.
BU didn’t hold onto the lead for long as BC answered back a minute later to make it a 1-1 game with 16:44 left in the first period. BC freshman Sammy Taber was sent on a breakaway after BC picked up a fanned-on shot by BU in the slot. Her speed put her past the trailing BU defenseman. Taber was able to beat BU’s goalie Callie Shanahan five-hole for her ninth goal of the season.
The back-and-forth first period continued in this semifinals game as BU sophomore Luisa Welcke scored her first ever Beanpot goal to make it a 2-1 game just after the 10 minute mark of the period. Welcke was able to find the back of the net amidst a mad scramble of players in front of the net banging away for the loose puck.
Once again, BC tied the game up at two goals a piece after senior Caroline Goffredo scored due to a massive BC faceoff win. Grad student Sammy Smigliani was able to cleanly pass the puck back to Goffredo right off of her faceoff win. Goffredo then weaved in between BU defenseman to get to the middle of the slot and score on a shot that went bardown in the right corner of the net.
BC outshot BU 7-0 to start the second period, but Shanahan (goalie) kept the Terriers in the game as she saved all seven shots, keeping the score tied at 2-2. BU went on their own run of shots in the second period as well; outshooting the Eagles 7-0 for a four minute stretch. However, BC’s Campbell was locked in, saving every shot she faced during that span. Both offenses stalled in the second period and left the game tied at 2-2 heading into the final frame.
BU’s offense wouldn’t stay quiet for long though as senior Lacey Martin gave the Terriers a 3-2 lead 1:36 into the third period. Martin was able to squeeze the puck past Campbell’s right shoulder, which was almost pushed up against the goal post.
With the clock ticking down and the game on the line, BC junior Katie Pyne came up clutch for the Eagles, scoring the tying goal (3-3) with less than two minutes left in the game. BU was unable to answer before the clock reached triple zeros, sending this Beanpot Semifinals game into overtime.
Despite many grade A chances by both teams in the sudden death 3v3 five minute overtime period, neither team was able to put the puck in the back of the net for the win. BU was outshot by BC in overtime, 7-8, but the Terriers had more shots on goal, 4-3. With no goals scored in overtime, the two teams head to a winner-takes-all shootout.
BU’s Alex Law shot first in the shootout, but her attempt was saved by Campbell. Goffredo was the first shooter for BC, but her shootout attempt was stopped as well. Luisa Welcke was unsuccessful as BU’s second shooter. BC’s Taber had her shot saved also in the second round of the shootout.
Lilli Welcke was successful on her shootout attempt, slipping the puck past Campbell. But what ultimately secured the win was Shanahan’s stop on BC’s Smigliani, sending the loyal BU student section into a frenzy.
BU’s win has secured them a spot in the Women’s Beanpot Final which will take place next Tuesday, January 23rd, at TD Garden. This is the first time in the 45 year history of the Women’s Beanpot that it will be played under the bright lights of TD Garden, home to the Boston Bruins and Celtics. The Terriers will face the winner of the semifinal game between the Harvard University Crimsons and the Northeastern University Huskies.