There's been no love lost between Boston College and Boston University this hockey season. Their historic rivalry will be renewed once again in the Women's Hockey East Tournament Final Sunday as both the Terriers and Eagles advanced in Saturday's semifinal play. This is the third year in a row that the BC and BU women's hockey teams have renewed the Green Line Rivalry in the tournament championship. BU has won the first two.
The undefeated Eagles used their strong power play to their advantage as they advance 4-2 over UConn. In the late game, BU grinded out a victory over Northeastern 4-3 to advance to their fifth straight finals appearance. The Terriers have won the last four tournament championships and five out of the last six; but this year they will be the underdog as they take on top-ranked Boston College.
"They have been through this quite a few times. I think we've learned from those moments. I think we've evolved and our team is stronger this year than probably any other team that I've had at BC," Eagles coach Katie King-Crowley said of her team's recent history in the tournament championship.
The Eagles started off strong against Connecticut in the first game of the day. BC outshot the Huskies 17 to 5 in the first period and took a 1-0 lead into intermission after Haley Skarupa netted a power play goal. Then Meghan Grieves extended the lead to two early in the second. But then the Eagles let Connecticut back in.
The Huskies scored with four minutes left in the second to narrow the gap to one. Then just 58 seconds into the third period UConn tied it up when, as she was being hooked and falling to the ice, Justine Fredette put the puck past the Eagles net tender. The Eagles responded with two more goals by Alex Carpenter and Kristyn Capizzano to give the Eagles the win.
When asked how her team was able to respond after letting UConn tie it up Carpenter said "I think it's just not getting nervous when you're either tired or down by a goal. The game is going to change drastically over the course of the 60 minutes. I think it's just keeping our heads in [the game] and going forward and trying to put it away."
In the second game it was Northeastern who got out ahead in the first but a power play goal by Rebecca Leslie tied the game at one heading into the first intermission. BU added two more goals in the second to take a 3-2 lead into the third period. Halfway through the third BU made it 4-2 with a goal by Alexis Crossley, seemingly putting the game away for the Terriers.
BU held the Women's Hockey East Player of the Year Kendall Coyne to zero points until she assisted a Shelby Herrington goal late in the third that brought the score within one, 4-3.
"Today was the first time in five games that we really followed her [Coyne] around the rink with one of our forwards," BU coach Brian Durocher said. "It wasn't all the time. We didn't start the either period that way, or any of the three. But as the period went on there were just probably four shifts each period where we kind of followed her around the rink."
The Terriers plan worked as they help the best player on the ice to one point. BU will face another great player in BC's Alex Carpenter who, along with Coyne and Wisconsin's Ann-Renee Desbiens, was named a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award for the best player in Women's Hockey. The defensive game plan worked against Northeastern; it will have to work against Boston College if the Terriers want to make it five tournament championships in a row on Sunday.