HYANNIS, Mass. - The Boston University women's ice hockey team won its third straight Hockey East championship after a 3-2 come-from-behind win over fourth-ranked and top-seeded Boston College on Sunday afternoon at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.
BU (24-12-1) trailed by a goal entering the third period, but a power-play goal by senior captain Louise Warren and freshman Maddie Elia's game-winner within the first 8:12 of the frame propelled the Terriers back to the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year. BC (27-6-3) also advanced to the national tournament with an at-large bid.
Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season after her second straight 40-plus save performance of the weekend. She stopped 119 of the 125 shots she faced during the three tournament tilt, including all 18 that BC threw at her in the final frame. The North Reading, Mass., native is the second back-to-back MVP honoree in the 12-year tournament history.
Sophomore Rebecca Russo tallied a goal and assisted on Elia's winner. Senior Kaleigh Fratkin had an assist, as did sophomore Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga and junior Shannon Stoneburgh. Fratkin, Russo, Sperry and Warren were all chosen for the All-Tournament Team.
Dana Trivigno gave BC a 1-0 lead just 1:15 into the proceedings, but Russo tied the game at the 8:04 mark with her second power-play goal of the weekend. After the Eagles cleared the zone, Stoneburgh retrieved the puck and went indirect off the boards to Russo in the neutral zone. The sophomore forward skated into the BC zone and beat Corinne Boyles (31 saves) with a wrister from the slot for her 11th goal of the season.
Sperry and the Terrier penalty killers were tasked with killing two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play after sophomores Sarah Lefort and Dakota Woodworth each took a penalty on the same shift. They came through in fine style and held the Eagles to just one shot on goal.
BC took a 2-1 lead into the second period thanks to a Taylor Wasylk goal with 26 seconds to play in the first. Sophomore Jordan Juron thought she tied the game early in the second stanza when her shot bounced off Boyles and appeared to cross the goal line. Video replay confirmed that Boyles gloved the puck on the line just in time to keep the Eagles on top. The Terriers outplayed the Eagles in the middle frame, outshooting BC by a 14-5 margin.
Warren tied the game, 2-2, with the Terriers' second power-play goal of the game at the 2:50 mark of the third period. Sophomore Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga cycled the puck to Fratkin, who fired the perfect pass to Warren in front. She redirected it past Boyles for her 27th strike of the season.
Elia provided the tournament-winner at the 8:12 juncture of the period. Off an offensive-zone draw, Russo's initial shot was turned aside by Boyles, but Elia collected the rebound, wrapped around the cage and tucked the puck into the back of the net for her 13th goal of the season.
The Eagles pressed in the final five minutes, but Sperry was sharp in turning aside all eight shots she faced within that time frame. Boyles was pulled in favor of an extra attacker with 1:02 remaining in regulation, but the Terriers held BC to just one shot on goal in the final minute.