|Boston University||University of Maine|
ORONO, Maine – A huge first period push helped the No. 3 seeded Maine Black Bears hold onto a 3-2 win in the first game of the WHEA Quarterfinals series against No. 6 seeded Boston University (BU). With 24 saves by Carly Jackson in net, the Black Bears (18-12-5, 11-9-4 WHEA) pulled out their first ever WHEA playoff win in program history while also breaking the Maine women’s ice hockey record for most wins in a single-season, earning their 18th defeating BU (13-16-6, 8-11-5 WHEA).
Facing the Terriers for the first time in playoffs, the Black Bears hit the ice with eager determination to get on the board early. Josefine Engmann did just that, scoring her first NCAA goal plus the first point of the game, she followed up on a shot by Tereza Vanisova which was deflected behind the net by net minder Corinne Schroeder. Amidst the bustle, Schroeder was knocked down just as Engmann pushed the puck around to the side of the net and hit the perfect angle to sneak it in. Vanisova and Daria Tereshkina gathered assists on the play putting the Black Bears ahead, 1-0, 4:26 into the match.
Despite being out-shot 11-7 in the first period, the Black Bears finished strong, scoring on nearly 50% of their shots on frame as they extended their lead to 3-0 in the final four minutes of the opening period. Vanisova followed up on a blocked shot by Tereshkina, roofing it over Schroeder’s right shoulder. Tereshkina tallied her second assist of the day with Brittany Kucera picked up her first and Vanisova found the back of the net for the 14th time this season.
Under 60 seconds later, Catherine Tufts snuck a shot just over Schroeder’s pad as she was screened by her own defender just barely missing the block. Starting off the play, Stacey received the puck from Lydia Murray for the helpers. Following Tufts goal, the Terriers’ switched up the ice a little, sending Erin O’Neil to protect the net.
The Black Bears nearly escaped the opening frame with three unanswered goals, but the Terriers retaliated just 15 seconds later with a shot fired from the top of the crease by Nina Rodgers for her 6th of the season. Helpers were given to Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach.
Midway through the second period, Bach rifled a shot towards net while BU was on the power play to capture their second goal of the night, making it a one point game. Picking up assists were Leslie for 32nd of the season and Jesse Compher with her first of the day.
The score remained 3-2 going into the final period, as the Black Bears emerged from the locker room itching to score, firing 16 shots at O’Neil. In the final minutes of the match, both goalies came up big with huge one-on-one saves to preserve the score. Play got a little heated on the ice in the final seven seconds as the pressure began to rise, but Maine held on to the 3-2 victory.
Playing the majority of the first period, Schroeder stopped four shots while O’Neil finished out the day in net, gathering 26 saves without letting a puck slip past her.
Riding on the history-making win, the Black Bears will face-off against the Terriers for the second game of the WHEA Quarterfinals. Puck will drop at 2 p.m. tomorrow for the best-of-three series.