By Michael Wax
Boston University Women’s Hockey (9-4-0, 6-3-0 HE) snapped a four-game losing streak and defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders (2-18-1, 1-14-0 HE) 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at Walter Brown Arena.
“Nice to have a couple captains step up,” BU Head Coach Brian Durocher said. “[It’s] nice to come back with a win in overtime.”
BU got the OT winner from senior captain Nadia Mattivi, her first goal in five games.
“It was a good win,” Mattivi said. “Just because we’re not going to play for two weeks and they’re going to be our opponents for Frozen Fenway, that’s a big win. … They’re a hard-working team, so it wasn’t easy and it won’t be easy for Frozen Fenway either.”
The first period saw BU and Holy Cross trading chances, with the two teams tied at nine shots apiece after the opening 20 minutes. Sophomore goaltender Callie Shanahan made 24 saves for the Terriers overall, nine in the first period.
“You got to fight through mentally and keep being assertive and aggressive and I think that’s what [goaltending coach Bret Gilmour] has been doing with her is talking about staying aggressive and being active out there,” Durocher said. “I think she has been and tonight. It paid some dividends because there were a lot of really good saves.”
BU got the opening goal with under two minutes left to play in the first period. Freshman defender Brooke Disher took care of Holy Cross’ offensive attack almost single-handedly, stripping the puck and leading a 4-on-3 counterattack for BU.
Disher passed it off to sophomore forward Christina Vote, who entered the Holy Cross zone before passing the puck back to Disher, who was wide-open in the slot due to a three-person collision between BU and Holy Cross. Through all that confusion, Disher slipped the puck past junior goaltender Madison Beck.
Holy Cross tied the game while on the power play in the middle frame. Following a bank pass off the wall, senior captain Sofia Smithson gave the puck to senior forward Darci Johal at the left face-off dot. Johal sent a quick pass to senior forward Mary Edmonds, who was covered by two BU defenders but still had a sliver of room in the slot. Though Shanahan made the initial save, Edmonds poked in the rebound to tie the game. Edmonds picked up her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
Holy Cross took the lead a little more than two minutes later, following a bad turnover by BU in the defensive zone. Senior defender Kailey Langefels took a shot that deflected off of freshman forward Charlotte Sonntag and trickled wide. Junior forward Millie Sirum grabbed the rebound and shoveled a backhander past Shanahan for Holy Cross’s first lead since Nov. 12 against Maine.
Junior forward Lacey Martin responded with a beautiful goal to tie the game at two. After getting the puck in the defensive zone from junior defenseman Andi Calderone, Martin danced through all three zones before facing a 1-on-1 against Holy Cross sophomore defender Emilie Fortunato.
Martin got past Fortunato with a slick stick-handling move and beat Beck over the shoulder to tie the game. The goal was Martin’s fourth of the season, assisted by Calderone and senior forward Haylee Blinkhorn.
“Lacey is somebody who shoots the puck very well, and knows it, and is willing to be confident with that,” Durocher said. “Sometimes people talk about what you can’t do well, I always like to emphasize what you’re good at doing and as she likes to shoot it and does a good job.”
The third period saw neither team able to break the deadlock, with BU leading in shots 13-8. Even though no goals were scored, Shanahan had to come up with some big saves to keep the game tied for BU.
“I talked to them going into the third about not giving up the goal to this team,” Durocher said. “We’ve got to start to get an identity, and I hope it’s being a good defensive team.”
BU scored the game-winner on their first shot of overtime. Holy Cross attempted to send a cross-ice pass for an easy tap-in, but Shanahan knocked the puck into the corner. Mattivi went coast-to-coast and fired it home for the game-winning goal. Mattivi’s game-winner was her fourth goal of the season, and Shanahan picked up her first collegiate assist.
“We’ve been practicing this a lot in practice… [Durocher] always has good points: Be patient with the puck and don’t rush it,” said Mattivi. “I think patience is the key for our wins in overtime.”
The Terriers will be off for the rest of December and will return for Frozen Fenway against Holy Cross on Jan. 6 at Fenway Park. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
“We’re going to be so excited,” Mattivi said. “I don’t think we’re going to have a problem in terms of positivity on the bench or in the locker room. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, I think we’re just gonna have fun.”