MINNEAPOLIS — Boston College almost took down a giant Friday evening.
Minnesota’s women’s hockey team had won an NCAA-record 47 straight games heading into the Frozen Four semifinal at Ridder Arena. The Gophers had been so dominant this season that they had never once trailed heading into the third period.
Until they met the Eagles.
Boston College led, 1-0, after two periods, then, after Minnesota grabbed the lead, sent it into overtime at sold-out Ridder Arena.
The Eagles came as close as any team could to taking down Goliath.
Instead, their season ended abruptly as the defending champions potted a goal 1:39 into the extra frame to win 3-2 and advance to Sunday’s final at 4 p.m.
With the Gophers buzzing in overtime, Sarah Davis grabbed a pass from Bethany Brausen in front of the net all alone. She showed incredibly poise, faking a shot, pulling the puck to the outside, and wristing it home on a tight angle for the winner.
Minnesota will play Boston University, which defeated Mercyhurt, 4-1, in the nightcap.
“It was a tough go, but I’m so proud of the team,” Eagles goalie Corinne Boyles said. “Everybody played great in front of me. Certainly no regrets coming out of that, but not happy with the outcome of course.”
Noora Raty stopped 26 shots for the win, while Boyles made 36 saves in an incredible performance.
“[Boyles] was phenomenal,’’ Eagles coach Katie King Crowley said. “She made the saves that we needed her to make. I thought Corinne played a tremendous game. She has been all year.”
The game was nothing short of non-stop action and high drama.
The Eagles (27-7-3) struck first. With 1:47 left in the second period, Emily Field emerged from a scrum in front of the net, followed her own rebound, and roofed a shot. Alex Carpenter and Haley Skarupa were awarded the assists and the Eagles’ bench was ecstatic.
That doesn’t happen often to Minnesota. Coming into the game, the Gophers had only trailed for a total of 63 minutes 27 seconds the entire season.
Minnesota made a point to quickly make things right. Just 34 seconds into the third, BC’s Blake Bolden was called for hooking, and the Gophers made the Eagles pay. Megan Bozek blasted a one-timer from the point that was tipped in by Hannah Brandt to tie the game at 1:42.
Boyles continued to come up with big saves, but Minnesota’s Becky Kortum put another one past her. The senior muscled her way to the net and chipped a Rachael Bona rebound to give the Gophers a 2-1 lead with 7:48 to play.
But the Eagles wouldn’t quit. Dana Trivigno lifted a pass through the air in the neutral zone to Haley Skarupa, fired a shot on net. Lexi Bender followed up the play and sneaked the rebound past Raty to tie the game at 14:12.
BU 4, Mercyhurst 1 — Jenelle Kohanchuk scored 13 seconds into the game as the Terriers (28-5-3) earned the chance to become the first East Coast team to win the women’s title.
Isabel Menard, Kathryn Miller, and Marie-Philip Poulin added goals and Kerrin Sperry stopped 26 shots in knocking off the Lakers (29-7-1).
Boston University reached its second title game; the Terriers lost to Wisconsin, 4-1, in 2011.