The Bulldogs immense good fortune against Boston College finally ran out Sunday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena and when it did, the end result appeared almost unjust.
The No. 7 University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey team was stunned by No. 5 Boston College 3-2 Sunday afternoon after the Eagles scored the game-winning goal with 0.04 seconds left on the clock. The Bulldogs, who led the game 2-1 with less than three minutes remaining, will have to settle for a series split with BC. It was the first loss in program history to the Eagles for UMD, which falls to 1-1-0 in the young season.
UMD got on the board first when a strong possession effort by senior forward Haley Irwin ended into a scrum in front of the BC goal. Audrey Cournoyer poked the puck past Eagle netminder Corinne Boyles at 12:31 to hand the Bulldogs the lone goal of the first period.
Irwin factored in UMD's second goal when her shot banged off the post and right to the stick of rookie blueliner Brigette Lacquette. Lacquette's slapshot from between the circles found the net and the power-play tally 1:23 into the second period gave the Bulldogs a short-lived 2-0 lead.
UMD's two-goal advantage vanished a mere 15 seconds later, however, courtesy of a puck that took an errant bounce off a Bulldog player in front of the net. Emily Field got credit for the short-handed score and UMD held on to a slight 2-1 edge entering the final period.
The Bulldogs maintained that lead late into the third period until Eagle Emily Pfaizer's wristshot from the point off a face-off beat Jennifer Harss to knot the at 2-2 with just 2:51 left in the contest. Then, with less than a second remaining and the game seemingly heading for overtime, BC struck a final blow to the Bulldogs. A UMD power-play had committed the Bulldogs deep in the Eagles zone and BC buried a charmed opportunity off a clearance to cement UMD's first loss to the Eagles in five all-time skates.
The Bulldogs went just 1-of-8 on the power-play but outshot the Eagles 29-26. Between the pipes Harss had 23 saves and helped keep BC scoreless in four extra skater attempts. Boyles made 27 stops for the Eagles, who are now 1-1-0 on the season.
UMD will travel next weekend to face yet another Hockey East opponent when they play the University of Connecticut. The puck will drop for Friday night's contest at 7:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon.
BULLDOG NOTES: UMD is now 16-3 all-time against Hockey East opponents...The loss snaps a 16-game winning streak the Bulldogs had against the league...UMD is 4-1 all-time against Boston College...Senior forward Haley Irwin extended her current scoring streak to seven games with two assists...Irwin has now registered 14 points (2-12=14) in her last seven skates.