By Mark Staffieri, CWHL
Walter Brown Arena was the setting for a monumental struggle between the Boston Blades and the Boston University Terriers, ranked 6th in the NCAA national polls. With Providence Friars legend Genevieve Lacasse standing between the pipes for the Boston Blades, she was very familiar with the Terriers.
The first period provided a plethora of scoring as the Blades jumped out to an impressive 4-0 lead. Kelli Stack, the 2012 Bob Allen Women?۪s USA Hockey of the Year award winner opened the scoring at the 3:16 mark. Stack would follow it up by logging an even strength goal unassisted. Another legendary player from Providence, Karen Thatcher would score an even strength goal as the Blades went up by a 3-0 tally. Thatcher and Hilary Knight would assist on a power play goal scored by Gigi Marvin to give the Blades a commanding lead.
In the second stanza, the Terriers would chip away at the Blades lead by logging two markers. Isabel Menard and Caroline Campbell assisted on the first goal for the Terriers, as Louise Warren opened the scoring. Jenelle Kohanchuk would score on the power play with one second left on the clock as the Blades lead was cut in half. A big factor in the turnaround was three penalties given to the Blades. Whitney Naslund was called for hooking, while Katka Mrazova served two minutes for roughing, and rookie Kelley Steadman was given a tripping penalty.
The third period saw Shannon Doyle score at the 8:03 mark to pull the Terriers to within one goal. From there, penalties were the story for the Blades. Mrazova found herself back in the penalty box on an interference call. While the Terriers did not capitalize on the power play, their second power play turned the tide. With 1:49 left in the final stanza, Stack was called for a hooking penalty. To add to the drama, Terriers skater (and former Montreal Stars player) Marie-Philip Poulin tied the game with 32 seconds left.
Overtime did not solve anything, but the Blades will need to regroup for their final exhibition game against the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles are ranked number one in the NCAA polls, and will be a very difficult opponent. Despite the penalty, Kelli Stack continues to emerge as the offensive force for the Blades. In addition to her goal scoring prowess, Stack won 16 of 25 faceoffs. As the all-time leading scorer in Eagles history, Stack will be looking to be a key force in that contest.