The UConn women’s hockey team is off to the Hockey East Finals after taking down the third-ranked team in the country, the Boston College Eagles, 4-2.
UConn — the seven seed in the Hockey East Playoffs — was the lowest seed to ever reach the semi-finals after upsetting Providence in three games last week. Boston College, meanwhile, was the top seed and had not lost to UConn since the 2013-2014 season.
The Eagles scored first with a power-play goal seven minutes into the game. However, UConn quickly responded with a power-play goal of its own off the stick of Natalie Snodgrass.
Early in the second period, Snodgrass struck again with an impressive deke of the BC goaltender on the breakaway to put the Huskies in the lead.
After giving up a power-play goal on their first opportunity, the Huskies’ penalty kill stepped up. The PK unit held Boston College scoreless on its final four power-plays, three of which came after UConn took the 2-1 lead.
Midway through the final period, the Huskies found the back of the net once again to extend the lead to two goals. Emily Reid’s shot from the blue line was stopped by BC goaltender Katie Burt but the rebound leaked out and found the stick of Nora MacClaine, who sent it in for the goal.
However, UConn couldn’t keep the high-powered Eagles quiet for long. Boston College responded with a goal just three minutes later to make it 3-2 with 7:20 remaining.
The Eagles continued to pepper the net with shots but UConn goaltender Annie Belanger held strong. The Hockey East Goaltender of the Year stopped 27 shots, including 13 in the final period.
With just under a minute and a half left, Boston College pulled its goalie but could not take advantage of the extra skater as the Huskies’ defense firmed up and cleared the puck out of the zone multiple times.
The dagger came off a clearance when Leah Lum found Theresa Knutson skating up open up the left flank and Knutson fired the puck into the empty net to secure the upset for UConn.
With the win, the Huskies advance to their first Hockey East Final since 2010 and look to secure their first-ever championship. They will face the winner of Maine vs. Northeastern tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. on NESNPlus.