Women's hockey: Flynn's OT winner lifts BU past No. 2 Minnesota, 6-5
BOSTON — Senior co-captain Natalie Flynn scored a career-high two goals, including the overtime winner, to help the Boston University women's ice hockey team knock off No. 2 Minnesota, 6-5, on Saturday at Walter Brown Arena.
Flynn won an offensive-zone faceoff and the puck eventually ended up in the left corner. Freshman Natasza Tarnowski won a battle and brought the puck behind the Gopher cage. She then slid the puck out front to Flynn, who beat Sidney Peters (16 saves) high to the glove side for her third career goal.
BU scored the first two goals of the game to grab a 2-0 lead just 6:49 into the proceedings. The first goal came when Tarnowski found junior Victoria Bach after forcing an offensive-zone turnover.
Freshman Abby Cook then made it 2-0 off a faceoff play. Senior Maddie Elia won the faceoff back to classmate Samantha Sutherland, who then slid the puck across the zone to Cook. Cook's shot from the point snuck past Peters for Cook's second goal of the season.
The Gophers used two power-play goals to tie the game in a 32-second span thanks in part to a 5-on-3 advantage, and the score remained 2-2 into the intermission.
Former Gopher and current Terrier junior Nina Rodgers put BU back in front, 3-2, at the 4:33 mark of the second stanza. She intercepted an outlet pass and quickly went top shelf for her fifth goal of the season.
Just 50 seconds later, Flynn extended the lead to 4-2 with her first goal of the game. Freshman Deziray De Sousa blocked a Gopher pass from their own zone, and Flynn eventually got the puck. She skated through a couple defenders and beat Peters for her first goal of the season.
Minnesota got a goal back to make it 4-3, but the Terriers capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play of their own to regain their two-goal cushion. Senior co-captain Alexis Crossley fed Elia below the left circle. Elia's shot was saved, but Sutherland knocked home the rebound for her 10th goal of the year.
BU kept Minnesota at bay for most of the third period, but the Gophers began their rally at the 14:52 mark with a power-play marker. They then scored with 1:38 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Flynn's only other collegiate goal came in the 2015 Hockey East semifinals when she scored to help the Terriers defeat Northeastern.
Tarnowski collected a career-high two assists for a career-best two points.
Junior goaltender Erin O'Neil made 40 saves for the first time this season - her previous career high is 54, set in a 4-3 win over Northeastern in the 2016 Hockey East semifinals.
O'Neil also allowed just two even-strength goals on Saturday.
Elia and Sutherland each had two points, with Elia securing two helpers and Sutherland scoring a goal in addition to an assist.
Minnesota is the highest ranked team BU has defeated since the Terriers knocked off then-No. 1 Boston College in the 2015 Hockey East title game.
BU will enjoy a lengthy semester break before returning to the ice on Saturday, Jan. 7, to face Boston College in Chestnut Hill.