Bender’s three assists help Boston College sweep Maine

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In a weekend of hotly contested conference tournament matchups across the country, No. 1 Boston College did not leave the result of Saturday evening’s matchup against Maine to chance.

After surrendering a bizarre goal early in the first period, BC scored five unanswered goals, and the Eagles completed a two-game sweep of the Black Bears with a 5-1 win.

The Eagles’ efforts did not start out auspiciously. Alyson Matteau took a tripping penalty for the Black Bears. During the ensuing BC power play, Brooklyn Langlois fired a shot on net from center ice in a clearing effort. The puck took an odd bounce in between the faceoff circles and the puck sailed past a fooled Katie Burt. Maine had struck first.

From there, however, BC took control.

“I think [the goal] created the opposite situation [from adding energy to the team,]” Maine coach Richard Reichenbach said. “I thought yesterday we played pretty good except for in front of our net, we cleaned up some things, and I thought we had a really good start, and our objective was to get an early lead in those first 10 minutes, which we did, but then we actually kind of hesitated a little bit and just didn’t play the same way, and it kind of changed that we went.”

From the Langlois goal, the Eagles began to take control of the game. BC pelted Meghan Treacy with 22 shots in the first period.

On a power play, caused, coincidentally enough, by another Matteau tripping penalty, Haley Skarupa rifled a Makenna Newkirk rebound past Treacy from in-between the two faceoff circles, tying the game at one, where it remained when the two teams entered the locker room for intermission.

Then, in the second period, the wheels came off for the Black Bears.

The second period onslaught began halfway through the period. The first goal came from the stick of Dana Trivigno. Lexi Bender forced the puck from the boards to middle of the ice. Trivigno picked up the puck and sniped a shot past Treacy. It was a continuation of a strong February for the senior.

“[Trivigno’s line has] really worked well together,” BC coach Katie Crowley said. “They’re using each other well and working off each other well and Dana’s benefited from that for sure.”

The Eagles next goal came from Kenzie Kent, who put a loose puck from a netmouth scramble home. The goal, scored on a power play, was the Eagles’ 41st power-play goal of the year, which set a new season record for the program.

The Eagles added another goal from Meghan Grieves in the second period, and Newkirk added a goal of her own in the third period, sealing the deciding game for the Eagles, who advanced to the Hockey East semifinals for the sixth year in a row. With a loss to Boston University in last year’s Hockey East final, the games represent more than just a conference title.

“[Last year’s Hockey East championship game] is in the back of our heads,” Crowley said. “I think ‘unfinished business’ is a good way to put it. I think it’s on one of our T-shirts that we have. The team has an end goal here, and we’re closer to getting one of those goals that we can attain. We still have to figure out who we’re going to playing on Saturday, and go from there and game plan for that, but I think it’s definitely at the back of our heads.”

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