ST. ALBANS — Saturday’s game between the Comets and the BCHS SeaLakers set two top DI powerhouse teams against each other, both looking for a big win heading down the stretch of the regular season.
A late goal by the Comets with the goalie pulled helped them salvage a 3-3 tie in a game that had the feel of a playoff game.
“We haven’t had our backs against the wall like that a lot this year,” said BFA coach Luke Cioffi. “We knew it was going to be close; it was nice to see the girls battle back and not give up, that’s a good sign heading toward playoffs.”
With just over a minute left in the third and the SeaLakers up 3-2, the Comets pulled their goalie for an extra skater and a faceoff in the offensive zone. Comet Kami O’Brien, broke the tie, netting her second goal of the game.
The game began with a SeaLakers player being taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision.
After a 30 minute break, the teams played the final 2:27 of the first period as part of an extended period into the second.
BFA got things started midway through the first on a two-player advantage powerplay.
While up on a 5-on-3 for two minutes, Sophie Zemianek slipped the puck across the blue line to Chloe Rouleau, who sent a wrist shot that went off BCHS goalie Courtney Rocheleau’s blocker and in for the early 1-0 lead.
The Sealakers tied the game 1-1 with under six minutes remaining in the second period. A second goal by BCHS brought the score to 2-1 in their favor.
What could have been a deficit of two or more goals, had it not been for Boissonneault, turned into a tie by the end of two periods.
After Boissonneault shut down the 2-on-1 attempt with 27 seconds to go and BFA on the penalty kill, Jodie Gratton broke through the defense and sent a shot on goal.
Her shot was saved by Rocheleau (20 saves), but O’Brien picked up the rebound and scored before the buzzer to tie the game 2-2 going into the third period.
“Macie made a couple of big saves in the second to keep the game within reach,” said Cioffi. “She played well positionally and had some good stops on the penalty kill for us.”
The SeaLakers regained the lead in the third period, holding the 3-2 lead.
The Comets, needing a goal, called a timeout with a faceoff coming in the offensive zone and pulled the goalie, which led to O’Brien’s tying goal.
“We needed to get pucks to the net,” said Cioffi. “Earlier we weren’t shooting when we could have; we used the defense when we were 6-on-5 to open things up. It’s not always pretty, but we got it done.”
The Comets had seven penalties called on them, including one overtime, but killed off six of the seven. The Comets were 1-for-4 on the powerplay.
“We had a lot of penalties today. The girls did a good job of not just swinging at the pucks; they played their position,” said Cioffi.
The Comets (13-3-1) face Essex on Wednesday, the only Vermont team to beat them this season.
Until Saturday, the Hornets were the only team in Vermont who’ve scored more than two goals against the Comets.
“We are looking forward to facing Essex on Wednesday, and then we have a game against MVU on Saturday,” said Cioffi. “We have a couple of rivalry games coming up that will have a lot of emotion to them.”