PROVIDENCE — How many times can you score the winner in a single hockey game?
Kasidy Anderson ended a dramatic back-and-forth struggle between Northeastern and Boston College at 12:39 of overtime of the Women’s Hockey East Championship at Schneider Arena on Sunday, lifting a backhand shot past BC’s Maddy McArthur (22 saves) to give Northeastern the 3-2 victory, its second consecutive title, and some resolution to a game that nearly went off the rails at the end of the third period.
Alina Mueller thought she had scored the decisive goal for third-ranked Northeastern (27-5-5) at 14:53 of the third, leaping into the air when her 21st goal of the season gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead.
But No. 6 Boston College (26-11-1) wasn’t ready to fold.
The Eagles had one last desperate chance with a faceoff in the circle to the right of NU goalie Aerin Frankel in the game’s final minute.
As the puck dropped, BC coach Katie Crowley’s notebook came flying onto the ice. The puck hit the ice, Kelly Browne won the faceoff to Daryl Watts, who tipped it back to Kali Flanagan at the point. Flanagan smoked a slap shot into the net.
Tie game with 4.9 seconds on the clock. That’s when it really got complicated. A video review by the referees upheld the call on the ice.
But the review was about a possible illegal substitution, not about the notebook, which Crowley later said slipped out of her hands as she was trying to wave down the officials to correct the clock.
There were 7.4 seconds showing when the play began and the coaches had been told it would be 7.8. The camera angles did not offer a view of the BC bench and the game went on.
An unusual turn of events.
“It was obviously a lot of hectic things about that moment,” Crowley said. “Because the time was wrong on the clock. I was trying to get the ref’s attention and my notebook actually slipped out onto the ice, which was my bad, can’t let that happen.
“And then Kali was able to put an unbelievable goal in.”
Anderson ended the confusion with a great play in overtime. She stole the puck from BC defender Cayla Barnes at the blue line, drove across the zone while shrugging off an oncoming defenseman, and took her shot. The NU celebration was on.
“Going into overtime, when I saw the way we started overtime, I felt really good, I felt confident that we were going to get the job done,’’ Northeastern coach Dave Flint said, “And we did.”
Anderson, the 5-foot-10-inch team captain, described her 21st goal of the season. “I had just hopped on the ice,’’ she said.
“Barnes had the puck and she kind of passed it . . . or mishandled it and I picked it up. I kind of had a step on the other defenseman, and I knew to use my size so I stepped my left leg out to block the stick and pulled it to my backhand and went blocker-side.”
Northeastern opened the scoring at 17:14 of the first when Andrea Renner charged the net to knock in Skylar Fontaine’s rebound. The Huskies are 23-1-1 when scoring first.
While Frankel (30 saves) was repelling a handful of BC scrambles in front of the NU net, as well as a sharp shot off the stick of Watts, Northeastern capitalized on a 3-on-2.
Fontaine swept down the left side and fired off a shot, with the rebound bouncing back to hit a BC defender’s skate. Renner slammed the puck home.
Northeastern started the second period in trouble as Mueller, its leading scorer, took a body-checking penalty at 0:41 and Paige Capistran followed at 1:20 with another body-checking call.
BC had 1:20 of 5 on 3 to work with and after its first foray into the Northeastern zone was cleared, Watts brought the puck back down the left side and pulled off a perfect 2 on 1 with Caitrin Lonergan.
Watts sent a pass into the center and Lonergan had plenty of room to fire her shot into the net at 2:31.
It was the 14th goal of the season for the junior from Roslindale, who was a force throughout the game. Lonergan moved into 10th place at BC with 59 career goals.Barbara Matson can be reached at email@example.com.