BC Set For Second Straight Frozen Four
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Tomorrow night, the women’s ice hockey team will compete in the 2012 Frozen Four at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn. As the No. 4 seed, the Eagles (24-9-3) will face the top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (32-4-2), a familiar opponent form last year’s Frozen Four. In last year’s matchup, Wisconsin took the game by a score of 3-2, and ultimately won the national title.
The Badgers are looking for their third national championship in four years. A pair of Patty Kazmaier Award finalists, Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight, leads the team. Decker leads her team with 37 goals and 43 assists. She was named the 2012 WCHA Player of the Year. Knight is third on the team in points with 57 on 29 goals and 28 assists. The Badgers will also rely on the play of seniors Carolyne Provost and Brooke Ammerman. Overall, Wisconsin has four players with more than 25 goals on the season.
The Eagles have seen success stem from veterans and rookies. The bulk of the scoring has come off the sticks of two freshmen: Alex Carpenter and Emily Field. Carpenter enters Friday with 38 points on 20 goals and 18 assists. She was named a Hockey East All-Star and an All-Rookie Team honoree. She led BC in scoring, and is the first freshman to do so since Kelli Stack in the 2006-07 season. Field was right behind her classmate with 31 points on 12 goals and 19 assists. She also finished the season with four game-winning goals.
Although the team has relied on its newcomers for offensive production, head coach Katie King Crowley has seen a full team effort this season. Veterans have provided leadership for their talented underclassmen, and have also been productive on both sides of the puck.
Last weekend, the Eagles faced off with No. 7 St. Lawrence to advance to the Frozen Four. Leading 1-0 after the first period, St. Lawrence came back with three scores in the second, forcing the Eagles to make a comeback. The host team did just that, and more, winning the game 6-3.
"The freshmen have been stepping up, and played like sophomores today," Crowley said after the decisive victory. "Our seniors are playing like seniors today. Our middle kids played the way they had to play. I think we’re hungry. We’ve had a taste of the Frozen Four, and we want to get back. We want to get back to that point, so they worked hard for it."
In the victory over St. Lawrence, the Eagles saw goals from Carpenter, Field, sophomore Taylor Wasylk, junior Blake Bolden, and seniors Ashley Motherwell and Danielle Welch.
One of the biggest factors for the Eagles will be junior goaltender Corinne Boyles, who finished last weekend’s game with 28 saves, including 12 in the first period and 11 in the second.
On the season, Boyles has been a leader for her team. She has a 24-9-3 record, and has only given up 73 to go with 895 saves. She has also recorded seven shutouts on the season.
Crowley was pleased with her team’s confidence in its last matchup. Despite falling behind very quickly, the team did not appear rattled, and proved able to overcome the adversity. This element of the Eagles will be necessary moving forward in the the team’s most challenging setting of the season.
Crowley is excited to face Wisconsin once again, especially after losing last year’s contest in the closing minutes of the game. She sees last year’s experience in the Frozen Four as an asset to this year’s squad.
"Hopefully that experience will help us," she said. "I think last year, when you look at the game in the first 10 minutes, we were nervous. We were like, ‘Wow. Here we are. This is amazing that we’re here.’ I think this year with our older kids, who have been there, and a lot of our kids have been there, hopefully we won’t have all those nerves."
Although the upperclassmen will be able to minimize some of the effects of playing in such a big game against the nation’s top team, Crowley expects her players to have a few nerves. Maturity will be necessary in overcoming this anxiety