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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BC Women Fall Short In Beanpot Final To NU

Assoc. Sports Editor

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 03:02

Women

Emily Fahey / Heights Staff

 

Before Tuesday night’s Beanpot Championship game, a first-period lead meant inevitable victory for the Boston College women’s hockey team. Yet in a hard-fought matchup against Northeastern for the coveted tournament trophy, the Eagles and their late-game prowess could not avoid an unlikely arch nemesis—the penalty box.

“That was a tough one,” said head coach Katie King Crowley. “I thought our kids played pretty hard. It’s really tough when you have to kill off two 5-on-3’s and a 4-on-3. To get yourself in that situation is pretty tough. Some of our kids were saying they don’t think they’ve ever had a 4-on-3 before. When you get into a load of those penalties, it’s tough, and they capitalized. I thought their team played well, played hard. It’s a tough outcome for us.”

The Eagles were unable to overcome a slew of penalties and successful power-play execution by the Huskies, failing to obtain their fifth tournament title by a narrow margin of 4-3.

Less than two minutes after the first puck dropped, it looked as if BC would be the recipient of the contest’s lucky bounces. A shot from freshman Dana Trivigno ricocheted off of two Northeastern defenders and snuck past goalie Chloe Desjardins to give the Eagles an immediate 1-0 advantage.

Throughout a physical first period that saw the Eagles take five of the game’s first six shots, Crowley’s squad looked poised to improve to 13-0 in games that it’s led after the first 20 minutes.

“We like to score first,” Crowley said. “Our kids get a little confident.”

Yet the Huskies were not intimidated by an early Eagle lead. With BC’s Lexi Bender and Blake Bolden exiled to the penalty box eight minutes into the second frame, Northeastern capitalized on its first five-on-three advantage of the night. Left wing Paige Savage fed a pass near the corner to teammate Brittany Esposito, who fired an equalizer past Boyles. The score was Northeastern’s first of two power-play goals in the period, and catalyzed a scoring barrage that transformed a defensive stalemate into a shootout.

BC’s Emily Pfalzer responded by leading a charge down the ice, dishing the puck behind her for a Melissa Bizzari one-timed slap shot from above the point, putting the Eagles on top 2-1.

Penalties refused to stop haunting BC, however, as another 5-on-3 disadvantage resulted in a backhanded power-play score from Northeastern’s Casey Pickett. Less than a minute later, wing Paige Savage skated through traffic created by Eagle defenders, cleaned up a loose puck, and ripped a line-drive past Boyles for a 3-2 Huskie advantage.

By the time the Eagles woke from their second-period nightmare, they had suffered five penalties and spent a combined 10 minutes in the penalty box. Meanwhile, Northeastern made the most of its opponent’s frequent short-handedness, tallying 10 shots on second-period power plays en route to a 3-1 scoring run.

“[Northeastern] had 13 shots on the penalties and 10 in that second period,” Crowley said of the game’s fateful second frame. “So if you take 10 shots away from 19, it’s a 9-8 game, shots on net. Those were all penalties.

“I just think it’s hard. You’re asking the kids to kill 5-on-3’s and then go and try to score goals too. I just think it gets tough, it gets hard. You get a little tired. That second period, it takes a lot out of a team to kill that many [penalties].”

Despite the Eagles’ penalty-induced collapse, BC battled back midway through the third period after a clutch save by Boyles on a Pickett breakaway. Forward Emily Field skated through a swarm of Huskie defenders and beat Desjardins at the net, single-handedly drawing the Eagles to a 3-3 tie with their opponent.

Yet if the Huskies’ power-play execution couldn’t halt the Eagles, their quick responses on offense did. Just over a minute after Field’s goal, Katie MacSorley snuck the puck past a heavily screened Boyles right in front of the net, giving Northeastern a 4-3 lead it never relinquished.

The Eagles’ valiant effort to draw even once more during the game’s closing minutes fell short, but the resiliency they displayed through penalties and lead changes will be an asset during a late-season run at the Frozen Four. 
“One thing about our team this year is that we never get down when we’re down by a goal or two,” Crowley said. “I think our kids battle pretty well when they’re in that situation. I was really proud of the way they battled back.” 

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