WOMEN'S HOCKEY: No. 2 BC Cruises Past Maine In Opener
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 00:10
The Boston College women’s hockey team lived up to its early preseason rankings in its home opener on Sunday against the University of Maine. In the Hockey East matchup, the Black Bears tested the Eagles, but not enough to shake up the BC offense that dominated the day with a 5-1 victory.
“Conference games have another amount of importance so it was good to get that one under our belt. We knew going in it was Hockey East and right away, here we go,” said head coach Katie King Crowley. “They’re a team that I think has improved since last year and it gave us a little bit of pressure at times but I thought our kids did a good job.”
The first period started out strong for the Eagles. For the first half of the period, they dominated puck possession and put steady pressure on the Maine defense. The Eagles quickly jumped ahead in the shot count 7-3, then on the eighth shot of the game their efforts paid off as freshman Andie Ansastos scored her first collegiate goal with just under six minutes elapsed in the first frame of play.
It wasn’t until late in the period that the Black Bears showed signs of life on offense, managing to send off more shots and spend more time in the offensive zone, but their efforts were not enough to get a puck past senior goalie Corinne Boyles.
Despite Maine’s added efforts on offense, the Eagles’ persistence paid off and it was in the midst of this slight shift in the balance that the team tallied its second score of the day, this time coming from Lexi Bender. Her goal came with just under three minutes remaining in the period, and both teams played out the rest of the period without scoring.
With a 2-0 lead, the Eagles took the ice after the break with a man advantage that continued over from the first period. The Eagles failed to capitalize on their power play, and it would be the same story throughout the night as the Eagles went only one for five on power plays.
“We’re going to work on our power play a little bit more. It’s always tough to practice—you have pressure but the killers kind of know what you’re doing,” Crowley said. “To practice against a different team is always kind of better—that’s when you get a lot of it going.”
The chances kept coming as the Eagles dominated the shot count with 15 shots on goal to the Black Bears’ three during the second period. It was on one of those many shots that Hayley Skarupa, who was an offensive standout last season, earned her first point of her sophomore year when, 16 minutes into the period, a quick shot from about 20 feet out made its way past Meghann Treacy to make it 3-0 Eagles.
The Black Bears were not going to go down without a fight, and early in the third period, Maine put its first tally on the board with a goal from Brianne Kilgour making the score 3-1 and spoiling Corinne Boyles’ shutout.
“It’s always tough when you don’t face a lot of shots, you can kind of get a little lax back there,” said King Crowley of Boyles’ performance, “but I thought she did a great job staying focused. The one goal was a tough play on the opposite side which led to a goal but I thought she stayed solid for us and did a great job.”
Not letting their deficit slip away, the Eagles quickly responded when another freshman scored her first collegiate goal, as Kristyn Capizzano took advantage of a rebound and restored BC’s lead to three half way through the period.
From there on out, it was all Eagles as Skarupa slipped her second of the game past Treacy off of a shorthanded breakaway.
There were four different scorers on the day, and Crowley was happy to see that diversity on offense after losing a big contributor from last year.
“Its great, obviously, losing Alex Carpenter from last year to this year you look for someone to make up a lot of points and I think its great to see a lot of those kids, a lot of different players, get points,” she said.
Overall, Crowley saw a lot of positives come from the game.
“The first game you always think there are going to be jitters and kind of a bit of nerves,” Crowley said, “but I thought our kids got rid of those pretty quickly and really got going into the flow of the game, and I thought overall it was a pretty good game.”