WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BU Takes Down BC In Opener
Published: Saturday, October 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Seeking redemption after a heartbreaking exit from the Frozen Four last year, the No. 4 Boston College women’s hockey team faced off against archrival No. 6 Boston University in its first game of the 2012 season.
Head coach Katie King Crowley’s Eagles took the ice on Kelley Rink Friday night with their highest preseason rank in team history. Yet BC’s accolades and hard-fought effort fell short in a 4-2 loss to the Terriers.
“Overall, I thought it was a good first game for us,” Crowley said of her squad’s effort. “And [BU] is a good team, so we knew coming in that it was going to be a tough matchup and a good matchup. I think it was two-way hockey, which is what you’re looking for in our league.”
Both teams came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, showing no lack of aggressiveness after a long offseason. The Terriers’ offensive attack put consistent pressure on the BC goalie Corinne Boyles early, with their efforts culminating in a goal from defenseman Shannon Stoneburgh less than three minutes into the first period.
Despite unrelenting attacks on the net and four power-play opportunities, BU failed put any more pucks past Boyles in the frame. Crowley recognized that the early back-and-forth grudge match displayed the trademark resiliency BC needed in order to get back into the game.
“I thought in that first period we had some first-game jitters, and then we started to kind of play, I thought, a little bit better.”
As soon as the second period started, it was clear that the Eagles had left any jitters they had brought along with them into the contest far behind them in the locker room. BC found itself in a struggle for the puck in front of the opposition’s net a few minutes in, and capitalized when sophomore forward Emily Field flicked a shot past Terrier goalie Kerrin Sperry to tie the game at one.
Fired up after their first goal of the season, the Eagles quickly struck again when senior Ashley Motherwell perfectly played a sharp rebound in front of the BU crease and netted a power-play goal of her own to put BC on top for the first time in the game.
Though the Terriers would match the Eagles’ scoring volley with a breakaway goal from Sarah Lefort before the second intermission, BC’s offense had already showed off its high-scoring potential.
“In that second period … I thought offensively we were really good,” Crowley remarked. “I thought we put a lot of pucks to the net, had people going to the net. I thought we did a lot more offensively, and I think we can be very dangerous down there.”
Yet the third period served as an insurmountable obstacle to the Eagles’ run against BU. After preventing BC from setting up close-range opportunities on goal, Lefort led the Terrier charge with a breakaway that resulted in the game’s go-ahead score and a permanent BU lead. Before the smoke cleared, the Terriers’ Jordan Juron also beat Boyles for an insurance goal, putting another damper in a solid 24-save night. A number of two-on-ones gave BC’s defense no room to breathe as it tried to keep the game in reach. After the final horn sounded and the Eagles walked away empty-handed from a 4-2 defeat, the third period stood as a missed opportunity.
“I think we had just a few breakdowns,” Crowley said, “and a team like [BU]–a team in the top 10 in the country–is going to capitalize on that.”
While a victory over a cross-town foe would’ve been an electrifying way to ring in the new season, Crowley and the Eagles are determined to build on the positives and keep their eyes set on the ultimate prize for any team–a championship.
“We’re going to learn from it, and move forward.”