In its last game against St. Lawrence University, the Boston College women’s hockey team struggled to finish its opportunities in a 2-2 tie. The team dominated puck possession, crushed the Saints in the shot count, and spent great lengths of time in the offensive zone. BC’s scorers just couldn’t come up with the goals they needed to pull ahead.
This time around, that wouldn’t be a problem.
Fueled by two early first period goals, the Eagles bounced back with an impressive all-around performance to defeat the University of New Hampshire 4-0 in Durham. The victory came in BC’s first Hockey East contest of the season.
The No. 4 Eagles came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, putting the pressure on the Wildcats and forcing mistakes. Defenseman Lexi Bender scored an unassisted goal three minutes into the game to put the Eagles ahead quickly. It was her fourth goal of the year, tying her with Alex Carpenter to lead all BC players.
With 11 minutes remaining in the first, freshman forward Kenzie Kerr took a pass from Haley Skarupa and put the puck past UNH goalie Vilma Vaattovaara to give the Eagles a commanding 2-0 lead. Carpenter also assisted on the play.
With that assist, Skarupa gained entrance into the 100-point club, notching 52 goals and 48 assists in her career.
The Eagles controlled the pace against the Wildcats throughout the contest. Despite not finding the twine during the rest of the first period, they had multiple good chances. Entering the locker room during the first intermission, the Eagles held a cool 2-0 lead.
The second period was characterized by penalties, though neither team could capitalize on its powerplay chances. Six players found themselves in the box during the second period alone, with the penalty-killing unit coming out on top every time.
BC’s best defense during this game was a good offense, which kept the puck out of its own zone to keep the load light for freshman netminder Katie Burt. The young goalie wasn’t challenged frequently, but she was able to turn away the shots she faced with confidence. Although BC could not add another goal to its total, it went into the final 20 minutes with a strong hold on the lead.
The Eagles were finally able to convert on the powerplay after a penalty call on UNH’s Hannah Armstrong for hitting after the whistle. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the third, Carpenter beat Vaattovaara on the man-advantage to solidify the Eagles’ lead. BC would finish one-for-six on the powerplay for the game, while UNH didn’t score on any of its six chances playing with a woman up.
Just a minute later, BC put the nail in the Wildcats’ coffin on a quick goal from sophomore forward Haley McLean. Megan Keller and Andie Anastos provided the helpers on the Eagles’ fourth tally.
Despite late pressure from UNH, the Eagles, anchored by Burt, were able to hold on to shut out the hosts. Burt stopped all 21 shots that came her way, giving BC its first shutout of this short season.
The Eagles were able to double the Wildcats’ shot output, leading 42-21. With the victory, the Eagles (3-0-1, 1-0 WHEA) remain undefeated, while the loss drops UNH to 2-4-1, with two Hockey East losses.
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor