Women's Hockey

Eagles Regain Their Stride, Dominate Connecticut

Just like that, Boston College’s unbeaten streak keeps rolling along.

The University of Connecticut Huskies (7-15-6, 3-9-3 Hockey East) got caught howling at the moon Friday night as BC’s women’s hockey team (27-0-1, 18-0-0 Hockey East) skated to a 6-0 victory.

Strong offensive play and relentless attacks on Husky goaltenders Elaine Chuli and Annie Belanger were the key to BC’s play, and a lack of playmaking from the Husky forwards added to Connecticut’s woes.

At the 11th minute, BC struck hard. With an excellent series of passes that highlighted BC’s offensive play for the night, Emily Field passed the puck across the front of the crease to linemate Andie Anastos, who, looking upon a nearly wide-open net, drilled the puck into the top corner of the net.

Anastos’ first goal of the night epitomized BC’s play for the next 50 minutes: defensive break-ups in the neutral zone followed by good passing discipline led to major offensive pressure.

The next goal wouldn’t wait another 10 minutes to be scored but came instead in five minutes time. BC stuck to the same gameplay strategy and generated a multitude of scoring chances, this one coming from senior Kate Leary.

Leary held off on the passing across the net, instead coming around the back of the net, pulling the puck over to the opposite side of the net herself before firing a quick shot above and past the goaltender.

Leary’s 16th goal of the season was still just the beginning to the Eagles’ scoring. Field, Tori Sullivan, and Emily Pfalzer each scored a goal in the second period on top of the second goal of the night for Anastos at 11:10.

Two of the four second period goals were generated in similar fashions to the first two, but the highlight reel-worthy goal came with just seven seconds left in the second period. Just shy of the end of period horn, Pfalzer hammered the sixth and final nail into Connecticut’s coffin with a power play goal from the point.

Anastos powered past the Husky forwards at the neutral zone and just as her rush reached the Husky defenders, she dropped the puck back to Pfalzer and skated through to set a screen on the goalie. Pfalzer took the puck at the top of the circle and immediately blasted it back towards the goal. The puck fired off of her stick and whistled past Chuli.

When the players took the ice in the third, it was clear that Huskies had changed their defensive strategy. Unfortunately for UConn, it wouldn’t be enough to generate any serious offensive pressure.

The puck remained primarily in Connecticut’s own zone for the majority of the period, when BC amassed another nine shots for a game total of 40. Despite this, the Eagles seemed to struggle a bit more getting the puck to the net as the Huskies began to play an even more defensive containment strategy, pushing BC’s flying forwards out to the boards and behind the net.

BC continued to execute an offensive passing cycle beautifully, but three third period penalties would make it difficult to capitalize.

The Eagles have rather noticeably struggled in the discipline department in the third period. The third line received two penalties in the middle of the third, and Field sat for two minutes for interference late in the 17th minute.

It seems as if the Eagles’ knack for third period penalties is the only chink in their otherwise impenetrable armor. BC was keen to keep play out of its zone. Freshman goaltender Katie Burt amassed a mere 19 saves on the night, which was good enough to secure her seventh shutout of the season, securing her position as the second BC goaltender to have earned seven shutouts in one season.

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

February 7, 2015

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