“It’s a tough one to swallow.”
– BC head coach Katie King Crowley
MINNEAPOLIS—When Harvard forward Miye D’Oench came crashing into Boston College defenseman Emily Pfalzer behind the BC net, it brought back memories of the Beanpot final between the two teams just over a month ago.
In that game at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Center, BC superstar Alex Carpenter gave a little bit of a shove to Harvard’s Kalley Armstrong, who went sprawling into the side boards and landed in a heap on the ice. It was a penalty that sent the Eagles’ best player off the ice for five long minutes, the same sentence as D’Oench—except D’Oench received a game misconduct on top of her major penalty.
Harvard capitalized on its massive opportunity. BC did not.
Harvard won its 14th Beanpot in February. BC did not win on Friday.
In a game characterized by a myriad of missed opportunities, the record-setting season of Boston College (34-3-2, 21-0-1 Hockey East) came to a sudden halt at the hands of Harvard University (27-5-3, 16-4-2 ECAC). Goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer shut down the Eagles in a 2-1 win for the second straight meeting, following her dominant performance in that Beanpot final.
BC’s power play struggled mightily throughout the game, despite being given multiple chances to get something going. Although the Eagles had nine minutes on the man-advantage, they couldn’t score a goal and only mustered up nine shots on net during that time.
Maschmeyer was the clear MVP of the game, making many stunning saves to stonewall the Eagles. She controlled rebounds, slid out to decrease the size of the net for BC attackers, and moved side to side quicker than BC’s forwards could react.
After giving up five goals to the Eagles in late November, Maschmeyer came back with extra fire against BC. She played on a level that no goaltender would have been able to match, taking command of the contests singlehandedly. In two games since the drubbing at Thanksgiving, the sophomore from Alberta saved 63 of 66 BC shots to stymie an otherwise lethal attack.
“Of course I did,” Maschmeyer said, speaking about her added incentive to win. “That 10-2 loss was not a great feeling, so of course there’s extra motivation on that end. We had a lot of fire to us, and a lot of motivation behind that, for sure.”
“We ran into a goalie that made some really great saves on us,” BC head coach Katie King Crowley said, “and we knew that was going to happen.”
King Crowley’s Eagles got pressure on Maschmeyer in the first meeting, rattling her in the early minutes with frequent shots and constant pressure. Once the Eagles put a quick goal in the net, they got to her and snuck a few more in by keeping the pressure on. That didn’t happen on Friday.
BC almost broke through just under a minute and a half into the contest, but the goal was eventually disallowed and wiped off the board. The puck deflected off of Kristyn Capizzano’s skate, and it was determined that she made a kicking motion to put the puck in the net.
“We put one in early (in November), and that’s why I thought that first one that Kristyn had was tough,” King Crowley said. “We got to Maschmeyer in that first game because we put a lot of pressure on her and after you put one in, you can get to her. We couldn’t put one in early today.”
BC freshman goaltender Katie Burt gave up two uncharacteristically bad goals, one of the first signs of weakness in the dynamic freshman’s college career. The first was a soft knuckler from Armstrong that somehow managed to sneak through Burt’s five-hole, while the second went in as bodies came crashing in around Burt after a soft shot on the penalty kill from Mary Parker.
It was the 18-year-old’s third loss of the season, and she has been in net for the Eagles in 35 of their 39 games in 2014-2015.
So that wraps up an otherwise stellar season for the BC women, who swung and missed on all three of their chances for a trophy this season—Beanpot, the Hockey East Championship, and now the National Championship. Although the Eagles are done for the year, King Crowley liked what she saw from her team.
“I’m extremely proud of the season that our team had, what our players have done for our program and where they’ve brought our program,” King Crowley said. “They’ve done a tremendous job, and this one is tough to swallow.”
Throughout the season, BC struggled mightily playing its local rivals after the first meeting. The Eagles beat Boston University their first two showdowns, but followed up two clutch wins with a tie on the road and a loss in the Hockey East Championship.
While it is nice to think about all the wins that BC had this season, it is hard not to dwell on the losses. The Eagles had to face both of its Kryptonites—Boston schools and repeat opponents—in Harvard on Friday, and the challenge appeared to be too much for them.
But had the Eagles faced a different goaltender, gotten a different bounce on Armstrong’s one-in-a-thousand goal, or tucked one home on the man-advantage, they wouldn’t be on a flight back to Boston one day too early.
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor