Women's Hockey

Meghan Grieves Lifts Women’s Hockey Over Rival Harvard

Wins come easy for Boston College women’s hockey. With 24 victories this season under its belt, BC (24-0-0, 16-0-0 Hockey East) has demonstrated its methodical path to a win: strong defense, a wall of a goalie, and fast-paced offense. A first-period goal to start it off, an obligatory point from Alex Carpenter (with an assist by Haley Skarupa), and a few more shots chipped in to seal the deal. It’s almost a formula.

That formula was tested when they faced Harvard University, the last team the Eagles lost to—way back on Mar. 21, 2015. In the 2-0 win against the Crimson (10-7-1, 7-5-1 ECAC), BC’s goals came from the third line, with no points earned by Skarupa and Carpenter. In addition, Harvard’s offense tried to chip away at goalie Katie Burt, hitting her with far more shots than she is used to seeing.

The Crimson staved off an offensive strike by the Eagles until halfway through the first period. When third-line forward Tori Sullivan skated up the ice and shot at the net, it was deflected by Harvard goalie Emerance Maschmeyer, the player who shut down BC’s win streak last season. Meghan Grieves took advantage of the disoriented goalkeeper and snuck in her own shot, giving BC the lead.

Later, nearing the end of the second period, Grieves and Sullivan partnered for another goal that would rival a Skarupa-Carpenter collaboration. After a pass from Sullivan, Grieves streaked toward the net, backhanding the puck past Maschmeyer to add some insurance.

Unlike BC’s match against Merrimack College Jan. 17, in which the Warriors took eight shots, Harvard managed 29 against Burt. The goalie, who is not used to having so many shots on her, could have cracked under the pressure of lack of practice, but remained constant, giving the Crimson little leeway to sneak one in. BC was also cut off offensively, notching 38 shots, which is slightly under the team’s average of 41.6, and a stark contrast to the 55 it put up against Merrimack.

While extending their spotless record against a storied rival is reason enough to celebrate, the Eagles also accomplished several other milestones. Burt, in her 55th start with the team, reached 50 wins, becoming the youngest and quickest person to do so at 18 years and 358 days. She has given up 20 goals in the 20 games she has appeared in this season, earning her a .953 save percentage—just behind Ann-Renee Desbiens of University of Wisconsin’s .961.

Facing Harvard on the road hasn’t been easy for the Eagles. The victory is just the second in BC’s history at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center, with the last being on Valentine’s Day 2006. That win set a fire under the Eagles, who have gone 10-4-1 against the Crimson since that day, a far cry from the 1-21-0 record that BC maintained in the rivalry from its inception in 1996 to Feb. 13, 2006.

Though the number of goals scored in the game is one of the lowest for the Eagles this season, the victory shows a team that has evolved from last season. BC’s defeats against Harvard had scores of 3-2 and 2-1. With her ninth shutout of the season, Burt has demonstrated her ability to kill off any team’s offense, and the two goals from the third line prove that every Eagle has the scoring power to put the team on the winning side. If it all comes down to one goal in a meeting against Harvard again, it could very well be in BC’s favor.

Featured Image by Michael Sullivan / Heights Editor

January 20, 2016