Top Story, Women's Hockey

Women’s Hockey Bound for Beanpot Final in Rout of Harvard

BOSTON — The groundhog may have predicted an early start to spring, but as Boston College women’s hockey showed Feb. 2, revenge is a dish best served cold.

In the championship game of the 2015 Women’s Beanpot, Harvard University defeated the Eagles, ending their 29-game undefeated streak and denying them the title of Beanpot champions. Harvard goalie Emerance Maschmeyer only let in two goals, one from Haley Skarupa and another by Andie Anastos. BC’s offense was stifled by the Crimson defense, only having a total of 32 shots on net for the entire game. Captain Alex Carpenter was as well—she had a stunning total of three shots. The Crimson, led by Maschmeyer, later defeated the Eagles in the NCAA Women’s Hockey semifinals. The game that knocked BC out of the running for the National Championship was decided in the third period. BC outshot Harvard in the game, but its offense could not figure out Harvard’s star goaltender.

This year, the Eagles eliminated any doubt caused by last year’s game and were prepared for the Crimson.

“They were on us right off the bat and we weren’t ready for them,” Harvard head coach Katey Stone said.

BC (28-0-0, 19-0-0 Hockey East) advanced to the championship game of the Women’s Beanpot with a first round final score of 8-0 against Harvard (12-9-1, 9-6-1 Eastern College Athletic). This game also marked Katie Burt’s 10th shutout of the season.

The Eagles took control of the game as soon as the buzzer sounded for the start of the first period, seamlessly cycling the puck up to Harvard’s zone. BC’s defensive coverage kept the game in Harvard’s zone, and any play the Crimson had in the Eagles’ zone was kept away from the front of the net. About four minutes into the period, Meghan Grieves took a shot at Maschmeyer out from the blue line. A rebound made its way to Tori Sullivan, who tipped the puck just to the right of Maschmeyer 17 seconds later.

Then, the floodgates opened, and Maschmeyer was not enough to hold the Eagles back.

A little more than a minute later, a shot from the same spot on the blue line was released from Kaliya Johnson’s stick. Maschmeyer couldn’t see the play because defenders were screening her, and the puck slipped past to give the Eagles a two-goal lead. Sullivan then struck again at 8:09 into the period, when Maschmeyer let the puck slide across the front of the crease and into the net.

While it would take eight more minutes for BC to score again, the Eagles’ defense was relentless. It won several battles from behind the blue line and kept Harvard from the center lane in front of the goal. The Eagles’ offensive unit smoothly passed to each other, and it seemed as though where one player left off, another would take her place.

“It’s definitely reassuring knowing we have Katie [Burt] back there, but at the same time I think we’re looking to play all three zones,” Carpenter said after the game. “So, you know, we have her back there but I think our defense, Megan [Keller] leading the way, plays a big role in playing all three zones.”

More than halfway through the first, Harvard almost had a breakaway starting at the Eagles’ blue line. It was soon taken away by Megan Keller, who would then turn around and score her first of the game. BC then closed out the period with a goal from Carpenter with about one minute left.

The second period began, but with a slight difference. In a game predicted to be dominated by goaltending talent, Harvard’s Maschmeyer was replaced by back-up goalie Brianna Laing, sister of professional women’s hockey player Denna Laing. Her replacement would remain for the rest of the game, but Laing in no way could stop the damage already inflicted by the Eagles.

Harvard gained more traction in the second by aggressively attempting to get the puck on net. Laing stepped up to the plate, keeping the game as close as it could be. Five minutes into the period, however, Dana Trivigno skated down the left side of the ice unguarded and passed to Lexi Bender in front of the net. Bender then poked the puck past Laing, bringing the Eagles up 6-0. Keller went to score her second goal at 8:20 into the period, sending a shot from out wide past the glove side of Laing. A touchdown and an extra point.

Almost halfway into the second, Harvard received the first penalty of the game—Nikki Friesen for body checking. While the Crimson defense rallied to kill the penalty, its offense could not generate energy on the other end of the ice. The Eagles kept the Crimson away from the front of the net, giving Burt easy saves.

The third period was much quieter for both teams. BC’s offense had a less rigorous attack, but its defense continued to prevent any opportunities from Harvard. Carpenter brought the final score of the game to 8-0 halfway into the period, giving her 124 career goals. That breaks Brian Gionta’s record for goals by a BC player, male or female.

But in the end, another record for Carpenter didn’t really matter because she got what she (and the team) really wanted—a win and revenge on the Crimson.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

February 2, 2016