The last time Boston College women’s hockey lost in Hockey East, the newest freshmen didn’t even have college on their radars. They were only 16, after all. In what is an eternity in college athletics, the Eagles had maintained a 52-game in-conference win streak. Until Saturday, that is. Showing its transition year after the loss of six seniors and a handful of new players, BC fell to Maine—a team with a 10-23-2 record last season—on the road after a win against the University of New Hampshire the day before.
After a back-and-forth during the first period, the Eagles (3-2-1, 3-1-1 Hockey East) got their opportunity in the second to put a point on the board. Anna Wright was sent to the penalty box for checking, and BC made quick work of the power play. Freshman phenom Caitrin Lonergan nailed a shot past Carly Jackson to make the score 1-0 Eagles.
It took a few minutes, but the Black Bears (6-0, 1-3-0) evened up the score. Morgan Sakundiak streaked up the side of the ice and faked out Megan Keller in front of the goal, sending her diving to the floor. With Keller out of the way, Sakundiak had a clear shot to put one past Katie Burt. The goal was not a death knell by any means—just the week before, Maine had tied it up only for the Eagles to score again for the win.
Then came the third period.
With only a few minutes on the ice for the third, Maine came out ready to put this one away. Teresa Vasinova barrelled through a defenseman and got back up, charging the goal. Though it didn’t make it in, her shot distracted Burt, who tried to stretch herself to cover the entire goal. Brooke Stacey took hold of the puck and launched it at the net, handing the Black Bears the lead.
BC tied it up yet again with only six minutes remaining in the game. Keller and Toni Ann Miano collaborated for the goal, with Miano scoring her first of the season. But Maine had enough energy for a final goal with 37 seconds left. A hard-hit shot from Brittany Colton made its way past the BC defensemen, and teammate Vendula Pribylova tipped it in for her. The crowd erupted, and the Eagles fell from their lofty position in Hockey East.
Times were easier on Friday, when the Eagles blew out New Hampshire 4-1 at Whittemore Arena—BC’s first time back after being defeated in the NCAA National Championship by the University of Minnesota. The Eagles looked strong on the penalty kill, as seven power plays for UNH (0-5-0, 0-2-0) yielded no goals. When BC received its first true power play nine minutes into the game, however, it capitalized on the opportunity. Keller took a hard shot from behind the faceoff circles that made its way through the Wildcats and Eagles crowding the net, sending BC on its way to a 1-0 lead.
UNH would take time to respond, waiting until the beginning seconds of the second period to make its attack. With the Wildcats line making its way up the ice against BC’s defense, Taylor Wenczkowski, the right wing, made the puck hit twine, leaving Burt to look back at the shot in the net.
The score remained tied for the rest of the second period, until the Eagles unleashed an offensive attack that overwhelmed the Wildcats. Keller tried to do two jobs at once yet again, charging goalie Kyra Smith for another goal. When her shot was deflected, Kristyn Capizzano was there to bury it into the net for her second goal of the season. Later, off of another rebound from the stick of Capizzano, Makenna Newkirk put one in by the left pipe, a sprawled-out Smith unable to prevent it.
With only a minute left in the game, the win was almost guaranteed to go to the Eagles. To put the icing on the cake, Grace Bizal put an empty-netter from behind the blue line for her first goal of the season.
The weekend displayed both the strengths and weaknesses for the Eagles. Though an obvious low to lose to the weakest opponent in Hockey East, BC showed promise in its penalty kill, and in-game experience will only enhance the offensive prowess seen from the freshmen and sophomores.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor