Women's Hockey

Led by Lonergan, Women’s Hockey Pulls Away From New Hampshire

After a dominant season last year, this new season has thrown a lot at Boston College women’s hockey. There have been regular season losses, a thought that would have been unheard of last year. There have been mix ups and different match ups in an attempt to figure out the best line combinations out there. And yet, the Eagles have remained in their familiar spot at the top of their conference. Certainly not where they are playing, when they are playing, or who they are playing, as evidenced by a road win against University of New Hampshire. Despite going down early, the Eagles roared back to score five goals in a row to down the Wildcats, 5-1.

BC (8-3-2, 7-2 Hockey East) was the aggressor early on, keeping the puck in its own offensive zone and keeping the Wildcats out of their own. But it was UNH (3-9, 3-4) who struck first, scoring less than five minutes into the game. Meghara McManus scored an unassisted goal to put the Eagles down early, picking off an attempt from the Eagles to clear the puck and ripping a shot from the faceoff dot. A shot on goal from Ryan Little was reviewed during the first period, but the call on the ice stood and the Eagles remained down one goal. BC had two power plays during the period but could not capitalize on either of them. Despite UNH being up one goal, the Eagles outshot the Wildcats 12-4, a sign of good things to come in the next two periods.

Right on cue, at 5:58 in the second period, on BC’s third power play of the game, Megan Keller gave Caitrin Lonergan a perfect pass that Lonergan one-timed into the goal, finding space between the post and UNH goalie Hilary Cashin. Exactly 1:30 later, Makenna Newkirk’s wrister found the back of the goal after Keller gathered the puck in BC’s offensive zone and passed it to Lonergan. This was BC’s first lead of the game, and the Eagles did not squander it. The Eagles held off two more penalty kills to go into the third period up by one goal.

The third period was arguably the most impressive one the Eagles have displayed this season, as they scored three times to put the game away for good. The period began with Katie Burt making a huge save to keep BC’s slim one-goal lead. At 11:26, Newkirk intercepted a UNH pass and fed the puck to Kristyn Capizzano. Newkirk then raced down the ice and tipped a pass from Capizzano into the back of the net. 32 seconds later, Keller’s pass tipped off of a UNH skater and found Toni Ann Miano who was undefended. Miano effortlessly created the space need for a shot, and beat Cashin to score BC’s fourth goal of the game.

With just under one minute left in the game, Kenzie Kent won the puck after a defensive battle on the boards, and passed to freshman Delaney Belinskas near the blue line. Belinskas skated down into BC’s offensive zone and found the back of the net for BC’s fifth and final goal.

This game was Keller’s first game since Oct. 22, when she went to represent Team USA, and win gold, at the Four Nation’s Cup, and she came back just as good as ever. Keller had three assists in the game, which was her third multiple-point game of the season. Newkirk record her fifth multiple-point game of the season and her second three-point outing in as many games. Miano’s goal was her 50th career point, and she is only the eighth defenseman in BC history to reach the 50 point mark.  

“We came out a little flat, but we were able to finish strong tonight,” Katie Crowley told bceagles.com after the game. I’m really happy that we were able to keep things simple in the third and finish the game playing well.”

Featured Image by Josh Mentzer / Heights Staff

November 12, 2016