Women's Hockey

Eagles Ride Early Momentum to Decisive Victory Over Maine

Boston College women’s hockey came into its game against Maine looking to continue its unbeaten streak to start the season. The Eagles eyed more offense after a close call against Boston University in which they only managed 18 shots to BU’s 46, but still managed to win the game. Fortunately for the Eagles, their offense would be dominant in the game, scoring six times in the first two periods to give them a 7-2 win over the Black Bears.

The game started slow offensively, with neither team getting any close chances. The Eagles were given a chance to take the momentum when Catherine Tufts was called for tripping, giving them a power play less than four minutes into the game. One minute into the power play, Daryl Watts carried the puck into the offensive zone and sent a pass through the slot to Makenna Newkirk, who redirected it behind Maine goaltender Loryn Porter to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The goal sparked BC’s offense, which quickly generated several chances following the powerplay, forcing Porter to make a couple tough saves. These chances finally led to another goal when Toni Ann Miano took the puck to the bottom of the faceoff circle and fired it just past the side of Porter.

Only 30 seconds later, Caroline Ross launched a shot from the point that was deflected away from the net and onto the stick of Ryan Little, who had a wide open net and converted on the chance to put the Eagles up 3-0 on her first goal of the season. The Eagles were relentless, continuing to pile on chances. Only a minute after Little’s goal, Caitrin Lonergan blew past the Maine defenders on a breakaway and seemingly scored to make it 4-0. However, the goal was waved off because Lonergan collided with the goalie before the puck went in. Even though the goal was waved, the Black Bears decided to take Porter out of the game, replacing her with senior goaltender Carly Jackson. Porter, who finished with 7 saves and 3 goals allowed, was making her second career start.

Shortly after the goal reversal, BC faced another challenge when Kenzie Kent was called for slashing, giving Maine its first power play of the game. The Eagles were up to the challenge, allowing only one shot before getting the puck into the offensive zone and drawing a penalty of their own. Maine was called for another penalty during the four-on-four, giving the Eagles a four-on-three power play that quickly became a five-on-three. Maine’s penalty kill was stronger this time around, only allowing two shots to find their way to Jackson.

While Maine was able to suppress BC’s offense, it would not be denied for long. With five and a half minutes remaining in the first period, Lonergan dangled the puck through the front of the net and sent it to the side of Jackson, where Watts was waiting to tip it in. As the period wound down, the Black Bears were given another power play opportunity. The Black Bears nearly scored off the faceoff, but Burt managed to snag the puck with her glove. Maine failed to create any further chances on the power play, and BC also failed to convert on a late power play, as the first period ended with BC up 4-0.

The Eagles were not done yet, though. BC came out in the second period stifling any offensive chances Maine tried to generate. Maine failed to register a shot on goal for the first six minutes of the period. The Eagles extended their lead early in the second when Newkirk took the puck behind the net and fed it to Watts in front, who slipped it past Jackson. The goal was the second of the night for Watts, who has been dominant offensively in her freshman season. Watts has 10 goals and 11 assists in seven games this year, making her the leader of the NCAA in points and goals. After the game, Watts credited her success so far to her teammates.

“I give all my credit to my linemates and just my teammates, they’ve helped me out so much,” she said. “They just make it easy because they’re so good.”

Once again, the Eagles followed up one goal by immediately scoring another. Erin Connolly rushed the puck into the zone shortly after the faceoff, and crossed the puck over to Maegan Beres. Beres deflected the puck perfectly into the net, putting the Eagles up 6-0 with more than half of the game remaining. The rest of the game was much slower-paced, as the Eagles had already built a significant lead. The Black Bears found their way on the board almost 14 minutes into the second, when Lydia Murray buried a rebound past Burt.

The remainder of the period was scoreless, and BC entered the final period with a five goal lead. The Eagles would briefly extend this lead in the third period when Lonergan fired her seventh goal of the season past Jackson. This extended lead was only short-lived, as Tufts found the back of the net three minutes later to decrease the deficit to five goals. The Eagles refused to let their lead slip any further. Head coach Katie Crowley was happy with her team’s dominant offensive performance.

“After a game like yesterday, one of the things that we wanted to do was come out hard and come out fast and strong and find a way to put a few in that first period,” she said. “I was really happy with the start of our game and how we finished too, I thought we played great.”

Featured Image by Jake Evans / Heights Staff

October 29, 2017