Top Story, Women's Hockey

Burt Makes History, BC Clinches Hockey East Regular-Season Title at Providence

While Boston College women’s hockey’s 3-2 win at Providence on Saturday afternoon marks its 17th conference victory of the year, effectively clinching the Hockey East regular-season title, the Eagles’ triumph extends beyond this season. Earning her 115th career win, goaltender Katie Burt one-upped Minnesota’s Noora Rӓty and became the NCAA’s all-time winningest netminder.

No. 2 BC (24-2-3, 17-1-3 Hockey East) kicked off the first period with an immediate offensive burst. Senior Kenzie Kent and freshman Maegan Beres broke through the No. 10 Friars’ (14-9-6, 10-5-4) defense, as Beres skated around the back of the net and slotted the puck to an open Kent in front, whose shot barely missed wide.

The next several minutes featured multiple chances for Providence, but it wasn’t long before the Eagles got back in the swing of things—oddly enough, right after picking up their first penalty: Once junior Makenna Newkirk was sat down for sending the Friars’ Brooke Boquist airborne, BC began to create more goal-scoring opportunities, forcing Providence goaltender Madison Myers to make save after save. Even though the first period ended scoreless, the Eagles outshot the Friars, 11-8.

The second period started with a bang: Just 1:48 into the frame, sophomore Caitrin Lonergan put the Eagles up, 1-0, with a shot from the high slot on the power play, assisted by Serena Sommerfield and Caroline Ross.

Less than three minutes after the first scoring play of the game, freshman Daryl Watts earned BC a 2-0 lead, logging her third shorthanded goal of the season. Watts intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and slid the puck past Myers for the Eagles’ second goal.  

Yet the game was far from over. In fact, the Friars gave BC a scare late in the frame. Providence sophomore Avery Fransoo whipped a shot on net, but Burt was there to make the stop, covering the puck in the crease. The officials initially blew the whistle for a faceoff, but then reviewed the play to see whether or not the puck crossed the goal line. After the referees upheld the call, the second period continued and came to a close with the Eagles winning by two.

Because of penalties toward the end of the second frame, the final period began with each team down two players. Just as a BC penalty expired, 17 seconds following the second intermission, Providence’s junior Christina Putigna cut the lead to one with a backhander.

With just over 13 minutes left in the period, BC sophomore Erin Connolly was sent to the box for tripping. Soon after, Lonergan joined her for a hooking, giving the Friars a 5-on-3 advantage for 44 seconds. Once Connolly’s penalty expired, freshman Chloe Gonsalves tied up the game with a goal from the high point on the power play.

The Eagles responded with numerous attempts to reclaim the lead with breakaways and tic-tac-toe passing by Kent, Beres, and Connolly, yet not a single Eagle could find the back of the net. Finally, with less than four minutes to play, Watts scored the third and final goal of the game on the power play. Toni Ann Miano relayed the puck to Kent, who then connected with the freshman for the game-winner.

The final minutes of the frame were nothing short of hectic. With penalties being called left and right, Providence had a 6-on-4 advantage with 2:17 left, which eventually became a 4-on-4 match with about a minute and a half remaining. As the game came to a close, the Friars pulled Myers out of the goal, hoping to equalize in the final seconds. Fittingly, Burt and Co. held down the fort, securing the series sweep and the goaltender’s monumental victory.

Whether or not the Eagles win the national championship this season, or even make their fourth-straight Frozen Four, it’s safe to say that Burt will have achieved college hockey immortality.

Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / Heights Staff

January 27, 2018

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