Hockey East is back. Boston College women’s hockey is 1-0.
The Eagles triumphantly left the ice with a 6-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire in their first game of the season. BC, ranked No. 3 in the Hockey East preseason rankings, shut down the Wildcats’ offense the entire game and turned in an incredible offensive performance led by four goals from freshman forward Gaby Roy.
“It’s exciting to be out there for a game,” Eagles’ head coach Katie Crowley said. “And what better way than to come out with a win?”
Despite the high scoring, the action did not pick up right away, as the first period ended with zero penalties and zero points.
The second period was much more eventful. Both teams had players sent to the penalty box with 9:57 left in the period, and the Eagles soon gained a 4-3 numbers advantage after New Hampshire had another player sent off. Roy scored the first goal of the night and of her career with 6:35 to go, but the Wildcats responded just over two minutes later as Brianna Brooks scored off an assist from Nicole Kelly.
Tied 1-1, the second period’s action was nowhere close to over. The Eagles were relentless, constantly attacking the New Hampshire net and goalie Ava Boutilier. Eagles’ Willow Corson rebounded a shot attempt from Caroline Goffredo and scored with 4:25 left in the second,
Two minutes later, Roy scored her second goal of the evening after a rebound off a shot from Hadley Hartmetz.
In the third period, penalties and goals were again at a standstill until New Hampshire’s Jada Christian scored on Eagles’ goalie Maddy McArthur with 10:20 on the clock. Roy quickly responded with another goal 39 seconds later, completing a hat trick. After a pass from Eagles’ Olivia O’Brien, Jillian Fey scored on an empty net with 2:45 left, securing the game for BC.
McArthur prevented the Wildcats from scoring again in the final minutes, even after multiple players piled into the goal. New Hampshire, however, could not stop Roy from scoring for the fourth time with 1:03 left in the game.
Savannah Norcross, Kelly Browne, and Hartmetz all logged multiple assists for the Eagles. McArthur totaled 17 saves for the evening, while Boutilier stopped 29 shots.
Coach Crowley said she was extremely happy with how the team played tonight and liked what she saw from everyone, especially after an unpredictable preseason.
“To have that from a young player like Gaby, that’s tremendous for her, and we’ll keep going and keep producing,” she said. “I liked what I saw from the whole team tonight”
The win was especially impressive given that the Eagles have only been practicing as an entire team for two weeks. BC began the year with the team divided into two groups for sessions. Crowley noted that she was particularly proud of the way the team has handled all the uncertainty that has been thrown at them.
“This season you never know what it’s going to be,” Crowley said, acknowledging that the team will have to take the year one step at a time. “Everything’s so different from normal. We as a group want to stay as healthy as we can and play as many games as we can.”
The circumstances of this unusual season have already become too clear for Eagles hockey as a whole, as the men’s team had both of its games against New Hampshire this weekend postponed.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / For The Heights