The tables have turned for Boston College women’s hockey, as one weekend ago, it was the Eagles who swept the home-and-home series against New Hampshire. But this weekend, the Eagles were on the wrong side of the sweep.
Providence (3-0-1) strung together six goals over the course of two games to take down the Eagles (2-2) two nights in a row, once at home, and once away. Funnily enough, the two games played out in strikingly similar ways, each resulting in a 3-2 final score in the Friars’ favor. What was different for the Eagles on Saturday, though, was that BC found its way to a lead in the second period, only to fall after Providence turned up the heat in the final frame.
Although the Eagles will return to Chestnut Hill with two ticks in the loss column, the latter of the two games displayed some particularly bright spots for the Eagles. BC outshot Providence 34-20 and killed off eight minutes worth of penalties. Plus, through four games, the Eagles have had eight different players find the back of the net, a testament to the depth of BC’s bench.
Leading the shooting charge was Hannah Bilka, who peppered Providence netminder Sandra Abstreiter with a team-high seven shots, though Abstreiter was a wall in goal and turned away all seven of Bilka’s attempts.
Even considering BC’s offensive efficiency, it was Providence which got on the board first. Just over a minute into play, Lindsay Bochna drove to the net and poked a backhanded shot past BC netminder Kelly Pickreign. The goal marked not only the freshman’s first tally of her collegiate career, but her first shot in the first game of her collegiate career.
That 1-0 lead held all the way through the remaining 19 minutes of the first period despite a power play for BC just two minutes later. Lauren DeBlois went to the box, and the Eagles fired four shots on Abstreiter during the five-on-four opportunity to no avail.
In a similar fashion to the game’s opening goal, after the first intermission, BC’s equalizer came just minutes into the second period. Hadley Hartmetz notched her first tally of the year five minutes into the second frame. Hartmetz’s shot from the blue line took a bounce off of Abstreiter’s pads and deflected just across the goal line to even the score at one apiece.
BC took its first lead since Friday’s opening minutes when Savannah Norcross tapped in a goal with 43 seconds left in the middle frame. Norcross fought through a crowd of both Friars and Eagles in the crease before beating Abstreiter to her right side. With her third goal of the season, Norcross has now scored in three consecutive games for the Eagles.
As was the case all night long, the first few moments of the final frame were critical in the outcome of the game. BC’s lead was short lived, as Providence equalized just 48 seconds into the final period. Sara Hjalmarsson showed off some fancy stick work to navigate around a BC defender and slip the puck past Pickreign, tying the score at 2-2.
A BC player went to the box three times in the final 12 minutes of play, giving the Friars ample opportunity to put pressure on Pickreign. One of BC’s trips to the box was a result of offsetting roughing penalties, making it a four-on-four game, but Maegan Beres and Alexie Guay each went to the box in the final 10 minutes, giving Providence two chances with a man advantage.
It took until the second power play for the Friars to find the net, as DeBlois’s slap shot put Providence up 3-2 with around six minutes to play.
That lead held through the final whistle, even after head coach Katie Crowley pulled Pickreign with a minute and a half to go, putting the Eagles in a six-on-five opportunity, but the Friars played lockdown defense and held onto a win at home.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics