For the second day in a row, Boston College women’s hockey found itself leading Connecticut 2-0 early on into the game. Despite the cushiony lead, just about five minutes into the second period, UConn had the chance to cut the deficit in half. UConn forward Kate Klassen was all alone on a breakaway, but BC goaltender Abigail Levy made a point-blank glove save to deny her the goal.
Throughout the game, Levy put her team on her back, and she was a brick wall in net all day long in route to a 4-0 victory for the No. 7 Eagles (12-3) over the Huskies (5-9-1), her first shutout in a BC uniform.
“She stayed calm,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said of Levy in her postgame press conference. “I thought she did a really good job of holding on to no goals. I was really impressed with how she played today.”
Like they did in yesterday’s matchup, the Eagles got on the score sheet early in the first period. Kelly Browne completed a perfect touch pass to Savannah Norcross in the slot, who wristed a shot past UConn netminder Samantha Carpentier-Yelle for her eighth goal of the season.
Following the goal, the Eagles generated strong offensive pressure in the Huskies’ end and quickly doubled their lead. Sophomore defenseman Alexie Guay joined the offensive rush and deflected Willow Corson’s shot into the back of the net to give BC the two-goal advantage.
The second period passed without a goal, but not without fanfare. Neither team lit the lamp despite each having a chance on the power play. The Huskies outshot the Eagles, but Levy stood tall, making save after save on all different kinds of chances on top of her marquee breakaway save. She finished with 33 saves on the day.
Levy’s biggest test came with 6:36 remaining in the game, as the Huskies headed to the power play. In a bold coaching decision, UConn pulled Carpentier-Yelle to give themselves a 6-on-4 advantage as they fought to finally get one past Levy.
This decision turned out to be a costly one, as just 13 seconds into the power play, Norcross found the puck and fired it all the way down the ice and into the empty net to ice the victory for the Eagles at 3-0. Norcross—the Eagles’ leading scorer—continued her impressive season with two goals on the day. Just two minutes later, with Carpentier-Yelle still on the sideline, Corson slotted home an empty-net goal of her own to make it 4-0 in favor of the Eagles.
Even though the two score lines may appear very different at first glance, both games of this weekend series between BC and UConn felt very similar. For the second night in a row, UConn outshot BC by a wide margin, but stellar goaltending and timely goal scoring handed the Eagles their eighth win in a row and 12th win overall.
In this untraditional, COVID-19-impacted season, Crowley has been rotating her goalies all season long. Levy, Maddy McArthur—who starred in yesterday’s win—and Kelly Pickreign have all started a share of games this season and each held down key victories for their team.
“We’ve rotated,” Crowley said. “We’ve had kids in and out of the lineup. They push each other, and I think that’s what is making the group of them better as we keep going. They’re a tight-knit group there, and I think they have done a great job.”
What made the victory so impressive was how shorthanded this Eagles team found themselves today. Even with Hannah Bilka and Cayla Barnes, two of yesterday’s goal scorers, and Maegan Beres all out of Sunday’s lineup, the Eagles still picked up the victory.
“They play for each other,” Crowley said. “No one wanted to let anyone down, whether it be the kids out in the stands or the kids out on the ice. They played hard for those kids that weren’t able to play today.”
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor