Sports, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Late Surge Pushes BC to Victory, Eagles Split Series With BU

In 61 meetings, Boston College women’s hockey and Boston University have never entered the third period scoreless—that is, before Saturday. After 40 long, contentious minutes, it became evident that whoever notched the first goal would win the game, and BC’s Jillian Fey made sure of that fact. 

The Eagles were outplayed and outskated during the first two periods, but that didn’t stop Fey in the third. Picking up a rebound, Fey dragged the puck across BU goalie Corinne Schroeder’s net and utilized her backhand to shatter the game’s goalless drought. 

“[That goal] was huge,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said in her postgame press conference. “She has been able to score some big goals for us this year, and that was another one of them. I think you want more than just one line producing, and that was extremely helpful to have her line produce [a goal].”  

Fey’s goal was the momentum boost the Eagles needed, and it helped No. 6 BC (14-4) to a 2-0 win over crosstown rival BU (6-5). 

“It was a hardworking play, and we only needed to score once, and then once you score that first one you feel a little more comfortable,” Crowley said. 

The Battle of Comm. Ave. began on Oct. 18, 2005 during BU and BC’s first official matchup, and since then the teams have battled a total of 62 times, seven of which were ties. BC holds the series edge 32-23. Recently, however, the Eagles have struggled against the Terriers, and before Saturday they lost the last four games against BU. On Friday night, the Eagles suffered a gut-wrenching loss at Kelley Rink despite an early 2-0 lead, snapping their impressive nine-game win streak. 

Tensions were high in Walter Brown Arena when the puck dropped on Saturday evening. The teams exchanged a couple of penalties early on, but neither team could crack the other’s defense. Abigail Levy, last week’s Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week, was a force to be reckoned with in net for the Eagles, knocking away BU’s Grace Parker’s relentless slap shots. 

“Abby’s done a great job for us,” Crowley said. “… She shut that team out. They’re a potent offense. … They’re very, very dangerous, and I thought she did a really nice job especially in the first period where I didn’t think we [played] our best game. … That really helps a team turn around and go the other way and try to score.” 

Despite a scoreless first period, the energetic Terriers outplayed the lethargic Eagles, who struggled to connect on their passes. An early second-period Terrier penalty gave the Eagles a chance to change the tide of the game, but they struggled on the man advantage, and the Terriers earned their 27th straight penalty kill. 

Minutes later, another 5-on-4 play arose, this time in the Terriers’ favor. Fey went to the box for holding, but after two minutes, the game remained scoreless. 

“I thought [the penalty kill] was great,” Crowley said. “It started from the goaltender out. Abby played really well for us and made some huge saves especially on penalty kills.”

After a scoreless and rather uneventful 40 minutes, the Eagles entered the third period with a sense of urgency. Eighteen seconds after Fey’s momentum-shifting goal, forward duo Hannah Bilka and Kelly Browne earned themselves a quick 2-on-1 chance as they split through the Terriers’ desense. Bilka fired a slap shot through Schroeder’s five-hole, securing her team a two-goal advantage. 

Bilka’s goal didn’t automatically spell victory for the Eagles, however, as back-to-back penalty calls gave the Terriers a late 5-on-3 advantage. BU peppered Levy with shots, but the Eagles proved their penalty kill unit was up for the task. Levy finished the night with 35 saves and her second shutout in maroon and gold. 

“We haven’t had too many 5-on-3s, so to be able to do well in a big game in a situation like that where you are 5-on-3, I thought our players did a great job of keeping them away, limiting their shots, and [finding opportunities] to ice the puck,” Crowley said. “Overall, I thought that’s what it is going to be coming down to through playoffs.”

Featured Image by Leo Wang / Heights Senior Staff

February 21, 2021