Entering the quarterfinals of the Hockey East Tournament with a regular-season record of 14-4 and no prior losses to UConn in five meetings, a win for No. 6 Boston College women’s hockey seemed well at hand. Prior to Sunday’s game, the Eagles led the all-time series between the two teams 43-19-10, including the five wins just from this season. As a result, it came as a complete shock when the Huskies (9-9-1) dominated the ice, putting up three goals in the second period, and upsetting the Eagles 5-1.
Despite the loss for BC, 2018 Olympic gold medalist and BC captain Cayla Barnes showcased her talents once again. Barnes has continuously been an invaluable asset to the team both defensively and offensively, registering a team high of 13 points with three goals and 10 assists throughout the regular season. One of her three goals included an overtime winner against Providence on Feb. 13. Her offensive skills shined against UConn on Sunday, as she recorded a season-high four shots, and she scored the Eagles’ lone goal late in the third period.
Late Line Changes
This season, BC head coach Katie Crowley has changed up her lineup quite a bit game after game to find what will work best for the young team, and Sunday was no exception. Facing a 3-0 deficit heading into the third period on Sunday, the Eagles’ scoring struggles became more apparent, and Crowley opted to change up the lines from her usual combinations. Although no scores came out of BC’s efforts, their shot production grew, going from 14 in the second period to 18 in the third.
Full of Hartmetz
BC sophomore defender Hadley Hartmetz has quietly made a name for herself in her second season on Chestnut Hill. Her dynamic skating and aggressive defensive play is evident to anyone who has seen the shifty blueliner play, and her statistics speak volumes about the kind of impact Hartmetz is having on the Eagles’ squad this year. She has the highest plus-minus rating of the Eagles’ skaters with +18 this season. Offensively, she is tied with Kelly Browne in the Hockey East for assists and leads the Eagles’ defenders with 54 shots on goal. She also ranks third on the team in shots blocked with 25, including two against the Huskies on Sunday.
Outlier Game from Levy
BC’s roster features a trio of goaltenders, each with multiple wins this season. The Eagles are one of only two teams in the nation for which that is the case, but Abigail Levy has proven to be the Eagles’ top goalie this season. Prior to Sunday’s game against UConn, her record was 6-2-0 with a save percentage of .959, the second best in the country. Last weekend, she stopped 59 of the 62 shots she faced and earned one shutout win in the Eagles’ two matches against Boston University, her second shutout of the season. On Sunday, she recorded just 21 saves, including several big stops on breakaways. Even so, UConn’s aggressive offense proved too much, and she let five goals slip past, the most she’s allowed this season.
Although the Eagles have shown to be a stronger team than UConn this season, as the Hockey East rankings would dictate, Sunday was not the first occasion in which the Huskies have shocked BC during the postseason. Last year, UConn won both the season series and the playoff series, unfortunately cutting the season short for BC. With the loss, BC’s playoff future is uncertain, and the Eagles will have to keep their fingers crossed for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics