Amid an imperfect season, Boston College women’s hockey closed out the weekend with a near-perfect series sweep.
BC (12–11, 10–8 Hockey East) employed much of the same recipe as it had in its Nov. 19 win over Holy Cross with a 4–1 win over the Crusaders (3–20, 1–17 Atlantic Hockey) on Friday, followed by another in Saturday’s 3–1 win on the road.
Back in November, the forward tandem of Abby Newhook and senior captain Kelly Browne combined for four of the team’s nine total points, contributing to every goal scored on 10 combined shots.
In both games this weekend, the duo rifled shots from all pockets of the ice once again.
Newhook, Alexie Guay, and Sidney Fess each scored a goal Saturday, and Browne notched two assists for her 14th career multi-assist game and 25th career multi-point game.
With just under seven minutes to play in the opening frame on Saturday, Fess netted her second of the year on a stifling wrist shot that snuck by Holy Cross goaltender Jada Brenon.
Newhook sealed the contest with her sixth game-winning goal of the year, becoming the first Hockey East rookie to score at least six game-winning goals in a season since Boston University’s Sarah Lefort did so in the 2012–13 season.
Guay gave BC a 3–0 lead in the third before the Crusaders scored just 90 seconds later on a power-play goal.
Defensively, BC goaltender Abigail Levy shined in net Saturday, making 23 saves on 24 shots faced. She is one of 19 goaltenders named to the 2022 National Women’s Goalie of the Year Award watch list.
Newhook and Browne’s weekend dominance began on Friday, though. In the first game of the series, Browne tallied three assists to become the 21st player in program history to reach 100 career points. Willow Corson, Hannah Bilka, Guay, and Newhook combined for BC’s four goals.
Despite a 33–28 lead in shots on goal, the Crusaders went 0-for-4 on the power play. The Eagles fared slightly better with the odd-man advantage, going 1-for-3.
“I thought they came out right away with energy, and I thought they were really getting some scoring opportunities and finding ways to put some in,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said of her players in her postgame press conference on Friday. “I think they just had a little more energy and were fired up to score today.”
BC’s power-play goal came late in the second period, when the Eagles had the puck deep in the Crusaders’ defensive zone. In a triangle setup, Browne sent a puck to Guay in the center lane which was redirected to Michaela Boyle.
Boyle slid it back to Browne, who then tipped the puck to Guay to let it rip past the glove-side reach of Brenon.
After Holy Cross cut the deficit to two on a breakaway shot from forward Bailey Bennett, BC retained its three-goal lead in similar fashion.
Bilka took the puck off a leaping Browne’s stick and bounced it off a Crusader skate to set up a breakaway chance of her own. Crashing down low, Bilka, in one swooping motion, potted the final goal through Brenon’s fivehole on a forehand-backhand finish.
BC goaltender Kelly Pickreign got the start Saturday in place of Levy. Despite Friday marking her start of the season, her play was in mid-season form with 32 saves on the night.
“Pickreign’s ready every day—that’s something that I know was a goal of hers: to be ready when it was her turn,” Crowley said. “She did everything she could to keep that puck out, and when we take chances offensively, sometimes we give up those defensive opportunities, and she was there to help us.”
Feature Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff