As Boston College women’s hockey and Boston University stood along the goal lines waiting for the Battle of Comm. Ave to begin, tension filled the air. The Terriers hit their sticks against the ice together down the line, preparing for battle against their crosstown rival.
After dropping out of the top 15 of the national rankings after its series against Penn State, Friday’s matchup was a must-win game for the Eagles (4–2–1, 3–0–0 Hockey East). Despite the intimidation from the Terriers (2–3–0, 1–2–0) before puck drop, BC dominated, shutting out BU 3–0.
“We’ve talked about how big these two games are for us,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “You know, they’re league points that are a big deal, and you can’t win both if you don’t win the first. So it was definitely a big energy game for us.”
The Eagles struck first just 10 minutes into the first period. Olivia O’Brien made a breakaway and scored a goal on a rebound off her own shot to put BC out in front.
The Eagles were in control early in the game. They gave up a few breakaways but, for the most part, maintained possession of the puck.
Officials awarded BC the first power play of the night after a penalty for interference on BU’s Brooke Ersoy. The Eagles struggled to capitalize on the power play, a theme that continued to occur throughout the game. They had difficulty keeping the puck in the offensive zone and failed to capitalize.
The successful penalty kill gave BU more confidence, and the Terriers began putting more pressure on BC’s defense. Despite being down 1–0 heading into the first intermission, the Terriers gained momentum in the final six minutes of the first frame.
The Terriers started off the second period with the same energy they ended the first with, keeping the puck in BC’s defensive zone and generating scoring opportunities. BC earned its second power play of the day after a holding penalty, but it only lasted 20 seconds before O’Brien got called for cross-checking, resulting in a four-on-four scenario.
BC goalkeeper Abigail Levy helped maintain the Eagles’ lead and finished the night with 29 saves.
After the second period, BC remained up 1–0 and held a 44–30 shot advantage, including 24–16 in shots on goal.
BC started the third period with intensity, winning faceoffs and moving the puck in the offensive zone. This aggression paid off, as Abby Newhook scored for the Eagles 21 seconds into the third period after a faceoff in the offensive zone to put the Eagles up 2–0.
The Eagles carried their momentum throughout the rest of the game. After officials handed Keri Clougherty a penalty for tripping, BC killed the penalty, preventing BU from controlling the puck by getting breakaways.
BC increased its lead to 3–0 with just over 11 minutes left in the game on a goal by O’Brien, her second of the day.
Even though officials called two more penalties on BC, including one with under three minutes to play, Levy and the Eagles remained effective at killing the penalties.
“It’d be another battle tomorrow now being at their rink, and, you know, we’ll have to bring that same energy we brought,” Crowley said. “And hopefully we can pop a few in again tomorrow.”