With its leading scorer Hannah Bilka and third leading scorer Kate Ham out of the lineup with injuries, Boston College women’s hockey faced a considerable gap in its offense when Holy Cross came to town Saturday.
But sophomore forward Katie Pyne was there to fill that gap.
Pyne stepped into the spotlight on Saturday against Holy Cross (2–17–1, 1–13–0 Hockey East), earning her first career two-goal game. Following a slow first period (11–7–1, 9–5–0), BC scored three second-period goals to defeat the Crusaders 4–2.
“You know, two solid players are out, I think a lot of us just want to step up and be the best we can for our team,” Pyne said. “I think it was an all-around team effort and we got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
BC jumped out ahead of Holy Cross from the first puck drop, applying offensive pressure on the Crusaders’ defense and peppering shots on Holy Cross goaltender Madison Beck. Caroline Goffredo filled the role of a missing Bilka, sending backhanded shots on net, while Alexie Guay landed herself in the penalty box for slashing six minutes into play.
The Eagles killed the penalty successfully, and by the end of the period led in total shots 14–9. Goffredo, Pyne, and Gaby Roy led BC’s offense but failed to find the back of the net. Pyne almost landed a top-shelf goal late in the period but it ricocheted off the pipe.
With less than five minutes left in the first frame, Holy Cross had a two-on-one breakout, but Darci Johal’s wrap-around attempt slid just wide of the post.
“We didn’t realize [Holy Cross] was going to be as aggressive as they were until yesterday when we played against them,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “They’re probably one of the most physical teams we’ve seen. It’s just being prepared for it, being ready for it. I think we were a little bit better today.”
Just over two minutes into the second period, Goffredo landed a pass to sophomore Abby Newhook. Newhook, who scored her ninth game-winning goal the afternoon prior, tallied her sixth goal in the past five games to give the Eagles a 1–0 lead.
The Eagles’ crisp passing continued, as Jenna Carpenter took the puck down the wing and sent it to Deirdre Mullowney. Mullowney moved the puck to the near side of the net and poked it past Beck, putting BC up 2–0.
“Overall, I thought this was probably one of the most offensive-zone possession games we’ve had up until this point,” Crowley said. “That’s something we’ve really been working on.”
The Crusaders then pushed the tempo and moved into BC’s defensive zone. After several lunging saves, BC netminder Abigail Levy let through a Lilly Feeny shot, which cut the Crusaders’ deficit to one.
Then Pyne took matters into her own hands.
On a breakaway, Pyne slotted a backhand shot into the net to reestablish BC’s two-goal lead.
“[Pyne’s] such a smart player and a lot of times she might not be the fastest, so a lot of people don’t see that,” Crowley said. “The little things she does without the puck are so elite, and that I think helps her linemates and has really shown through this year with how she’s playing the game.”
It didn’t take long for the Crusaders to come back for revenge. Just 18 seconds into the third frame, Mary Edmonds fired a backhand shot past Levy, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 3–2.
With 25 seconds left, Pyne found another breakaway opportunity and sent the puck flying into an empty net, solidifying her first career two-goal game and the Eagles’ win.
“You can see her confidence grow throughout this whole season,” Crowley said. “I think she’s one that we’re gonna rely on to score and to help her line score. I think that she’s starting to show that now as we get later in the semester.”