With two leading forwards—senior Hannah Bilka and freshman Kate Ham—out of play due to injury, Boston College women’s hockey’s offense needed to take a step up when Holy Cross came to town Saturday.
That was easy for sophomore forward Katie Pyne, who stepped into the spotlight with the first two-goal game of her career.
“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 after the game. “I think it was an all-around team effort and we got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
Despite its poor record, Holy Cross (2–17–1, 1–13–0 Hockey East) entered its second matchup against BC (11–7–1, 9–5–0) with aggressive cross-checking and a barrage of shots on goal. Following a slow first period, the Eagles three second-period goals lit up the intensity on the ice, and BC went on to defeat the Crusaders in its last game of the calendar year, 4–2.
BC jumped out of the gate, applying offensive pressure and peppering shots on Holy Cross goaltender Madison Beck in the first period. Caroline Goffredo took the presence 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—BC fired 14 shots to the Crusaders’ nine. Goffredo, Gaby Roy, and Pyne led the offense with shots but couldn’t find the back of the net. Pyne almost landed a top-shelf goal late in the period, but it ricocheted off of the pipe.
With less than five minutes left in the first frame, Holy Cross had a 2-on-1 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, executed 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 across to Deirdre Mullowney. The senior took the puck to the nearside of the net and poked it past Beck, adding a second goal for BC to the scoreboard, and the Eagles went 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 into BC’s defensive zone. After several lunging saves, BC’s netminder Abigail Levy couldn’t hold off a Lily Feeny shot, which cut the Crusader’s deficit to one goal.
Pyne took matters into her own hands next.
Just four minutes later, Pyne had a revenge opportunity with another swift breakaway. This time, Pyne slotted a backhand shot into the net to reestablish a two-goal lead at 3–1 in BC’s favor.
“[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 vindictive. After the second period ended, it only took a matter of seconds for Holy Cross to bounce back.
Just 18 seconds into the third frame, Mary Edmonds fired a backhand shot right past Levy, keeping the deficit at one goal again.
With 25 seconds left, Pyne found another breakaway opportunity and sent the puck flying into an empty net, solidifying the first two-goal game of her career.
“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.”