Powerplays in hockey don’t just lend the team with the man advantage an extra skater. Powerplays also create opportunities for more passing, possession, and fluidity.
Friday night’s matchup between Boston College women’s hockey and Northeastern featured eight powerplays—five for the Huskies and three for the Eagles.
Although both teams had their chances to capitalize, they both failed to tally a single point, eight total times—not just on the man advantage, but throughout the whole 60 minutes of play.
“I thought our penalty kill was great,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “Obviously, with five penalties, that might be a season-high this year. I thought we were great in all facets of the game. Their power play is really, really good, and we were able to keep them off the board there.”
Despite holding off No. 7 Northeastern (20–2–1, 16–2–1 Hockey East) for the first 60 minutes, the Eagles (13–8–1, 11–6–0) came up short in a 1–0 overtime loss. BC dropped its first game of the new year after boasting a seven-game win streak heading into Friday’s contest. Its last loss came against Northeastern as well, on Nov. 12, 2022.
“I thought we played really well,” Crowley said. “It was probably one of the best games we played all year. Obviously, not happy with the loss but I thought our team played great.”
BC struggled to clear the puck out of their defensive zone in the first period, and the tension only heightened when Olivia O’Brien entered the box for hooking almost seven minutes into the frame.
Northeastern peppered Abigail Levy with shots until Cayla Barnes was able to skate the puck out of BC’s defensive zone for a new line to skate onto the ice. Abby Newhook helped kill off the penalty, and Hannah Bilka landed a shot on goal in the opposite direction.
The intensity continued with seven minutes of non-stoppage play. BC found more control in their defensive zone, filling out the circles and disrupting the flow of the Huskies’ passing.
“In our [defensive] zone, I thought we were really, really good,” Crowley said. “I thought our [defense] was quick to get to them when they had pucks entering the zone.”
With less than five minutes remaining in the period, BC had its first powerplay opportunity. The Eagles were unable to capitalize, but tested Northeastern goaltender Gwenthy Phillips through the final seconds.
At the start of the second frame, BC turned the tide in its defensive zone, deflecting passes and maintaining consistent pressure on the Huskies.
But Sidney Fess went to the box for interference with just under seven minutes left to play in the period, giving Northeastern a second chance to change the scoreboard. Once again, Levy’s heroics in net prevailed.
After an extended stretch in the offensive zone, a Chloé Aurard slapshot traveled just past the right arm of Levy and off the pipe. The puck was cleared by Barnes, however, extinguishing the energy of the Huskies.
“We possessed when we needed to, we were patient, we were quick on the forecheck,” Crowley said. “I just thought overall we were really good.”
Newhook looked promising as she swept past defenders and released a shot from the rear end of the offensive zone, but it filtered into the pads of Phillips.
Lily Yovetich responded, firing off a pass from Maureen Murphy in the slot and hoping to give the Huskies a point, but the shot was quickly denied as Levy lunged across the crease while the clock drained.
A minor penalty against BC’s bench occurred just as the second frame came to an end, allowing the Huskies to open the third period with a powerplay opportunity, but the Eagles knocked it off.
Seven minutes later, Northeastern’s Skylar Irving failed to pot a wrap-around. Peyton Anderson then charged the net but was sent to the box for roughing, and BC’s second powerplay commenced.
The Huskies came out hot on their fourth powerplay in the seventh minute of the frame, but the Eagles held their opponents off.
Sidney Fess and Northeastern’s Murphy both entered the box for roughing, and the final minute of the period was played 4-on-4, but the game leaked into overtime nonetheless.
Nearly three minutes into overtime, a swift faceoff win by Alina Mueller sent a pass to Aurard, who triggered a shot that bounced off of Levy’s pads and into the net for the game-winning—and only—goal.
“Obviously, Abby played great back there,” Crowley said. “They did what we’ve asked them to do all year. They put it all together in every zone. I thought we were really, really good.”