It’s rare to see a pair of competing goaltender’s don the captain’s badge in hockey, but both No. 15 Boston College women’s hockey’s Abigail Levy and New Hampshire’s Ava Boutilier wear them. This pair of goaltenders aren’t just a consistent presence on the ice—they also happen to be leaders off the ice, and in areas that aren’t just noticeable in the crease.
While the storyline heading into Friday’s contest between BC and the Wildcats was highlighted by a pair of goaltenders, high-powered offense was the most obvious trend throughout the game, and Levy—Hockey East’s third-highest leader in save percentage—was dismantled.
Despite taking the initial lead, BC (14–10–1, 12–8–0 Hockey East) was overcome by New Hampshire’s Brianna Brooks—who posted a hatrick—and ultimately fell to the Wildcats (9–16–0, 7–11–0) by a final score of 5–3. Brooks tallied her second goal of the game and the go-ahead goal with just 1:59 remaining in the third period, and then potted her third goal 54 seconds later.
New Hampshire moved quickly off the opening faceoff draw, as Brooks wristed off an early shot. From there, the Wildcats gathered fast momentum.
Seven minutes into the period, Cayla Barnes flipped in a knuckle puck that fell into the lap of Boutilier, but the zone rush flipped in the opposite direction. Barnes subsequently made a necessary hit in her defensive corner without drawing a penalty, and brought the puck back into the offensive zone.
After an Eagles’ faceoff loss one minute later, Gaby Roy collected the puck from below the goalline and threw the puck on net from no man’s land. The puck landed off Boutilier’s left side and into the net, and BC found itself with a 1–0 lead.
With eight seconds left in the frame, New Hampshire’s Lauren Martin—on the man advantage—slid the puck through the zone from the center point position, and Brooks was there to capitalize on the deflection, tying the game 1–1.
After cashing in on their first powerplay, the Wildcats headed to the powerplay once again with 13:06 left to play in the second period. After 35 seconds went by, BC went down another man as officials put Barnes in the box for roughing.
But Levy and BC’s penalty kill unit held on for the entire three minutes and 34 seconds of New Hampshire’s 5-on-3 man advantage. But it didn’t take long for the Wildcats to make up for their shortcomings.
At the 10:11 mark, New Hampshire’s Marina Alvarez scooped in a gritty goal after a long scuffle broke out in front of the Eagles’ net. Levy pleaded her case for goaltender interference, but the goal stood, and the Wildcats went ahead 2–1.
New Hampshire’s Kira Juodikis wasted no time in the third period—registering the Wildcat’s third goal of the night 27 seconds into the frame—but Alexie Guay responded three minutes later, slotting in a one-timer from Abby Newhook to knot the game at 3–3.
Looking for the go-ahead goal with four minutes left to play, Barnes swiveled around a New Hampshire defensemen and pushed the play to the net, but a second defender blocked her chance. Just enough time was left for somebody to be the hero, on either side of the puck.
With 2:30 left, Juodikis weaved in and out of BC’s defensive line, posting a shot on Levy, but it sailed wide. The puck dribbled back into the offensive zone from behind the net, and with Brooks right in scoring position, she lifted the puck above Levy’s shoulders to take the lead.
Seconds later, with BC on the backpedal, Brooks sealed the hat trick with an empty net goal, and the Wildcats earned the victory.