Sports, Winter, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Eagles Blow 2–0 Lead Against No. 11 Vermont, Drop Fourth Straight Game

Halfway through the second period of Boston College women’s hockey’s Friday night contest against No. 11 Vermont, anyone could have mistaken the Eagles as the ranked team in the matchup, despite the Catamounts holding that title. The Eagles led 2–0 and were dominating play. 

Then, Gaby Roy took a slashing penalty with just over 10 minutes left in the period, putting Vermont on the power play for the second time of the night. Up until that point, BC had been in control. 

Even though the Eagles (14–12–1, 12–10–0 Hockey East) killed the penalty, the momentum began to shift away from BC. Vermont’s Corinne McCool eventually scored at the 15:51 mark. The Catamounts (18–9–1, 13–7–1) proceeded to score two unanswered goals—including one in the final minutes of the game—to hand BC a 3–2 defeat, its fourth straight loss. 

“We’re still battling, and that’s what I like to see from our team, and you know, outshot them in those second two periods,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “And I thought overall we played a good game even though the result doesn’t show that.”

The Catamounts went on a power play just one minute into the first period after officials sent Hannah Bilka to the box for interference. 

But Vermont only managed two shots. Every time it looked like the Catamounts would threaten, BC was there to get the puck out of the defensive zone, preventing Vermont from setting up a passing play. 

Even though BC failed to maintain possession consistently throughout the beginning of the first period, the Eagles jumped in the gaps, intercepted passes, and got to the puck every chance they had. 

The Catamounts struggled to take control late in the first frame, failing to spend long durations of time in the offensive zone, and the Eagles jumped right out of the gate to start the second period. 

Twenty-six seconds into the second frame, Katie Pyne notched the 1–0 lead for BC on an assist by Cayla Barnes. 

BC kept up the energy it had late in the first period and continued to put pressure on Vermont even after scoring. Vermont didn’t record its first shot of the second frame until 6:35 into the period. 

The Eagles’ intensity continued as they looked to extend their lead. In a cut-back move that evoked an overtime goal by NHL defenseman Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche last January, Abby Newhook took control of the puck, spun around, and fired a shot into the back of the net to make the score 2–0 8:34 into the second period. 

A few minutes later, however, officials called the slashing penalty on Roy. The Eagles were relentless in their search for the back of the net and didn’t stop while short handed, but BC’s fortunes started to change shortly after. 

Vermont cut the Eagles’ lead in half with 4:09 left in the second period, bringing the score to 2–1. The Catamounts started to look more comfortable and gained more possession. With less than one minute remaining in the frame, Natálie Mlýnková tied the score to make it 2–2 going into the third. 

Even though BC held Vermont to three shots in the second period, it was enough to cause damage and evaporate the Eagles’ two-goal lead. 

“We held the team to three shots in the second period,” Crowley said. “I can’t remember the last time we did that. So you know, I think that’s a phenomenal, you know, second period, which usually isn’t our best so it was really good to have that. That and then I thought we kept the momentum going, although they got two in that period.” 

BC came into the third period looking for the go-ahead goal, but Jessie McPherson saved all of their chances.

“I thought we came back out in the third with a little bit of hunger and just weren’t able to put any of those home,” Crowley said. 

Vermont broke through with 2:10 remaining in the game, as Mlýnková got the better of goaltender Abigail Levy to score her second goal of the game. 

The Eagles attempted to find the equalizer in the final minutes, as Levy came off the ice to give them an extra skater. BC went on its first power play of the game in the final minute—with only six seconds left—but ultimately, the Catamounts walked away with the victory.

“I’m happy with the way we played after, you know, coming back off of the road trip and having a couple of losses there,” Crowley said. “So, you know, there’s some takeaways, good takeaways from this game that we can hopefully use to ramp us up for tomorrow.”

January 28, 2023