Sports, Winter, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Campbell’s First Career Shutout Leads BC Over Merrimack

Coming into Saturday afternoon’s matchup, Boston College women’s hockey held a 23–1–0 all-time record against Merrimack.

That dominance continued during Saturday’s matinee at Kelley Rink.

Backed by freshman goaltender Grace Campbell’s first career shutout, BC (15–12–1, 13–10–0 Hockey East) cruised past Merrimack (7–21–1, 4–17–1), with four of its players scoring goals in the 4–0 victory. 

“I felt like we played really well today,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “We were able to finish, we played light, and I thought, you know, after a tough little stretch there, it was nice to come away with a win.” 

Campbell—who replaced BC’s starting goaltender Abigail Levy in Saturday’s game—made her first start since Jan. 6 against Maine.

After some sustained offensive zone time, BC opened up the scoring 6:17 into the first period. Hannah Bilka retrieved the puck near Merrimack’s blue line and found Abby Newhook in the high slot. Newhook wristed a quick shot past the glove of Merrimack goaltender Emma Gorski for her 14th goal of the season. 

“Coming out of the corner there, I just got the puck, and my first thought was just to attack the net, and the right side of the net was open,” Newhook said. 

The Eagles doubled their lead minutes later when Bilka redirected a Cayla Barnes shot past Gorski. Barnes controlled the puck at the right point following a faceoff win, and the senior floated a shot toward the net that Bilka tipped in. 

BC took its 2–0 lead into the second period and continued to dictate play. The Eagles totaled 12 shots in the period, but Gorski came up with multiple stops, including one on a Kate Ham one-timer from point-blank range. 

The Eagles had a power-play opportunity late in the period but failed to generate many high-quality looks, and the scoreless frame came to an end.

Just 43 seconds into the third period, BC extended its lead to three. Katie Pyne weaved through the neutral zone and into Merrimack’s territory before lifting a backhand feed to Gaby Roy, who calmly deposited the puck into the back of the net. 

“I thought it was good to come away and score right away in the third,” Crowley said. “That third goal is huge.”

Pyne added her name to the goal column with just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation. On the rush, Kelly Browne dished the puck out to the left faceoff circle where Pyne sniped a wrist shot just over Gorski’s blocker. 

From there, Merrimack’s scoring opportunities were limited, but Campbell executed when the Eagles needed a stop. She finished the contest with 19 saves. The 4–0 victory marked Campbell’s first career shutout. 

“Sometimes when you don’t see a lot of shots, it’s a little tougher,” Crowley said. “But I thought [Grace] stayed with it. She stayed focused.”

BC’s victory came in the aftermath of a four-game losing streak and a 3–2 loss to No. 11 Vermont the night prior.

“We’re a very good hockey team, and I think we’re learning through the ups and downs of a season,” Crowley said. “It was great to see our team rebound from last night.”

January 29, 2023