In a back-and-forth Beanpot Championship game 364 days prior to Tuesday’s contest, Harvard’s Becca Gilmore ripped away Boston College women’s hockey’s title hopes, slipping a late game-winner past BC goaltender Abigail Levy to propel the Crimson over the Eagles 5–4.
So entering the 44th Women’s Beanpot, BC had one thought on its mind—revenge.
“I didn’t want them to beat us ever again after that game,” Levy said. “So this was very much about revenge.”
And led by Levy and goals from three different BC defensemen, the Eagles (17–12–1, 14–10 Hockey East) muscled past the Crimson (7–15–3, 6–10–3 ECAC) 3–0 to avenge their loss from a season ago and move one step closer to their first Beanpot title since 2018.
“This is a good, good start,” Levy said. “I think our team played absolutely phenomenal today. It was so much fun to watch behind them all and they really helped me a lot today.”
Despite a few early scoring chances for Harvard, the Eagles struck first.
Skating by the left circle, Caroline Goffredo hit a wide-open Cayla Barnes in stride, who tapped in her sixth goal of the season just 3:14 into the game.
“That was, I thought, a phenomenal goal to start us off, and then, you know, carry us on,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said.
BC rode the momentum generated by its captain’s early goal, forcing Crimson goaltender Alex Pellicci to save 10 shots in the opening period. The Eagles also controlled the faceoff circle in the first period against center Kristin Della Rovere—who ranks second in the nation in faceoff wins—as the Eagles registered 10 faceoff wins to Harvard’s six.
The Crimson came out firing to begin the second frame, launching a series of shots, including a one-timer that Levy blocked.
But Harvard just couldn’t break Levy—who finished with 30 saves—and the Eagles took advantage of the Crimson’s scoring woes midway through the period.
After a barrage of fruitless BC shot attempts, Keri Clougherty—who hadn’t registered a goal all season entering Tuesday’s contest—came to the rescue for the Eagles at the 12:45 mark.
The sophomore defenseman slid into an open pocket of ice, scooped up the loose puck, and fired it past a sea of Crimson and into the net—putting BC ahead 2–0.
“There was just a couple rebounds, and I was like, ‘It’s gonna come out, it’s gonna come out,’” Clougherty said. “So I was creeping in, I saw it … and it made its way through.”
As the second period neared its end, officials called Harvard’s Ellie Bayard for a five-minute major penalty for direct contact to the head, gifting BC with an opportunity to take a commanding 3–0 lead.
With 37 seconds to play in the period, junior Sidney Fess cashed in by the blue line and joined Clougherty as the second Eagle to notch her first goal of the season on Tuesday.
“It was a good way to end the second period,” Clougherty said. “And we came up fine in the third too.
Though the Crimson recorded 27 shots in the final period, none of them found twine, allowing Levy to log her second consecutive shutout and fifth of the season. Levy’s latest shutout added another chapter to her storied Beanpot legacy—one that includes her 99-save tournament performance from the 2022 season.
“Their goaltender played fantastically,” Harvard head coach Katey Stone said of Levy’s performance.
BC’s blueliners—who combined for all three BC goals and broke up a number of Crimson chances—led the effort for BC, setting up a showdown against No. 5 Northeastern in the final on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
“Obviously Northeastern is playing well,” Crowley said. “The last time we played them, it was a fantastic game, so I would expect nothing less for that game on Tuesday.”
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