Sports, Winter, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Eagles Squeak By BU 2–1, Sweep Season Series

For the first time since the 2015–16 season, Boston College women’s hockey swept the regular season Battle of Comm. Ave. series against Boston University on Saturday night. The last time the Eagles did so, they went 40–1–0 on the season, with their only loss coming in the 2016 National Championship against then-No. 3 Minnesota. 

BC goaltender Abigail Levy was a brick wall in the net inside Agganis Arena, as she racked up 35 saves and made athletic stops in BC’s (18–12–1, 15–10–0 Hockey East) 2–1 victory.

Gaby Roy continued her junior campaign with an early goal, and Alexie Guay potted BC’s second goal of the night to give the Eagles assurance. BC’s forecheck and puck control left BU (10–17–3, 9–13–3) powerless in its own end for most of the night. 

“It’s tough to play that game in between the Beanpot when you know you’re going to be able to play for a trophy on Tuesday,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “So I was really impressed with how well we played and how we stuck to our gameplan.”

BC was able to draw a penalty just 4:35 into the game, as officials called BU’s Andi Calderone for tripping. But the Eagles couldn’t take advantage, and they fell to five of 58 on power-play opportunities this season.

The Eagles began to establish their presence past BU’s blue line, leading to a Roy goal with 2:42 left in the period. Roy slotted in a rebound off a shot that was blocked by a BU defender’s skate for her eighth goal of the year. The goal extended her point streak to four straight games. 

Heading into the second period, BC appeared to have control of the momentum, but officials called Hannah Bilka for a holding penalty about a minute into the period, handing BU a power play. And despite five Terrier shots during the advantage, National Women’s Goalie of the Year finalist Levy stood tall, making a series of stops that ended with her laying down on the ice to prevent a BU goal. 

“She’s been great, not only in net, but as a leader,” Crowley said of Levy. “She’s the type of goalie that’s gonna, you know, help you in a hockey game and keep you in the game.” 

Immediately after the Eagles killed the penalty, defenseman Guay buried a snipe from the blue at the 3:47 mark for her fifth goal of the year to give BC a 2–0 lead. Guay continued her dominance over BU, as she has eight points in nine career games against the Terriers. 

The Eagles, however, could not put the game away, as the Terriers answered back, catching BC in a line change. BU found itself on a five-on-two opportunity, and Haylee Blinkhorn put a one-timer past Levy to cut BC’s lead in half at the 14:41 mark.

BU earned scoring opportunities in the final minutes of the second period but couldn’t convert, and the Eagles ended the period ahead 2–1 despite BU outshooting them 17–8. 

BC’s forecheck was in sync to begin the third period, as the Eagles continually pressured BU’s puck handlers and kept the puck on BU’s end of the ice for much of the first half of the period. 

But BU goaltender Andrea Brändli managed to keep it a one-score game, registering 14 saves in the third period. She recorded 31 total saves all game.

BU called a timeout to regroup but still couldn’t get anything past Levy, and with less than two minutes remaining, it appeared the Eagles would escape with the victory.

That was until Jenna Carpenter committed a tripping penalty with 1:26 left in the game—starting a power play for BU.  

“Long story short, they had a premature substitution because their goalie was still on the ice, and they had six players out there, so the whistle should have been blown [before the penalty],” Crowley said. “I think even the refs at one point told me we weren’t going to have a penalty. So it was a little bit crazy.”

The Terriers pulled their goalie, leading to a six-on-four player advantage down the stretch. But Levy came through once again, making several big saves, including a diving save across the crease to get a piece of a one-timer, sending BC back to Chestnut Hill with the victory.

February 12, 2023