Ahead of Saturday, Boston College women’s hockey had lost to Connecticut in all three of its meetings this season. And on Saturday, the No. 15 Eagles faced off against UConn in the Hockey East Tournament Quarterfinals for the fourth time in the past five seasons, with a trip to the 2023 semifinals on the line.
“Every game is a new game against them, and we’ve beat them [for] years,” goaltender Abigail Levy, who recorded 33 saves, said. “I think it was just our time. I think we took our beating this year, so we gave it right back to them.”
The Eagles (20–14–1, 16–11–0 Hockey East) snapped their three-game losing streak against the Huskies on Saturday behind Katie Pyne’s two-goal performance. Pyne’s overtime game-winner secured BC the 4–3 victory over UConn (18–13–4, 12–11–4) and a spot in the semifinals.
“I’m so proud of this group,” Pyne said. “We’ve been going all season and it just shows we have no quit.”
BC started to create opportunities halfway through the first frame with cross-ice passing, but fell short against the persistence of the Huskies’ defenders, who were constantly disrupting passing lanes. The Eagles’ third line, however, picked up the energy, creating turnovers and forcing UConn to reset. And with less than two minutes left in the period, defender Alexie Guay sent a pass to Cayla Barnes, who fired it back to Guay for a shot from the point.
Waiting backdoor, Caroline Goffredo came across the ice to tip in the loose puck to put BC ahead 1–0. It was Goffredo’s second goal of the season after missing time due to injury.
“To see her finally put one in—and one that meant so much—was really good for her,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “I thought that the whole line, especially in the first half of the game, were getting pucks low and creating offensive opportunities from that. They worked hard together and I think that’s what made them so successful.”
The first period ended scoreless, and it wasn’t until freshman Brooke Campbell took advantage of a defensive zone turnover 10 minutes into the second period that action picked up. Campbell located a rebound from Christina Walker to rifle the puck past Levy, leveling the score at one.
BC, however, responded quickly. Abby Newhook set herself up with a pass to Barnes, who sent a backhand pass back to the sophomore in the low slot. Newhook found an open space in front of the net to tip the puck in for her 19th goal of the season to give BC a 2–1 lead at the 11:50 mark.
But the Huskies rebounded at the 17:20 mark, as Jada Habisch notched her fourth goal against the Eagles this season after firing a near-side shot to the post. The puck popped off the body of Levy and snuck past the goaltender to tie the game at two.
After intermission, UConn returned to the ice in the third period with steady offensive possession, registering 11 shots and leaving BC without any for the first five minutes. The Huskies struck when Habisch sent a cross-ice pass to an undefended Campbell, who landed the shot to hand the Huskies their first lead of the game at the 14:52 mark.
“I always have hope in this group,” Levy said. “They can pull crazy things out of their bag of tricks. I never think we’re losing until that buzzer goes off.”
The Eagles, once again, responded quickly. Less than 90 seconds later, Hannah Bilka gathered the puck from the boards to send a pass to Guay. Guay fired a shot from the top of the point that found Pyne, who knotted the game at three by poking the puck past UConn goaltender Tia Chan.
“I was so fired up, no matter if I scored or not,” Pyne said. “In between periods, I was so hyper. So, just going out, I think that gave me the extra adrenaline that I needed.”
No team could score before the buzzer sounded, and they entered overtime neck and neck. The Huskies outshot the Eagles 33–30 in regulation.
Just over three minutes into the extra period, Newhook sent the puck up to Pyne, who skated through the remaining defense. Pyne landed a shot on net at the 2:39 mark to hand BC a 4–3 victory and secure the Eagles a spot in the semifinals.
“We have a group in this room that can do something special,” Crowley said. “This is just the next step in the cog. Obviously, UConn’s been a thorn in our side here for the last little bit. It was nice to pull out this win.”