Sports, Fall, Hockey, Women's Hockey

New-Look Eagles Drop First Two Games of Season to No. 9 Clarkson

It took Boston College women’s hockey no more than 30 seconds to end Clarkson’s three-game shutout streak on Saturday, as Julia Pellerin notched the program’s first goal of the 2023 season. But the Eagles needed more than an opening-minute tally to claim their first win of the year. 

Following a loss in their season opener on Friday in which the No. 9 Golden Knights (4–0) held BC (0–2) off the scoresheet in a decisive 3–0 victory, the Eagles looked to get on the right track Saturday. But four unanswered goals by Clarkson proved too much for the Eagles, who dropped their second contest of the season 4–2. 

Heading into game two of the Clarkson series, BC head coach Katie Crowley emphasized a simplified gameplan, and the Eagles could not have started Saturday’s matchup in a better fashion. 

Pellerin, a freshman forward, opened the scoring 30 seconds in with a nifty breakaway goal—her first as an Eagle. What led to the opportunity was a strong defensive effort in BC’s zone, with a takeaway from Sammy Smigliani along the boards and a breakout pass from captain Gaby Roy. 

The Eagles looked to feed off their early momentum boost and continued to generate chances against a strong Clarkson defense. 

With 12:18 to go in the first period, Clarkson forward and team captain Brooke McQuigge dangerously swept BC’s Sidney Fess’ legs out from underneath her, resulting in McQuigge being ejected from the game. Officials also handed BC a five-minute power play. 

In the final seconds of BC’s advantage, however, a tripping penalty gave Clarkson a chance to tie the game.  

On the ensuing Golden Knights power play, former Eagle Alexie Guay—who transferred to Clarkson in the offseason—buried a back-door opportunity to even the score at one apiece 13:41 into the first frame.  

Back-and-forth play ensued for the remainder of the period, and the score remained 1–1 going into the second. 

Just over eight minutes into the second period, Clarkson took the lead with a give-and-go play in the slot. Less than a minute later, Clarkson defender Keira Hurry fired a “seeing eye” shot from the point to extend the Golden Knights’ lead to 3–1.   

Down 3–1, the Eagles needed to break through the well-structured play of Clarkson—one goal would put them right back into the game. A strong forecheck in the remaining minutes of the period saw a few opportunities for BC to capitalize on, but the score remained the same heading into the final period. 

BC came out in the third period ready to make a comeback. It immediately put pressure on the Golden Knights and generated a couple of good looks. But just 3:40 into the final frame, Clarkson extended its lead to three as Anne Cherkowski finished a breakaway opportunity. 

As the game clock slowly ticked down, both sides exchanged chances, but neither were able to put another puck into the back of the net. This remained true until there was 4:41 left to go, when BC’s captain, Abby Newhook, finished off a perfect, cross-ice pass from Roy to make the score 4–2 in favor of the Golden Knights, which played out through the end of the affair.  

“What we saw was our compete level,” Crowley said. “We were able to hang with that team, and to see that the first weekend of the year was good. Our team stayed positive through both games and I was really impressed with that.” 

Before Friday’s matchup, the Golden Knights already had two wins under their belt. Their season started the weekend prior with a resounding pair of shutout victories against Merrimack. 

On Friday night, Clarkson’s additional two games worth of experience was evident as it quickly took control of the game. The Golden Knights outshot the Eagles 17–2 in the first period alone and scored the only goal, as Laurence Frenette buried a bouncing puck in the slot. 

BC goaltender Grace Campbell registered 30 saves, helping to keep the game at its 1–0 score. Through the first two periods, she made 26 saves, shutting down many quality scoring chances that the Golden Knights put forward. 

Thanks to Campbell’s performance, BC entered the third period one shot away from a tie game.  

With 11:37 to go in the third frame, Clarkson’s Darcie Lappan fired home a screened, mid-range wrist shot that beat Campbell blocker side, slowing any momentum BC had gained. Now down 2–0 in the final minutes, an Eagles comeback looked unlikely. 

The Eagles continued to push, generating chances on their third and fourth power plays of the game, but Clarkson’s netminder stood tall. 

A Clarkson goal with 3:13 left to go in the game ensured that no BC comeback would occur as the Golden Knights won 3–0, keeping their shutout streak alive. 

“We know the beginning of this year is a tough one, but I think it’s gonna make us battle ready for the rest of the season,” Crowley said. “I really like our team. I like [how we] compete. I like how we stay positive and stay together.”

October 1, 2023