Sports, Winter, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Eagles Remain Winless Following 12–2 Blowout From No. 1 Wisconsin

Just four minutes into the second period, a flurry of Wisconsin shots found their way to the back of Boston College women’s hockey’s net, as the Badgers netted three-straight goals in roughly three minutes to put the game out of reach and force the Eagles into timeout.

Following a 5–3 loss to the Badgers on Thursday night, No. 1 Wisconsin (4–0) proved its status as defending champions with a monumental 12–2 victory over the Eagles (0–4) and maintained the Eagles now four-game winless drought to start the season.  

The Eagles failed to set the tone early on in the game as they failed to get pucks in deep and forecheck in an effort to catch the Badgers flat-footed right out of the gates.

“I think we came out pretty flat,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “After the game yesterday and how hard we played and competed, I thought we would kind of turn it around after a few of our early penalties.”

BC failed to convert on an early powerplay chance in the first period, while the Badgers, on the other hand, took full advantage. Following a Sammy Taber hooking minor penalty, the Badgers’ Lacey Eden capitalized on the power play and ripped a shot top-shelf to make it 1–0. Just over a minute later, Wisconsin’s Cassie Hall tipped a shot past the Eagles’ Grace Campbell for her fifth tally of the season.

“They have some dangerous players on their powerplay,” Crowley said. “It’s tough to stop them on a regular shift, never mind on the powerplay so you cannot give them those opportunities given how many offensive weapons they have. They were able to find those holes through traffic tonight and that’s what makes them number one in the country.”

Out of the gates in the second period, the Eagles forced a series of shots toward the Badger net, but none could not find its way through Wisconsin’s goalie, Ava McNaughton, only contributing to her solid .930 save percentage performance Friday night. 

On a night where the Eagles struggled to find the back of the net given Wisconsin’s primary backstop, the Badgers’ back line made it that much harder, doubling up the Eagles in blocked shots, 18–9. 

“One of the things we talked about was just getting pucks to the front of the net,” Crowley said, “They had a freshman goalie and we expected her to be a little shaky so we definitely went in with more of a shoot first mentality.”

On the second leg of a two-game split where the Eagles were coming off of Campbell’s seemingly superhuman 51-save performance, Wisconsin’s onslaught of offense was too much for the BC netminder to handle as she was pulled just under six minutes into the second period.

Nevertheless, BC’s penalty woes continued throughout the second period as Eden converted her eighth goal of the season following Sammy Smigliani’s cross-checking minor soon after the Eagles’ backup, Bailey Callaway, entered the crease.

Toward the end of the second period, the Eagles were able to break McNaughton’s shutout as Katie Pyne redirected a seemingly seeing-eye shot from Abby Newhook for her first tally of the season.

The Eagles struggled in the faceoff dot in a 36–28 losing battle to the Badgers, but that’s not quite why they were unable to capitalize on their chances.

“I was proud of how hard we competed throughout the game,” Crowley said. “It’s tough when you go down so quickly like that. I thought our players continued to compete the best they could given the circumstances.”

The Badgers looked to avoid complacency and pre-game jitters which they ultimately succeeded at, despite a late tally from forward Abby Newhook.

“I know the scoreboard shows what it shows,” Crowley said. “We still need to prove that we can compete given our young core, but I think this team is going to be pretty special as the year progresses when we start rockin’ and rollin’ and figuring things out.”

October 7, 2023