Sports, Winter, Hockey, Women's Hockey

Mettler’s First Career Goal Pushes No. 14 Eagles Past Maine 4–2

Boston College women’s hockey got a taste of deja vú during its Saturday afternoon game against Maine. 

The Eagles led 3–2 late in the third period—the same score they led by Friday in their 4–3 loss to the Black Bears. Instead of giving up two goals, BC held on to secure vital Hockey East points and go above .500. BC’s players attributed the win to the team’s camaraderie and togetherness.  

“I feel like there’s really healthy competition, but nobody’s trying to tear each other down,” junior defenseman Annaka Mettler said. “It’s a super positive environment and it helps us be better every day in practice and in games.” 

Graduate forward Sammy Smigliani added to Mettler’s sentiments about the level of competitiveness and how it impacts BC’s squad, along with the players’ strengths as a group.  

“Everyone gets along really well, so you’re pretty much excited with whoever’s on your line and that just makes it really fun,” Smigliani said. “Makes everything easier when everyone gets along so well.”

The No. 14 Eagles (6–5–1, 6–1–1 Hockey East) edged Maine (4–6–0, 2–4–0) 4–2 in the contest. After the Black Bears took a 2–1 lead in the second period, goals from Smigliani and Mettler pushed the Eagles ahead, and Sammy Taber’s empty-netter ensured the Eagles’ victory. 

“Yesterday they took it hard, they didn’t want to lose that game,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said. “We challenged them to be a little bit better today and take care of the little things and I thought we responded well to that. We wanted to get back out there and play our game and be able to win the game.”

After Maine’s 4–3 victory over the Eagles on Friday, both teams looked to start Saturday’s match on the front foot. Maine took a barrage of shots in the fifth minute, but the Eagles’ defense blocked them all. BC responded but couldn’t connect on across-the-net passes.    

In the ninth minute, BC goaltender Grace Campbell made a big save on an Ida Kuoppala shot from the blue line, tipping the puck. Maine gained momentum and looked to take the advantage as Kuoppala led the Black Bears’ attacks.   

Mira Seregély thought she scored for the Black Bears after her shot deflected off the left corner of the goal. After a review, the referees confirmed the on-ice, no-goal call. The score remained 0–0 with five minutes to go in the first frame.  

Gaby Roy opened the scoring for the Eagles just a minute later. She picked up the puck in front of the goal, skated around defenders, and slid the puck past Maine netminder Julia Bachetti’s leg to give BC a 1–0 lead. 

The Eagles went on the power play with two minutes left in the first period when Alyssa Wruble booked a trip to the box for slashing. BC had several good looks but failed to convert and ended the first period up 1–0.  

Maine’s Lily Fetch scored 1:35 into the second period, tying the game 1–1. Playing through three BC defenders, Fetch picked up the puck right in front of Campbell and tucked it around her for the game-tying goal, her second career goal. 

Maine took the lead just under eight minutes later. Kuoppala fired a shot from the circle into the right corner of the goal, and it flew past Campbell to give Maine a 2–1 advantage.  

Maine went on the power play 9:42 into the second frame when Morgan Trimper faced a tripping call. BC overpowered Maine and killed the penalty with ease, though.  

“Your goaltender’s going to be your best penalty killer and I thought [Campbell] did that today,” Crowley said. “She’s playing well for us. She’s doing a great job back there.”

The Eagles thought they scored shortly after killing off the penalty. Following a scramble which pushed the puck around in front of the net, the referees ruled it a no goal. 

But that didn’t matter, because BC grabbed the game-knotting goal a minute later. Caroline Goffredo passed across the goal and Smigliani slotted the puck between Bachetti’s legs to make it 2–2 with 1:51 remaining in the second period. 

“I think we just came out a lot harder and worked for each other,” Smigliani said. “I think yesterday we kind of just got away from doing the little things right and when we corrected, that made a huge difference.”

Maine notched a power play at the 7:44 mark in the third frame when officials sent Jade Arnone to the box for hooking. The Black Bears caused chaos in front of the goal, but Campbell scooped up the puck. 

BC took the lead with 5:16 left in the game. Mettler wristed a rocket shot from the right circle that whizzed past everyone and into the top corner of the Maine net to give BC a 3–2 lead. The tally marked Mettler’s first as an Eagle. 

“I was just trying to keep the puck in the zone,” Mettler said. “I looked up and shot the puck as hard as I could, and I didn’t even realize it went in, but it was extremely exciting. It was really fun to celebrate.”

Maine pushed for an equalizer and ended up in the penalty box when Courtney Colarullo recorded a tripping penalty with 2:05 left to play. Taber scored an empty-net goal to secure the Eagles’ 4–2 victory. 

November 5, 2023