Sports, Hockey, Women's Hockey

BC Drops Extra Point to New Hampshire In Shootout Loss

In the seventh attempt of overtime shootouts for New Hampshire, Julia Cabral skated slowly across the neutral zone, appearing calm, collected, and calculated.

She dribbled the puck past the blue line, swerved to the right, hesitated for a split second, and shot a screamer past the left foot of Boston College women’s hockey goaltender Grace Campbell and into the back of the net.

The goal allowed UNH (10–10–2, 7–6–2 Hockey East) to end the Eagles’ (12–7–3, 11–3–3) three-game win streak in Saturday night’s matchup at Whittemore Center Arena. A strong performance from each squad’s goalkeepers enabled the matchup to end in a 2–2 stalemate, with the Wildcats ultimately grabbing the extra Hockey East point in shootout.  

BC’s leader in total points this season, Sammy Taber, wasted no time, and 13 seconds into the game found Sammy Smigliani. The graduate transfer sent the puck into the top right corner of the net, past UNH goaltender Sedona Blair to give the Eagles an early 1–0 advantage. 

But the lead was short-lived, as BC’s defense let UNH’s Kira Juodikis answer just over a minute later. Juodikis received a pass from Charli Kettyle and delivered a shot through the legs of Campbell, knotting the score at 1–1.

The Wildcats took control of the game as the period went on. With 13:58 remaining in the period, UNH broke through BC’s defense again with Alyson Hush scoring her first career goal, providing the Wildcats a 2–1 edge. 

The Eagles had multiple opportunities to even the score throughout the first period, including a power play just over seven minutes into the contest and a breakaway by Kate Ham—neither of which BC could capitalize on. At the end of the period, New Hampshire held a slight edge in shots on goal with 13 to BC’s 10. 

In the second period, UNH came out blazing. The Wildcats’ offense continued to pressure BC’s back line, pushing the puck forward and firing a whopping nine shots on goal to BC’s one through 15 minutes of the frame. 

The Eagles appeared to be sleep walking offensively, generating almost no momentum. In total, BC only took six shots in the second, its first coming over halfway into the period, while the Wildcats took 18 shots. As time went on, UNH continued to control the puck, exhausting the Eagles’ defense. 

Despite UNH’s dominance, Campbell’s strong goaltending kept BC within striking distance. Cambell registered 10 saves in the second to keep the deficit at one goal entering the third period. 

The opening of the third period unveiled a completely different BC team. The Eagles stormed out of the gate, controlling the puck and making the kind of crisp passes they failed to complete earlier in the matchup. BC generated 31 shots in the period. 

The Eagles also tightened up on the defensive end, allowing only five shots on goal throughout the period. As the Eagles continued to pepper the Wildcats with shots, their confidence appeared to grow noticeably. With 3:40 remaining, Taber scored the equalizer for BC past three UNH players laying in front of the goal. Taber’s goal sent the game into overtime knotted at 2–2. 

BC’s momentum continued early in overtime with two shots from Smigliani—one narrowly missing the mark, and the other saved by Blair. Halfway through overtime, momentum shifted in favor of the Wildcats, who earned a 4-on-3 power play with 2:05 remaining. BC killed the penalty, though, and sent the contest to shootout.

The shootout showcased the talent of both Campbell and Blair, who each went six rounds of the shootout without allowing a single goal. In the seventh round, Cabral scored the game-winner for UNH. The goal was followed by Blair’s seventh save, securing two Hockey East points for the Wildcats, while BC walked away with just one.

January 15, 2024