Women's Hockey, Hockey, Sports

Sammy Taber’s OT Goal Lifts BC Over Providence 2–1, Eagles Advance to Hockey East Semifinals

It’s not always about how you start—it’s how you finish that counts. 

This rang true in Boston College women’s hockey’s game against Providence in the Hockey East quarterfinals. After tying the game 1–1 in the third period, Sammy Taber stepped up in overtime to give the Eagles a 2–1 win and send them to the Hockey East semifinals.

“We knew we were going to have to fight hard to score goals, and it came down to who could score the last one,” BC head coach Katie Crowley said.

Following four consecutive losses, No. 4-seed BC (15–13–7, 13–9–5 Hockey East) hosted the single-elimination playoff game against No. 5-seed Providence (13–17–5, 12–10–5) at Kelley Rink. 

The Friars took the game’s first lead 1:13 into the second period, when Audrey Knapp sliced the puck past Grace Campbell to put Providence up 1–0.  

“Next save mentality,” Campbell said. “Nothing I can do about it right after it happens. My team had my back today.”

Campbell’s defense shined Friday night, staying in front of the Friars to tally 46 total saves. The Eagles’ offense, however, faced struggles. BC took until the third period to respond to Knapp’s goal. 

“We just stepped up our game,” Campbell said. “We knew we were good enough to score there, and did the little things right over time. We were good in our [defensive] zone, I thought, and that translated offensively.” 

Five minutes into the third, Caroline Goffredo fired, but came up empty handed. 

Amid a scrum in front of the net, however, Kate Ham managed to stay in front of Providence defenders and kept her eyes on the puck. She sent Goffredo’s rebound past Providence netminder Hope Walinski to level the score 1–1.

“Kate is such a really good hockey player,” Crowley said of the sophomore forward. “She can score goals. I’m really proud of that whole line. I think they played great today.”

Ham’s goal came after a scoreless first two periods for the Eagles. BC had two power-play opportunities in the second period, but failed to execute on both. The Friars had three of their own in the first two periods, but similarly could not convert on any of them. 

“We were bobbling a lot of pucks,” Crowley said. “You can’t get your momentum when you’re bobbling and keep having to go back and get them. We have to find a way to settle it down.”

Following Ham’s goal, BC was once again stagnant offensively, and the game headed to overtime gridlocked at 1–1. 

The Eagles found their momentum in overtime, cleanly connecting passes in transition. Katie Pyne and Taber came knocking on Walinski’s door, finding clear breaks to test the netminder as tension heightened. 

“They did a good job of staying positive—they’re positive all the time,” Crowley said of the team’s camaraderie. “People stepping up and talking and wanting this team to go further. They have fun around each other, and they want to keep playing.”

Just over 17 minutes into overtime, Taber collected the puck from the near sideboards. With Sammy Smigliani blocking Walinski’s view, Taber fired the puck over her shoulder and into the top shelf of the net, sending BC to the Hockey East semifinals.

“We wanted to win, and the sooner we got a goal, the sooner we got a win, and I think that kind of helped our mindset a little,” Taber said. 

March 3, 2024