After rattling off four straight quality wins, the 5th ranked BC women's hockey team dropped a tough game to #7 Quinnipiac 3-2, BC's first ranked opponent of the season.
BC got on the board quickly with a goal off the stick of freshman Kristyn Capizzano 5 minutes into the first period. Shots were 11-6 QU in the period, but there was a lot of neutral zone play for both teams. All 6 of BC's shots came in the same of about 10 seconds of game time -- a three shot burst 5 minutes in and another 3 shot burst with about 5 minutes to go. Despite the shot disparity, it felt like a pretty even period.
Quinnpiac got the equalizer late in the 2nd period and then the go-ahead goal a few minutes later, with just 53 seconds left in the period, on the power play. 2-1 was the score into the locker room.
Again, BC didn't seem to put on much offensive pressure, particularly 5 on 5. BC's power play looked very good for much of the game and they did a good job of possessing the puck.
The third period was more of the same, with virtually no offensive pressure coming from the Eagles while even strength. They caught a break late in the period when QU's Cydney Roesler took a body checking penalty, and then took a second body checking penalty during the delayed call.
The 4 minute double minor was just what BC needed, because they weren't going to tie the game even-strength. Freshman Andie Anastos scored the tying goal early enough in the power play to give BC its final two minutes, but they couldn't cash in on the game-winner.
Instead, with just two minutes left, Quinnipiac made them pay and put in goal number three to take the win.
I had to sleep on this game before posting about it because these kind of losses usually get me into "sky is falling" mode. BC could not manage to get anything going whatsoever 5-on-5. And phenom Haley Skarupa couldn't manage to have any really threatening chances.
The reality is, BC's lack of pressure is more about QU than about BC. Quinnpiac is an incredible defensive team, ranking #1 in the nation in team defense, and goaltender Chelsea Laden is tops in both GAA (rocking a 0.94, which is nuts) and shutouts (with 5).
So tip your cap to Quinnipiac. But with BC's soft schedule, opportunities to show that they can beat the top teams are going to be hard to come by. After a double-bye next weekend against terrible UConn, BC faces #2 Cornell, #2 Cornell, #6 Harvard, and #8 Boston University in four straight -- all on the road.