Boston College Women's Hockey defeated Providence College 8-6 on Friday night, in a game that was even more wild than the score would suggest.
The ladies seem to have caught the men's habit of having a slow start every time the hit the ice, because for the last couple weeks it has taken a long, long time for BC to get going.
That was the case again on Friday when BC fell behind twice in the first period to PC by scores of 1-0 and 2-1, and were even outshot by the Friars 11-9.
This is not a BC team that gets outshot very often. Fortunately BC turned on the freaking jets on the second period and put the game out of reach (or so you would have thought). BC scored 5 unanswered goals in the period (!) and outshot PC 16-8, totally controlling the period.
But then in the third period, all hell broke loose.
PC and BC traded goals midway through the period to make the score 7-3. With just over 3 minutes left in the game, PC took a penalty, and then somehow BC managed to take two on the same whistle to make it a 4 on 3 for Providence. PC opted to pull their goalie and scored once 5-on-3, a minute later 6-on-4, and again 30 seconds later 6-on-5 to pull within just one goal with 26 seconds to go. Three extra attacker goals to almost pull off a miracle.
Kate Leary put an end to the nonsense, however, finally putting in an empty netter with three ticks left on the clock to make the final 8-6 BC.
Providence is a good team, so BC should just feel happy to escape with the win, particularly with how much the Eagles have been struggling. It has been quite some time since BC has put together a 60 minute effort, and everything seems to be going wrong at the same time:
1) The penalty kill is just terrible right now. PC scored four of their goals on the power play, for a 4-for-8 night.
2) The defense is really struggling, giving up 10 goals in the last two games for the first time in years.
3) Something is wrong with the goaltending and I really don't know what the solution is to fix it. BC started backup Megan Miller against Dartmouth and got a 7-2 win. Then Corinne Boyles started against Syracuse and BC fell 4-1. Then tonight BC started Boyles, who gave up 2 goals on 11 shots, and swapped to Miller after the first period who gave up 4 goals on 22 shots.
Boyles, the team's true starter, is 26th out of the 30 qualifying goaltenders in the nation, with just a .906 save percentage.
I don't know what the solution is, and maybe they're just working through a rough patch, but that is extremely concerning.
My fear is that the team is missing the defense of graduated seniors Dru Burns and Blake Bolden much more than expected.
Fortunately, forward Haley Skarupa hasn't missed a beat. She leads the nation in goals with 9 and is only one back in total points with 16 in just 8 games. She is a true Patty Kazmaier Award favorite.
BC wraps up the weekend home-and-home on Sunday against the Friars at 2pm at Conte Forum. Hopefully the Eagles are able to tighten things up in the next couple days.