All of Boston College's losses this season have been frustrating, but none come close to as maddening as yesterday afternoon's game against UConn. Despite 5 (quite good) power plays and 45 shots on goal, the Eagles couldn't find the back of the next and fell to one of the worst teams in the nation, 2-0.
The Eagles dominated for extended stretches of the game but couldn't solve UConn goaltender Elaine Chuli, who made all 45 saves including some wild stops on scrums in front of the net.
After a scoreless first period in which the Huskies never truly threatened despite their 8 shots on goal, UConn came out strong for the first few minutes and scored the game's first goal about 6 minutes in on a deflection in front of the net. The Eagles responded well and dominated until the end of the period but never could score.
The Huskies scored against the run of play midway through the third period to go up 2-0, and a late BC penalty cut short any potential comeback.
BC was forced to play without first line center Dana Trivigno. Rather than shuffle the recently-successful lines, Coach Crowley opted to slot first line winger Danielle Doherty on the first line wing and moved Taylor Wasylk from left wing to center on the first line.
The makeshift first line did find some success in pressuring the Huskies defense, but it's no coincidence that BC's first shutout since their last loss -- another 2-0 result on November 29th to Cornell -- came without Trivigno, a critical part of the Eagles' offense, in the lineup.
BC fell into a tie for 6th with North Dakota (losing the tiebreaker) in the Pairwise Rankings. With Robert Morris' own head-scratching 0-1-1 weekend to Syracuse, BC still has a small cushion over the 8th place tournament bubble, but North Dakota's 4-goal come-from-behind victory against Minnesota-Duluth knocked the Eagles out of their preferred 6th place position in the Pairwise (6th place being the position that nearly assures BC an eastern quarterfinal).
The Eagles head back to Conte Forum on Tuesday for the Beanpot championship against Northeastern -- possibly the toughest opponent the Eagles will face until the NCAA tournament with BU's recent struggles. BC will be looking for a huge comeback win over the (other) Huskies to solidify their tournament position.