In the Boston College women's hockey team's final game before a lengthy holiday break, they battled #3 Harvard to a 1-1 tie in a fast-paced, exhilarating, often frustrating game, in which the Eagles pulled off the tie courtesy of a thrilling goal by Emily Pfalzer with under 90 seconds to play and the BC net empty. The tie puts BC's record at 12-4-2 going into the break, and represents BC's third straight solid performance against a highly ranked Ivy League foe, after splitting a series last weekend at Cornell.
Playing in front of 1,729 fans - one of the largest crowds in Harvard women's hockey history - the Crimson jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on somewhat of a fluky goal by Miye O'Dench just 3:22 into the game. Undaunted, BC went on to dominate the first period, rattling off chance after chance and outshooting the Crimson 18-10 in the period, which was probably not even an accurate reflection of the Eagles' dominance.
The frustration continued through the second period as BC continued to put the heat on Harvard, controlling the play in 5-on-5 situations and putting together two very strong power plays with a lot of zone time. However, they were still unable to solve Harvard goalie Emerance Maschmeyer.
It was more of the same in the third period, with BC continuing their offensive barrage, putting up another 18 shots, outshooting Harvard 18-7 in the frame. But time after time, they were denied by Maschmeyer. With under six minutes to go and the Eagles buzzing around the net, BC drew a crucial power play when Maschmeyer tripped an Eagle forward - but they were unable to capitalize. Despite about 54 minutes of dominance and 49 regulation shots it looked like the Eagles were going to get shut out.
Coach Katie King Crowley was aggressive in getting goalie Corinne Boyles out of the game, pulling her with about 1:55 to go. The move paid dividends. Pfalzer finally, mercifully found the back of the net with her first goal of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
The two teams swapped opportunities in OT, with Harvard pouring on seven shots, including one that was barely cleared off the line. When the horn sounded, BC ended up with a 52-36 shots edge.
It was frustrating to see BC pile on so many shots and not win the game, but it's impressive to see how well they played against one of the nation's top defensive teams. It was also absolutely crucial to get the game tying goal. This will be one of BC's last games all season against a ranked foe, and the tie preserved BC's 9th place spot in the pairwise rankings, just outside of the top 8 and an NCAA bid.
The Eagles return to the ice in one month when they take on #5 BU at Walter Brown Arena on January 8.