Boston College Women’s Hockey had its first pair of games versus Boston University this weekend in the latest installments of the Battle of Comm Ave. After a frustrating series against Penn State last week that saw the Eagles go 0-1-1, BC was going to have to rebound well for their rivalry bout against the Terriers, and they delivered in fine style. Boston College took the weekend sweep with a 3-0 shutout on Friday afternoon at home followed by a 5-4 victory at Walter Brown Arena on Saturday to extend their perfect 4-0-0 start in league play.
Getting the shutout on Friday was a pleasant turn of events, as clean slates have been hard to come by for the Eagles the last couple years. Abby Levy got the start in net and turned aside all 29 shots she faced over three periods, and she got some early help from her offense. Olivia O’Brien, centering a fiery scoring line with Hannah Bilka and Abby Newhook, scored halfway through the first period for a lead that the Eagles wouldn’t relinquish. The Terriers hung around, but a goal from Newhook in the opening moments of the third period doubled the BC lead and O’Brien put home her second of the game several minutes later to ice the contest for the 3-0 final.
Saturday’s game, despite the final score, was an even more impressive showing from the Eagles. BC dominated their crosstown rival over the first two periods, and again took advantage of early goals to take control. Tallies from Katie Pyne and Alexie Guay in the first couple minutes of play gave the Eagles a fast start, and a ludicrous between-the-legs goal from BU’s Julia Nearis to cut the Terrier deficit to 2-1 only served as a further spark for BC as the Eagles put home two more quick goals from Bilka and Guay to close out the first period at 4-1.
BC fired a ton of shots on net in the second period and extended their lead to 5-1, this time on a smooth feed from Abby Newhook across the goal mouth to Hannah Bilka for the one-timer. It was an excellent showing through two periods, but the Terriers wouldn’t go quietly into the night. Boston University managed to find three goals in the third period on shots from distance that took nice deflections past freshman goalie Grace Campbell, making the game far more stressful than it needed to be, but in the end the Eagles were able to just about kill the clock and come away with the 5-4 victory and the weekend sweep.
There is one main takeaway from this weekend series: Boston College actually managed to outshoot and out possess a peer opponent pretty handily over the course of a weekend for the first time in a very long time. Boston University isn’t the team they used to be and will probably end up mid-table in Hockey East, but the Eagles weren’t even a squad that could put up big leads against the likes of Merrimack and Holy Cross last season. Down year or not for BU, this was a real quality sweep over a rival who certainly would have gotten up to play for these games, and it was BC who came out of it looking the much stronger side.
Next up for the Eagles is a very, very tricky series up in Burlington against the University of Vermont. The Catamounts were picked to finish 2nd in Hockey East this year, and as such represent an important checkpoint in the early going to see where BC stacks up among the better teams in the conference. Boston College and Vermont will play at 3pm on Friday and Saturday this weekend at the Gutterson Fieldhouse.