Boston College Women’s Hockey had a little tougher go of it than they might have liked this weekend against last place Holy Cross, but the Eagles did just enough to come away with two wins. After needing overtime to dispatch the Crusaders in game one on Friday, the Eagles held the lead through regulation in Saturday’s win, taking five of six league points on the final weekend before the winter break.
Friday’s game didn’t get off on the right foot at all for the Eagles. Senior forward and leading scorer Hannah Bilka left the game in the first period with an injury and did not return, which really hurt BC’s offensive attack. After playing pretty evenly with Holy Cross in the opening frame, BC did finally find a goal early in the second period after take a 1-0 lead but conceded almost immediately after to make it 1-1. That’s where the score would remain through the rest of the second and all of the third period, sending the game to overtime.
The Eagles took a penalty right at the end of regulation, which seemingly should have really hurt their chances of getting a winner — not only would BC have to kill a 4 on 3 advantage in the overtime to begin with, but the penalty also meant that OT would be played 4 on 4 after the kill rather than the more open 3 on 3.
No matter, though. Abby Newhook, who has come up huge for the Eagles at almost every opportunity, had the winning strike to give BC the 2-1 victory.
In additional to Bilka, the Eagles also lost the services of forward Kate Ham in Friday’s contest to an injury on a separate play. Without two of their more potent offensive threats, Coach Crowley had to be a little creative with the lineups for the team’s final game of the first half. Defender Alexie Guay was brought up to play with an intriguing line of Guay-Goffredo-Newhook, with Kara Goulding moving up a line to fill in for Ham and a few other forwards shuffled around behind them.
Coach Crowley’s changes seemed to work out pretty well despite the players having little time to get accustomed to their new linemates. While it couldn’t be said that the Eagles dominated the contest, they did largely control play better than they did on Friday and found a bit more offense. Abby Newhook and Deirdre Mullowney each put home a goal early in the 2nd to give BC a 2-0 lead, but Lilly Feeney of the Crusaders brought the score back to 2-1 a few minutes later after a chaotic turn of events on Abbey Levy’s doorstep led to a Holy Cross goal. Katie Pyne responded with a score on a breakaway to make it 3-1 to go into the third period, and things were looking good.
Unfortunately, Holy Cross held on long enough to make the game interesting. A goal just 18 seconds into the third upped the stress levels, but BC did well enough to limit the Crusaders’ chances until Katie Pyne could send in an empty netter from long range to lock in the 4-2 win.
The Eagles are now off until the end of the holiday season, and the time off couldn’t have come at a better time. There hasn’t been any word on the severity of the injuries that the Eagles are dealing with, but with over a month between now and BC’s next game on January 3rd against Maine, hopefully the team can heal up in time for a trophy season push.