Boston College Women’s Hockey opened their season on Saturday afternoon, and for the most part, all went just about according to plan. The NEWHA champion Franklin Pierce Ravens put up a great fight behind their goaltender Suzette Faucher, but the Eagles pulled away in the third period after dominating the contest and took the win with a final score of 4-1. Shots in the game were 49-18 in favor of the Eagles.
It took until the second period for the scoring to start. Boston College opened things up with a well-executed 3 on 2 that saw Hannah Bilka dish a drop pass back to Cayla Barnes trailing the rush. Barnes was able to skate into the slot and fire off the shot to finally beat Faucher and put BC up 1-0.
Bilka to Barnes! pic.twitter.com/AjBf6MqNvu— Boston College Women's Hockey (@BC_WHockey) September 24, 2022
Franklin Pierce tied the game up a few minutes later, however, to keep things interesting. The Eagles misfired on a chip out of the defensive zone which allowed the Ravens to rush in on BC goaltender Abbey Levy. Levy made the initial save, but the rebound wide found the stick of FPU’s Ava Kison who sent it back where it came from to make it 1-1.
The game would stay scoreless into the third period, but it wasn’t for lack of Boston College opportunities. The Eagles put several Grade-A scoring chances on net in all three periods, but the game was still tied well into the final frame until three quick goals from Kate Ham, Hannah Bilka, and Gaby Roy put the game well out of reach for what ended up being a not-as-stressful-as-it-could-have-been 4-1 final score.
The big names made a big impact in this one. Hannah Bilka in particular brought some newfound confidence home with her from playing with Team USA at the World Championships this summer and seems to somehow be even better than she was last season. She was all over the ice in this game and came away with a goal, an assist, and a game high seven shots.
The return of Cayla Barnes from her Olympic season was just as noticeable. While the defensive unit as a whole had a couple shake-off-the-rust miscues here and there, Barnes’ huge minutes and playmaking ability from the back to help start the rush were on display once again in Chestnut Hill. She was rewarded with a goal and an assist of her own on the afternoon as well.
One last player that needs to be shouted out is freshman Kate Ham. Ham missed all of last season at Noble and Greenough School, and so came into college a bit under the radar. But prior to her injury she was a great talent and the coaching staff knew that if she could return to the ice at 100% she’d be able to be an early contributor. She scored her first career goal in the game, but was noticeable even outside of her roof-job tally in creating offense when she was on the ice.
full stop.— Boston College Women's Hockey (@BC_WHockey) September 24, 2022
Hammer Time. pic.twitter.com/FCnC3bzRuQ
If the Eagles can get meaningful scoring from the freshman on top of what they returned from last season, then BC should be looking at a good year ahead.
Things get much more difficult for Boston College next week as they head to Quinnipiac to take on the 8th ranked Bobcats on Friday afternoon. Taking a decisive win over a team from the NEWHA is one thing, but getting a win against a strong ECAC program is another thing entirely. This is going to be an early Show What You’ve Got contest for BC. Puck drop is at 6pm on Friday in Hamden, CT.