The bad news: Friday’s tie at UConn was incredibly frustrating.
The good news: Boston College Women’s Hockey carried its strong play from the end of the UConn game right into the beginning of its next road game at Vermont. For the first time this season, the Eagles really controlled play from start to finish against.
The Catamounts, a solid if unimpressive team, never could seriously threaten the Eagles, and despite the deceptively close 4-2 final score, this game was all BC.
Boston College Goal #1: 19:33 of the 1st period
Caitrin Lonergan (Daryl Watts, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 1, UVM 0
It was really a good start for BC. The Eagles outshot Vermont in every period for a final tally of 37-22, and even through my maroon and gold glasses I don’t even think it was as close as that.
BC’s “second” line of Watts-Lonergan-Corson is in complete control of the game every time they’re on the ice. Newkirk joined the party on the first BC goal as part of the top power play unit, as the Catamounts had just barely finished killing off a penalty. Newkirk looped around the back of the net (a play the Eagles have loved since the Stack years) before sending the puck back to Watts.
Watts vision is excellent on this play and she spots Lonergan creeping in the back door. Her pass across is right on the tape, and Lonergan has an open net to hit.
Vermont Goal #1 (EA, DP): 14:53 of the 2nd period
Olivia Kilberg (Amanda Drobot, Taylor Willard)
BC 1, UVM 1
Penalties once again gave the Eagles some problems. This goal wasn’t on the power play, but it was on a delayed penalty with a sixth Catamount coming onto the ice.
Vermont takes the shot from the blue line and Burt is very solidly screened — she’s clearly craning her neck to the side to try and get a view of what’s going on. The stick of Kilberg gets a bit of the puck before it hits Burt’s pad, so Burt isn’t able to control it. The rebound goes right to Kilberg’s stick again, and she scores to tie the game.
BC’s penalties have had a habit of allowing their opponent to score against the run of play. Of the 10 goals the Eagles have allowed this year, 7 have been on the power play. An 8th was this goal on the delayed penalty. It goes without saying that cleaning up the penalty kill and staying out of the box is the biggest way the Eagles can go from good to great right now.
Boston College Goal #2: 1:42 of the 3rd period
Daryl Watts (Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 2, UVM 1
But the high-voltage freshman put the Eagles back out front early in the third period. Watts dodged and weaved her way across the blue line through a pair of Catamounts to end up right on the front porch of Sydney Scobee.
A cheeky backhand back across the goal mouth beat Scobee for the goal, and BC was back out front for good.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG, GWG): 4:01 of the 3rd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Makenna Newkirk, Daryl Watts)
BC 3, UVM 1
The Eagles’ power play has started to come to life after a slow start. While BC’s first goal wasn’t technically on the power play, it was the same cast of characters on BC’s third to give the Eagles their rightful tally with the man advantage.
Vermont’s defender has to give the electric Watts some respect, so she’s backed up a bit further than she might have been otherwise. That gives lots of room for the pass back to Newkirk. Newkirk fires it in low on Scobee where it’s difficult to prevent a rebound, and Lonergan trailing is the first one to the puck to send it back in for the goal.
Vermont Goal #2 (PPG): 7:39 of the 3rd period
Alyssa Gorecki (Ali O'Leary, Daria O'Neill)
BC 3, UVM 2
Of course, that penalty kill is still giving BC fits. Vermont scored again against the run of play thanks to an Eagle penalty.
There’s just a bunch of problems for BC. One Eagle loses her stick on O’Neill’s follow through and can’t grab it to factor into the play before Vermont scores. The other three Eagles are all on the doorstep, but Vermont is still able to convert to get back within one.
Boston College Goal #4 (HT): 16:40 of the 3rd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Daryl Watts, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 4, UVM 2 — FINAL
Fortunately, though, Vermont scoring means the Eagles get to go back to 5 on 5, and they put the game back under control.
Late in the third period they got their insurance goal back thanks to Lonergan’s hat trick goal in which she is just too quick for the Vermont defender to keep up. She just burns outside the reach of that defender and fires it past Scobee, and that pretty much closed the door on Vermont’s evening.
The Eagles have been playing pretty well, particularly once they get going in a game, and it was nice to see them start strong from the beginning for probably the first time this season. There is still plenty to work on, in particular that penalty kill, before their next games this weekend.
BC will head down the road to face BU on Saturday before hosting a Maine team that’s put up a surprisingly good start on Sunday. Hopefully the Eagles can continue to progress as we get into the meat of the season.