BC Women’s Hockey will be playing for the Hockey East championship!
One downside (the only downside, really) to completely blowing teams out of the water like the Eagles did last year is that games are rarely that exciting. After going up by 4 or 5 goals, the thrill starts to wear off.
But after losing the most talented graduating class in program history, the Eagles were brought back to the pack a bit and were forced to fight for the win in quite a few exciting contests.
Saturday afternoon’s Hockey East semifinal topped them all. After Vemont used three power-play goals to claw back into the game, the Eagles dominated both extra periods and eventually took the win, 4-3 in the second overtime.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 6:12 of the 1st period
Kenzie Kent (Andie Anastos, Megan Keller)
BC 1, UVM 0
BC got the scoring going early on one of the prettiest goals of the year.
The Eagles took advantage of the open passing lanes presented to them on the power play, and went tic-tac-toe all around the ice before Kent fired home the goal. Poor Vermont didn’t even have time to react to the one-touch passes, and the Catamount goaltender Madison Litchfield was tied in a not by the time all was said and done.
Boston College Goal #2: 2:03 of the 2nd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Megan Keller, Grace Bizal)
BC 2, UVM 0
The first goal was all team, but goal number two early in the 2nd period was a brilliant individual effort.
Caitrin Lonergan has been playing through and injury, and Saturday afternoon she looked healthier than she has in weeks. She takes the puck across the red line and threads the needle through a handful of Catamount defenders before slotting the puck home to double the BC lead.
Vermont Goal #1 (PPG): 8:28 of the 2nd period
Taylor Willard (Sammy Kolowrat, Ève-Audrey Picard)
BC 2, UVM 1
But despite having the lead almost the entire game, the Eagles never looked to have the game in the bag, and Vermont wouldn’t go away.
The Catamounts’ first power play goal came on a shot from distance through a screen. Somehow, Willard’s shot from the point went all the way through traffic, and through Katie Burt.
It may have been deflected by a BC player out front, but either way, Willard got credit for the goal.
Boston College Goal #3: 12:03 of the 2nd period
Makenna Newkirk (Serena Sommerfield)
BC 3, UVM 1
But the Eagles responded a few minutes later to regain the two goal lead.
These are all highlight-reel goals for BC — this time, it’s Makenna Newkirk. Serena Sommerfield sends the puck right onto Newkirk’s stick, and from there, the junior went to work. She weaves her way around all the green jerseys to give herself an open lane to shoot, and makes no mistake on the finish.
Vermont Goal #2 (PPG): 16:18 of the 2nd period
Ali O’Leary (Taylor Willard, Sammy Kolowrat)
BC 3, UVM 2
But, here comes Vermont with another power play goal. It’s a pretty similar play, a shot from Willard at the point into traffic. This time, Burt makes the save, but having to reach out wide around the traffic has her out of position on the rebound.
O’Leary is there, and she’s got the whole net to poke the puck into.
Vermont Goal #3 (PPG): 6:40 of the 3rd period
Alyssa Gorecki (Amanda Drobot, Daria O’Neill)
BC 3, UVM 3
Three Vermont goals, all on the power play, all generated from shots at the point.
The Catamounts loved that shot into traffic. It’s another greasy goal, with Gorecki getting the last stick on the puck on a scrum in the crease, and Vermont somehow has the game tied.
But if there was a silver lining to the goal, it was that it sure woke the Eagles up. From this point on in the game, the Eagles absolutely dominated gameplay.
Boston College Goal #4 (GWG): 3:03 of double overtime
Andie Anastos (Kenzie Kent, Megan Keller)
BC 4, UVM 3 — FINAL
One and a half overtimes later, the Eagles found the game winner!
Kent manages to get herself into a pretty good place to shoot, although she can’t get a hard shot on it. It ends up working out, though — the puck is collected by Anastos right on the doorstep, and her turnaround backhand catches Litchfield by surprise, giving the Eagles the goal, the win, and the berth in the Hockey East championship game.
Interestingly, BC playing with a short bench the last several weeks may have helped them out tonight. The Eagles were healthier than they have been in a long, long time, with Makenna Newkirk, Caroline Ross, and Grace Bizal all on the ice. With the defensemen double-shifting week after week, their conditioning must have been in top-form, and they only turned the screws on the Catamounts the longer the game went.
BC now awaits the winner of the other semifinal between Boston University and Northeastern, taking place tonight. Northeastern took down Boston University in dramatic fashion in the other semifinal, so it’ll be the Eagles vs. the Huskies for all the Hockey Easts. The championship game will be on TV Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm on NESN+.