Boston College Women’s Hockey has built itself a reputation for being an offensive juggernaut. The last several seasons, the Eagles have been at or near the top of the nation in scoring, and that was no different last year. BC was 3rd in goals scored with 130, behind only Wisconsin and national champ Clarkson.
This year should be no exception. While the Eagles lost two high-scoring players to graduation in Andie Anastos and Kristyn Capizzano (plus another supporting player in Haley McLean), the Eagles offense looks to be in great shape for the new season. BC returns five of their top six scoring forwards, and a strong freshman class should bolster that core.
The Eagles are a young squad on offense. Only one forward, the dual-sport star Kenzie Kent, will be honored on Senior Day. The Eagles’ co-captain has produced since the first day she stepped on the Kelley Rink ice, putting up 38, 43, and 28 points in her three years at BC. As the only senior forward, expect to see Kent shoulder a lot of the scoring responsibility for the Eagles.
Boston College has three junior forwards: Molly Slowe, Ryan Little, and co-captain Makenna Newkirk. Little and Slowe have been depth players for the Eagles in their first two years, but saw greatly increased playing time last season. Their ability to make a scoring jump this season from 3rd/4th liners to reliable, experienced producers would go a long way toward pushing the Eagles to a national title.
But Makenna Newkirk is the centerpiece of the Boston College offense. She is the leading returning scorer for the Eagles after putting up a whopping 88 points in her first two seasons. It was clear she was destined to be a team leader when she put up a 22-27—49 line as a freshman while playing most of the season on a line without Alex Carpenter or Haley Skarupa. Expect Newkirk to be the team’s top producer over both the next two seasons.
Last year’s BC added eight new players to the lineup, including five forwards plus one D/F (Kate Annese). They all dressed for most of the season, but Caitrin Lonergan and Delaney Belinskas were the clear standouts with 33 points each as rookies. They are BC’s 2nd and 3rd highest returning scorers and will be expected to once again score a lot of BC’s goals.
The other three players saw significant time and provided BC with some depth. Bridget McCarthy, Rachel Moore, and RS-So. Erin Connolly will look to add some more points to the Eagles’ scoresheets. Expect Connolly in particular to make a nice sophomore jump.
BC coaches Katie Crowley and Courtney Kennedy are nationally known as two of the best recruiters in women’s hockey, and this year looks to have another strong set of freshmen. Three rookie forwards will join the team this season — Willow Corson, Daryl Watts, and Maegan Beres — with two of them, Watts and Beres, having USA and Canada U18 national team experience on their resumes. With the loss of team leaders Kristyn Capizzano and Andie Anastos to graduation, Watts and Beres in particular will probably be thrown right into the fire.
All in all, the Eagles didn’t lose as much offense as some of the other top schools, Wisconsin and Minnesota in particular, so BC has to feel like anything less than another Frozen Four would be a disappointment — with a national championship firmly within reach.