It’s been a bit of a frustrating couple weeks for Boston College Women’s Hockey. Other than a 6-2 smacking of a not-particularly-good Harvard team on Tuesday, the Eagles have been in a few close ones and have allowed more goals than they probably would like.
That trend continued on Friday night against Vermont as the Eagles needed overtime to dispatch the Catamounts by a score of 3-2.
Boston College Goal #1: 3:02 of the 1st period
Kenzie Kent (Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 1, UVM 0
Things started out well enough for the Eagles. The first period was a dominating effort from BC — really one of their best 20 minute efforts of the season — and they scored pretty much right off the bat.
Caitrin Lonergan earns the steal with a great forecheck behind the net and immediately has a look out front to find a scorer. She doesn’t just blinly throw it out there, but rather waits just long enough to find a hole through to Kenzie Kent. Kent fires away at the one-timer, and it’ 1-0 Eagles.
Vermont Goal #1: 1:51 of the 2nd period
Alyssa Gorecki (Saana Valkama)
BC 1, UVM 1
The first period dominance by BC was really something. The Eagles outshot the Catamounts 14-2, and Vermont was held shotless for the final 13 minutes of the frame. Unfortunately it only takes one, and their third shot right at the start of the 2nd period was all they needed to tie things up.
This was the same sort of defensive breakdown that BC has been committing all season. This is a poor clearing attempt from the Eagle defender coming into her own end. It’s blind and it’s without much purpose other than to get the immediate pressure off. Even against a struggling team like Vermont, that’s just not going to cut it. The puck does fall back to the stick of Newkirk, but it’s still in Vermont’s end and the Catamounts can swarm to the puck.
A couple deflections later, Vermont has won the puck, and a centering pass to the high slot finds a wide open Catamount ready to fire away. Gorecki’s shot pops the water bottle behind Burt, and the game is tied.
Boston College Goal #2: 14:33 of the 2nd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Kenzie Kent)
BC 2, UVM 1
That explosive offense for BC has proven tough to overcome, though, even with the defensive lapses. Kent and Lonergan combined again for the second Eagle goal, this time with Kent doing the work on the assist.
Kent, like Lonergan on the first BC goal, forces a turnover to start things off. She dishes over to Lonergan coming in across the blue line. Lonergan goes laterally, as she is wont to do, giving herself some freedom for her forehand. She fires home the cross-body shot and it beats Scobee to put the Eagles back out front.
Vermont Goal #2 (PPG): 2:07 of the 3rd period
Ali O’Leary (Amanda Drobot, Kristina Shanahan)
BC 2, UVM 2
BC’s other bugaboo this season besides defensive turnovers has been the penalty kill. The Eagles take too many penalties and they allow too many goals while on those penalty kills.
Vermont’s game-tying goal in the third period was a shorthanded goal, and while a 4 for 5 penalty killing night isn’t an atrocious evening, it’s just the continuation of the same sort of trends we’ve seen all year. Vermont does deserve credit for the goal, though — they utilize the extra space well, and Drobot and O’Leary team up to put together a good lane down low for the one timer on the doorstep.
The Eagles seemed to back on their heels for much of the rest of the third period after the goal, but fortunately, they found their footing just in time to save the day.
Boston College Goal #3 (GWG): 1:42 of Overtime
Serena Sommerfield (Daryl Watts, Maegan Beres)
BC 3, UVM 2 — FINAL (OT)
The highlights have been conspicuously missing a Daryl Watts mention to this point, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. With all due respect and appreciation for the bomb Serena Sommerfield launches into the net to win the game, this whole highlight is a case in point to how much Watts can completely disrupt a game when she’s on the ice.
Watts skates into the Vermont end on the far side with speed and opts to go behind the net. Out of nowhere she creates a wraparound chance that’s pretty well uncontested by any Vermont skaters, and it’s only a great post-to-post move from Scobee that extends the game a few more seconds.
That doesn’t do it, but the rebound comes right back out to the near side of the ice where a couple Catamounts are available to sweep away the threat. However, Daryl Watts comes over and does some ridiculous Lionel Messi jiu-jitsu nonsense to win the puck, self-passes off the boards back onto her stick (spinning the defender like a top in the process), and passes the puck up the wall to Sommerfield:
Can we stop and talk about this ridiculous Lionel Messi jiu-jitsu nonsense that Daryl Watts pulled on this game-winning assist in overtime? pic.twitter.com/jFtS9CPY2Z— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 20, 2018
All of this was very rude.
From there, Sommerfield has the room to wind up a back-scratching slap shot through traffic (and a screen from linemate Maegan Beres out front) to give the Eagles the 3-2 overtime win.
Aside from BC’s struggles on the power play (the Eagles came into the game with the top unit in the country), this was pretty typical BC. The defense and penalty kill let you down, but the offensive firepower and sensational individual efforts from some of the top forwards in the country end up being enough to earn the win.
It remains to be seen just what the result of this style of play would be against Frozen Four-caliber opponents, but it’s what we’ve got, and it hasn’t been an unsuccessful way to play games either. Still, you’d hope to see the Eagles have a more comfortable win on Saturday afternoon to close out the weekend and bring back a little confidence.