Last weekend, the Eagles squeaked by Vermont, one of the worst teams in Hockey East, with a pair of one goal wins — including one in overtime.
One week later, things are looking quite a bit better for the Eagles. In the first game of a home-and-home series against Providence College, Boston College Women’s Hockey put together a strong two-way effort for a 5-0 win over the 10th ranked Friars.
Boston College Goal #1 (GWG): 14:19 of the 2nd period
Daryl Watts (Caitrin Lonergan, Willow Corson)
BC 1, PC 0
It was a slow start for the Eagles on the score sheet, but given BC’s penchant for giving up bunches of goals, we as fans are just happy to see the Eagles post a clean sheet for a period. The Friars are a dangerous offensive team — 9th nationally in goals per game — and while they did get a chance or two, BC for the most part had the game in their control from the drop of the puck.
And as it turned out, all it took for the Eagles to get the scoring started was a little spark. Daryl Watts, electric as she is, was happy to oblige.
Her goal to open the game is basically impossible. She takes the give and go feed from Caitrin Lonergan and heads toward the goal line. Madison Myers, the Providence goaltender, is holding the post — as you would expect, since from the angle Watts has, there’s basically no way she can score. But she does, somehow fitting the puck over the shoulder of Myers and popping the water bottle at the far post.
This was really a thing of beauty, and from there, BC really started to tighten their grip on the game both territorially and on the scoreboard.
Boston College Goal #2: 5:52 of the 3rd period
Serena Sommerfield (Caroline Ross, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 2, PC 0
BC got some lucky bounces in the third period, but the way they were playing, they really did deserve some goals.
Serena Sommerfield gave the Eagles their first insurance goal off a shot that was more of an eephus than a changeup. The puck floats in and almost seems to catch the Providence defender around the crease offguard. She makes half a move to get out of the way and half a move to kick the puck out, and the result is that she deflects it perfectly past her own goaltender.
Oops. BC will take it though.
Boston College Goal #3: 8:13 of the 3rd period
Makenna Newkirk (Caroline Ross, Maegan Beres)
BC 3, PC 0
BC gets their third goal on another long shot from the point, but this time it’s an intentional deflection off an Eagle stick.
Ross takes the shot from the blue line, and if you follow the play it just sets up as good as BC can hope for. Beyond the first defender at the top of the slot, there’s a nice wide shot-pass lane for Ross to aim for, and Newkirk has all kinds of space. She finds the puck from Ross, just gets a touch on it, and it slips past Myers for the 3-0 lead.
Boston College Goal #4: 13:11 of the 3rd period
Ryan Little (Delaney Belinskas, Erin Connolly)
BC 4, PC 0
Coach Crowley gave the third line solid minutes in the third period — and really they’ve been seeing pretty normal shifts for most of the season — and they’ve ended up turning into a more than passable energy line. This shot is another fortuitous bounce for BC off a Providence defender, but it’s the result of some good puck possession out of the third line off the draw.
Belinskas doesn’t seem to have much of a plan for this play other than to get it to the net, but that’s never a bad option. The Providence players obviously don’t expect it, because the player that the puck hits out front looks away from the puck carrier right as she fires it off.
It takes the bounce off the defender and ends up right out front. Little is there with a defender on her, but she fights harder for it (the Providence player almost realizes she’s out of luck before it even happens) and slaps BC’s 4th goal.
Boston College Goal #5 (PPG): 18:07 of the 3rd period
Ryan Little (Grace Bizal)
BC 5, PC 0 — FINAL
Goal #4 was the last show Myers would see on the day, but her replacement, Alanna Serviss, didn’t fare much better. The second power play unit scores the goal from the boards thanks to an impressive shot from Ryan Little for her second of the night, and that was all she wrote from Kelley Rink.
The Eagles will head down I-95 on Saturday afternoon for the second game of the home-and-home with the Friars, and BC has a lot to play for. With a win, Katie Burt would set the NCAA Women’s Hockey record for most career wins as a goaltender — obviously a major record to break — and the Eagles would also clinch the Hockey East regular season title.
But nationally, the game looms even larger. There are just a few weeks left in the regular season, and with all but one of BC’s 6 remaining games against teams in the top 14 of the Pairwise, getting the weekend sweep will be crucial for improving the Eagles’ tournament seeding.