BC Women’s Hockey had allowed fewer than two goals against in just four contests coming into this weekend’s series with UNH. While their offense has been humming all season, giving up 2+ goals has become the norm for the Eagles.
But the Eagles followed up Friday’s 6-0 shutout of the Wildcats with another solid defensive effort, dominating UNH yet again to a 5-1 final score.
It was BC’s most complete weekend of the season.
Boston College Goal #1: 5:28 of the 1st period
Kenzie Kent (Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 1, UNH 0
Kenzie Kent scores to put BC up 1-0! pic.twitter.com/FgPJ6QFq8P— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
BC started the scoring early with Kenzie Kent finding the back of the net about five minutes into the game. The Eagles nearly scored several times before that, too — Daryl Watts alone created a trio of Grade A scoring opportunities in the first 100 seconds of the game, including ringing a shot off the crossbar. So it was just a matter of time until the Eagles scored.
The goal came as a result of UNH being very worried about Caitrin Lonergan. When she gains possession of the puck, she’s along the boards and not a threat at all. But she gets around a UNH defender and goes to the net, which is where the trouble starts.
All three Wildcat heads are pointed at Lonergan, which allows Kent to go to the crease without too much trouble. She does have one defender on her, but Kent has a step and has her stick down on the ice. Lonergan feeds the puck through nicely, and Kent just has to backhand the puck in for the goal.
New Hampshire Goal #1 (PPG): 14:05 of the 1st period
Nicole Dunbar (Julia Fedeski, Devan Taylor)
BC 1, UNH 1
UNH answers with a PPG to make it 1-1 pic.twitter.com/cg9VKa9Khx— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
Following the BC goal, UNH took a slew of penalties all in a row. The Eagles had 1:40 of 5 on 3, followed by another full powerplay, and couldn’t get a goal out of it. So of course when BC took their first penalty seconds after the Wildcats got back to full strength, UNH scored almost immediately.
If there’s anything positive that comes from this for BC, it’s that their defense wasn’t the problem. The Eagles have UNH passing the puck around the perimeter, and when the shot is taken, it’s not from much of a dangerous angle. Dunbar’s shot is a a laser though, and she threads the puck into the small opening above Burt’s shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.
Boston College Goal #2 (PPG, GWG): 4:48 of the 2nd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Daryl Watts, Kenzie Kent)
BC 2, UNH 1
Caitrin Lonergan puts the Eagles back in the lead with a PPG and it's 2-1 BC! pic.twitter.com/zJNvu9N7wI— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
The teams went into the locker room tied 1-1, but the Eagles felt firmly in control of the game. Early in the 2nd period, they retook the lead for good.
BC did finally get their power play goal. Daryl Watts and Caitrin Lonergan create a two on one, which isn’t a good situation for the UNH defender. She waits far too long and backs up far too much to do anything about the play, and by the time Watts dishes the puck across to Lonergan, they’re right on the doorstep.
From there it’s almost too easy, and Lonergan has a wide open net to shoot at one the one-timer.
Boston College Goal #3 (SHG): 10:05 of the 2nd period
Kenzie Kent (Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 3, UNH 1
Kenzie Kent has her second of the day -- this time shorthanded -- and BC is up 3-1 in the 2nd! pic.twitter.com/O6KtCmYfgr— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
The Eagles put together another two on one a few minutes later while shorthanded.
Lonergan is the forward with puck possession this time, with Kent coming in with her across the blue line. The UNH defense is a little better this time — the Wildcats have a defender trying to catch up and break of Kent’s end of the play, but she just can’t get there in time. Lonergan’s pass is right on the money, and Kent’s got just enough space left to lift the puck past Boutilier to make it 3-1.
Boston College Goal #4: 12:42 of the 2nd period
Daryl Watts (Maegan Beres, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 4, UNH 1
Daryl Watts sends the puck into an alternate dimension to make it 4-1 BC o.O pic.twitter.com/m8TmyeF92C— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
After Watts’ ridiculous 4-1—5 effort on Friday, it’s easy to feel like “just” 1-1—2 is a letdown. But Watts was her usual disruptive, electric self on Sunday, and her goal was once again of the highlight-reel variety.
Watts has ridiculously soft hands, but “finesse” this goal is not. This is power from beginning to end, with Watts bolting into the offensive end before unleashing a ridiculous high-voltage wrister into the top corner.
It’s the kind of play that really opens your eyes to just how good Daryl Watts really is. There is just nothing to this play with Watts along the boards 1 on 2 at the blue line, and it ends up being one of the game’s highlights.
Boston College Goal #5: 16:07 of the 3rd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Unassisted)
BC 5, UNH 1 — FINAL
Caitrin Lonergan has her second of the game and it's 5-1 Eagles! pic.twitter.com/xkLW7IFqlh— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 7, 2018
Not to be outdone, Caitrin Lonergan finished off the night for BC with a highlight of her own.
She breaks up the play in her own in before chipping the puck up and blowing by the UNH defender like she’s standing still. A few wiggles and a backhand-to-forehand later, she finds the five hole for her second goal of the game to give BC their fifth goal and a very nice 5-1 win over a top 15 team.
This was a very, very good weekend for the Eagles. A 11-1 aggregate score over a team that’s actually managed to win a few games this year is definitely worth a tip of the cap. The offense was the same caliber we’ve seen all season (actually a bit better, with BC putting up 4.45 GPG going into the weekend), but the defense seemed to take a real step forward. Even though the shutout was Friday, Sunday’s 1 goal effort might have been even better, with defensive lapses few and far between. Katie Burt put up her second straight superb effort in the win as well.
Two games do not make any kind of sample size, but this weekend was the sort of effort we need to see to have hopes for some hardware as trophy season approaches.