Once again, BC Women’s Hockey has staked their claim as the best team in Boston!
For the third consecutive year, the Women’s Beanpot will reside in its rightful place in the Conte Forum trophy case. In what was truly a championship game for the ages, the Eagles and Terriers traded chances up and down the ice for 75 minutes of breathless hockey. BC needed a late winner in regulation and had to weather a BU power play in the extra period, but Toni Ann Miano scored a power play goal for the Eagles to win the thrilling contest in overtime by a score of 4-3.
Boston College Goal #1: 2:18 of the 1st period
Daryl Watts (Toni Ann Miano, Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 1, BU 0
It didn’t take long for BC to get on the scoreboard against the Terriers. Both teams were skating hard and creating chances, and the Eagles were the ones to take advantage first.
Toni Ann Miano starts the play by intercepting a BU outlet pass in the neutral zone and turning the rush back around back into the Terrier end. BU does a pretty good job of trying to clog things up, and Miano doesn’t get off a great shot and the puck is blocked out front. But the puck falls to the stick of probably the last person in the world that BU wants it to in Daryl Watts, and she gets a shot away before Terrier goaltender Corinne Schroeder can properly react.
Boston College Goal #2: 12:26 of the 1st period
Molly Slowe (Daryl Watts, Caitrin Lonergan)
BC 2, BU 0
The Eagles really shot out of a cannon offensively in the first period. BC wasn’t just skating aggressive, they were also passing aggressive, with hard, sharp, confident passes up and down the ice that really opened things up for the Eagles.
This goal is a thing of beauty and is one of the best goals BC has scored all season. First, you’ve got Caitrin Lonergan cutting laterally across the ice to the high slot. This has been sort of her signature move this year, so you can kind of forgive BU defender Breanna Scarpaci for defending it that way. But Lonergan’s vision on the play is something to behold — she spots Watts coming in behind her (somehow), and dishes back a no-look behind-the-back pass to the freshman who now has the puck inside the faceoff circle.
Watts can shoot if she wants, but she’s got a better option with Molly Slowe getting in behind the Deziray De Sousa for what is now effectively a two-on-one. Watts gets the puck to Slowe right where it needs to be, and Slowe buries it for the 2-0 BC lead.
It should be mentioned, by the way, that Slowe has played on the 4th line all season. Coach Crowley opted to elevate her to the Watts/Lonergan line in tonight’s game, and the chemistry was pretty shocking. This goal is pretty great evidence of that.
Boston University Goal #1: 3:15 of the 2nd period
Victoria Bach (Reagan Rust)
BC 2, BU 1
While BC did have the 2-0 lead after 1 and played quite well in the first period, there were signs there that BU just wasn’t going to be shut out on this night. The Terriers, led by lethal senior phenoms Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie, caused serious havoc for the BC defenders whenever they were on the ice and it felt like every other shift of theirs featured some kind of odd player rush.
This wasn’t an odd player rush for Victoria Bach, but it does come as a result of a quick turnover in the BU end that pucks Bach in on a one-on-one. Bach gets to the high slot and pops the water bottle for a ridiculous goal that almost came out the back side of the net.
Unfortunately, the Terriers were just getting started.
Boston University Goal #2 (PPG): 4:00 of the 2nd period
Reagan Rust (Abbey Stanley, Nara Elia)
BC 2, BU 2
Just seconds later, the Eagles took a penalty, and seconds after that, BU all of a sudden had the game tied.
The second BU power play unit took to the ice and scored almost immediately from long range on a shot from the point by Reagan Rust. There’s traffic in front of Burt, but it looks like she saw it and the shot just took her a little off guard. It trickles through her for the score that ties the game up out of absolutely nowhere.
Boston University Goal #3: 8:16 of the 2nd period
Rebecca Leslie (Victoria Bach, Breanna Scarpaci)
BU 3, BC 2
But BU still wasn’t done. Bach and Leslie were back on the ice a couple shifts later, and you can see just the kind of trouble they caused BC’s defense. As soon as they clear the BC end, they’re off to the races, and the BC defense is back on their heels.
Bach gets the extra attention as the Patty Kazmaier candidate, and it opens up Rebecca Leslie on the far side for the one-timer opportunity. This one beats Burt cleanly, and in the span of just a few minutes, BC’s hard work from the first period is completely erased and the Eagles are staring down the barrel of a deficit.
Boston College Goal #3: 15:52 of the 3rd period
Daryl Watts (Molly Slowe)
BC 3, BU 3
And that was where the score stayed for far longer than BC fans might have liked. It was starting to look like Friday’s loss to New Hampshire in which the Eagles entered the third period trailing by a goal, and while you figured there was no way they were going to get shut out in the third period, the clock kept ticking away and BC still couldn’t add to the scoreboard.
But you should know that Daryl Watts hasn’t graduated yet and won’t graduate for a very long time, and as such she was available on the BC roster to save the day.
Once again, Molly Slowe is getting involved and looking damn good while doing so. Slowe not only forces the turnover in her own end and starts the rush while trying to settle a bouncing puck, but she also somehow manages to get off a tape to tape pass while being pressured by the Terriers’ best defenseman along the boards.
Once she gets it to Watts, the freshman takes over from there and just rifles an bolt over the blocker of Schroeder to tie the game in the waning minutes of regulation.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG, GWG): 14:57 of Overtime
Toni Ann Miano (Makenna Newkirk, Kenzie Kent)
BC 4, BU 3 — FINAL
From there, it was stress city for both BC and BU fans. The Eagles fans in particular were probably down to just about no fingernails left by the time overtime was halfway over, because the Terriers were certainly still bringing the pressure and creating plenty of scoring chances.
If it wasn’t for Katie Burt — who doesn’t get nearly enough credit in these Goal By Goal recaps, but had one of her best games of the year and stopped about a dozen Victoria Bach opportunities throughout the matchup — the game would have ended well before the Eagles got a power play opportunity of their own, which they were able to cash in on for the win.
Coach Crowley deserves as much credit for the winning goal as Toni Ann Miano does. Crowley opted not to take a timeout at the beginning of the power play, because her top power play unit — by far the team’s best unit — was ready to go. After being on the ice for 1:25 of the power play and getting a whistle for a faceoff, the top unit was ready to go off. But Coach Crowley pulled the trigger on the timeout to give the top unit a rest, allowing them to play the full two minutes of the power play.
I wanted to get that power play unit back out there. Those 5 players are so dangerous and it showed in that last goal. I figured it we could give them a rest that would be what they need.
It sure was. The Eagles won the draw and were able to set up for the final few seconds for another shot at the game-winning goal. Miano took possession at the top of the umbrella, and with BU probably gripping their sticks a bit tightly and collapsed in on Burt, Miano stepped up to the top of the faceoff circle, shot the puck through the screen, and threw her equipment into the air in celebration.
It was such a thrilling championship game, and it earns the Eagles their second trophy of the season — the Beanpot will sit beside the Hockey East regular season championship trophy, with two more trophies still out there to be won.
The Eagles will head up to Orono for the final weekend of the regular season (!) and a pair with the Black Bears. The Eagles still have a good shot at claiming the top eastern spot in the Pairwise (and even an realistic shot at #1 overall) if they win the rest of their games through the Hockey East championship, so there’s still much to play for and the Eagles can’t afford to drop one up north.