Friday afternoon, BC women’s hockey coasted to a 5-0 win against the Black Bears in Orono. BC continued to skate on autopilot on Saturday, and despite the closer 3-1 final score, the game was never in doubt for the Eagles.
With how stressful BC’s games have been lately, Eagles fans certainly have to be happy to have the opportunity to exhale this weekend heading into postseason play.
Boston College Goal #1 (GWG): 4:36 of the 1st period
Erin Connolly (Delaney Belinskas, Ryan Little)
BC 1, UMO 0
It’s amazing how sleepy both of these games were, considering it was a matchup of top ten teams. Maine is solid and technically sound, but they seem to lack any sort of elite scoring threat. Their top scorer, Tereza Vanišová, only has 13 goals — and has been held pointless in nine consecutive games.
So even though the Eagles took most of the first period to score their first goal, it didn’t feel like Maine was about to take control of the game at any point.
Ryan Little chases after the puck at the beginning of the play for BC and wins the race. She centers the puck to Delaney Belinskas, but the puck is in her skates and she can’t handle it. That’s just fine though — Erin Connolly is skating in to join the play, and she gathers in the bounce off Delaney’s skates. A quick backhand beats Loryn Porter to give the Eagles the lead.
Boston College Goal #2: 7:59 of the 2nd period
Caitrin Lonergan (Daryl Watts, Molly Slowe)
BC 2, UMO 0
Caitrin Lonergan scores to double the BC lead in the 2nd period! pic.twitter.com/3VjW5LVqCc— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) February 17, 2018
BC doubled their lead in the second period thanks to some good forechecking.
Molly Slowe battles with Maine along the boards enough to disrupt the clearing attempt. Caitrin Lonergan jumps in to bring the puck back the other way, and she sets up a great play with Watts.
Lonergan sends the puck to Watts below the goal line and immediately goes to the front of the net. Watts cuts out front and moves to take the shot, and she draws the attention of the Maine defenders. Lonergan now has her stick free, and Watts finds her for the one timer that puts the Eagles up 2-0.
Maine Goal #1: 5:41 of the 3rd period
Brittan Kucera (Unassisted)
BC 2, UMO 1
Maine pulls within on in the 3rd period... pic.twitter.com/Bauh1N7wLj— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) February 17, 2018
Maine did eventually find a goal this weekend, but it took them more than five periods to do it.
This might be a goal that Katie Burt wants back. Like BC’s second goal, Maine turns the puck back around to keep the play onside. Kucera intercepts the puck and goes to the top of the faceoff circle where she takes a shot. It’s hard to tell if it takes a deflection or it it just clean through, but it sails past the glove of Burt and into the net to at least give Maine the perception that they are still alive.
Boston College Goal #3: 8:57 of the 3rd period
Ryan Little (Delaney Belinskas, Erin Connolly)
BC 3, UMO 1 — FINAL
Ryan Little gets the goal back for the Eagle -- it's 3-1 BC! pic.twitter.com/WH71The79W— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) February 17, 2018
That perception was short-lived, though, because the Eagles got the goal back just a few minutes later.
As much skill as BC’s top two elite scoring lines bring to a game, there’s something to be said for what the Eagles’ third line brings to the table. For several weeks now, they’ve brought a great energy to BC’s game. They’ve been doing a great job of turning momentum around and giving the Eagles some extended possession, often after the other team had been controlling play. Erin Connolly’s suspension for the UNH loss last weekend really hurt, because in a game against teams like UNH and Maine who don’t have elite scorers but do well at slowing the game down, she would have been a great asset to have and the game really might have gone differently.
You see what this line is here for on this goal. They earn possession and cause a lot of chaos for the other team, and if you cause enough problems in front of the net, eventually some of those are going to end up in the net.
That’s exactly what happens. The puck pinballs around a few times, and eventually Ryan Little has the puck on her stick and a sprawling goalie to shoot the puck past. That put the Eagles back up by two for the 3-1 final.
The Eagles finished strong, keeping goaltender Loryn Porter pinned in her net until there were only about 30 seconds left in the game, so the Black Bears weren’t even able to start a comeback attempt with the extra attacker.
...And that’s that for the regular season! The Eagles will drop the puck on postseason play next weekend against Hockey East #8 seed Vermont for a best 2-of-3 series at Conte Forum on Friday, Saturday, and hopefully not Sunday. All games are at 2pm.
We’ve arrived at the stretch run. There are still two trophies available, and BC’s there aren’t many more mulligans to be had if they want to claim them both.