After Wisconsin suffered a baffling sweep at the hands of Ohio State last weekend, the Eagles got themselves within striking distance of #1 in the Pairwise for the first time all season. Unfortunately, Friday afternoon against New Hampshire, the Eagles had a setback of their own.
The game in the middle of Beanpot Week is always a struggle, and this year the annual trap game bit the Eagles. New Hampshire came away with the 2-1 win and put the Eagles on their heels going into Tuesday’s Beanpot championship game.
New Hampshire Goal #1: 19:25 of the 1st period
Meghara McManus (Abby Chapman)
UNH 1, BC 0
This whole game was just ugly, ugly, ugly. The goals were ugly, the game play was ugly, the passing was ugly... someone took this game out back and beat it with the ugly stick.
The Eagles couldn’t complete a clean pass all afternoon, and this particular attempt led to New Hampshire’s first goal. The Eagles defender tries to pass the puck up the boards, but it’s intercepted by a UNH skater who enters the BC end. She makes a back pass to the trailer, McManus, and McManus just sends it to the net.
Katie Burt will certainly want this shot back. There were no replays of the goal other than live, but this was not a hard shot. Burt may have been screened, but whatever the reason, the puck just slid right inside the far post past Burt’s skate for the goal right at the end of the first period.
Boston College Goal #1: 4:13 of the 2nd period
Daryl Watts (Caitrin Lonergan, Willow Corson)
BC 1, UNH 1
BC did show some signs of life here and there, and they were able to tie the game up early on in the second. This is a play that happened all night for BC — a rush that doesn’t really amount to anything with multiple UNH defenders playing deep to prevent the odd-player opportunity.
The initial rush doesn’t amount to much because Lonergan can’t settle the puck and she’s forced to pass the puck back through the slot. It goes all the way through onto the stick of Watts, who throws the puck on net.
It’s definitely not her hardest shot of the season, but it finds its way through a host of Wildcat bodies and into the net. Now that’s a screen.
New Hampshire Goal #2 (GWG): 7:35 of the 2nd period
Carlee Turner (Marie-Jo Pelletier, Julia Scammell)
UNH 2, BC 1 — FINAL
But that was as close as the Eagles would get to taking the win. Just a few minutes later, UNH scored on the worst goal of the three. Marie-Jo Pelletier is defended very well by the Eagles along the boards and below the goal line, but Katie Burt gets crossed up and is expecting her to circle around behind the net.
She doesn’t, though, and just manages to slip a shot back from where she came out to the front of the net. Burt’s looking the other direction, and as soon as she sees that Pelletier doesn’t have the puck and turns back to her left, Turner throws the puck in behind her for the goal.
Did we mention the game was ugly?
And that was... it. BC did put together a very good flurry of activity in the last few minutes in an attempt to tie the game — and very nearly scored a few times — but they never did find the tying goal and were first to take the maddening loss again a New Hampshire team that the Eagles had handled well over the last few years.
An early lead would have been critical in a game like this. With the Wildcats playing super conservative, clog-things-up, trap hockey, BC would have forced them to start to open things up if they could have taken any kind of lead, especially early. But it wasn’t to be, and the Eagles added one to the loss column.
It wasn’t all bad news for BC on Friday, however. Clarkson, #2 in the Pairwise, took a worse defeat to Princeton which dropped the Golden Knights down to 4th in the Pairwise. The Eagles entered the afternoon in 3rd, but actually climbed to 2nd thanks to Clarkson’s slip. Numbers 2 through 4 in the Pairwise are now razor-thing, but the Eagles should be able to hang on to the #2 spot if they manage to win the rest of their games thanks to a tougher schedule to end the year.
Not much hockey left to be played... after the Beanpot Championship on Tuesday, BC ends the regular season next weekend. Crazy.
Hopefully the Eagles have put their last loss behind them and they can get themselves on a championship run.