Another road game, another win for the Boston College Women’s Hockey team to start the season. Sure, it was against Hockey East bottom-dweller Holy Cross, but you can only play the teams on your schedule.
And play they did. You couldn’t have asked for much more than the Eagles did on Thursday evening in Worcester, as BC came away with a blowout and a shutout, controlling the game from start to finish and coming away with the 6-0 victory.
Boston College Goal #1 (GWG): 15:02 of the 1st period
Hannah Bilka (Olivia Finocchiaro, Kelly Brown)
BC 1, HC 0
BC didn’t exactly start out slow, but it took a little bit of a spark for them to take the lead toward the end of the first period. That spark took the form of freshman Hannah Bilka wrapping around the back of the net and firing in a shot at the near post.
It was a pretty great shot that showed off a lot of the assets that Bilka brings to table. Bilka was one of the best players for BC against Merrimack last weekend but didn’t have any goals to show for it, so it was pretty much just a matter of time before we saw a Bilka-splosion. And we sure did get one.
Boston College Goal #2: 2:06 of the 2nd period
Hannah Bilka (Olivia Finocchiaro)
BC 2, HC 0
The first period was fine. The second period was gangbusters. BC outshot the Crusaders a whopping 18-1 in the period, and that pretty accurately described how the period went.
It was more Bilka to get things going, this time early in the frame with a little help from her friend. Off the draw, Finocchiaro wins the puck along the boards and Bilka goes right to the vacuum of space that opens up along the goal line. Finicchiaro wins the puck right as Bilka’s crossing in front of her and easily sends her the puck, giving Bilka a one-on-one with the goaltender for the backhand through the five-hole to score.
It all happens so quickly — which is just what you’d like to see from a team and a line that’s looking pretty cohesive early on.
Boston College Goal #3 (SHG): 3:28 of the 2nd period
Delaney Belinskas (Olivia Finocchiaro)
BC 3, HC 0
Boston College took a penalty shortly after the goal and it turned out to be the worst thing that could have happened to the Crusaders. The Eagles scored twice shorthanded and the game was effectively over from there.
The first shorthanded goal came from none other than — HELLO THERE!! — Delaney Belinskas!!, who stunningly was in the lineup just a week removed from going to the hospital after a scary hit and injury against Merrimack. No one would have guessed she would see the ice so soon, and yet here she is, shooting from the faceoff dot and beating Holy Cross goaltender Jada Brenon for a shorthanded score to make it 3-0.
Of all the great things to come from a 6-0 win, this was probably the greatest.
Boston College Goal #4 (SHG, HT): 4:09 of the 2nd period
Hannah Bilka (Kelly Browne, Hadley Hartmetz)
BC 4, HC 0
Just 41 seconds later, it was more Bilka as the freshman completed her first career hat trick in a game where she scored her first career goal.
The young Eagle sure has a quick stick. Similar to her second goal, she gets the goalie moving side to side and slips the puck through for a cheeky 5-hole score again. All of a sudden it’s 4-0 Eagles, and the party’s on. But neither she nor the Eagles were done yet.
Boston College Goal #5 (PPG, QT): 9:06 of the 2nd period
Hannah Bilka (Cayla Barnes, Kelly Browne)
BC 5, HC 0
That’s a quad trick for the freshman! And not just a quad trick, but a game-winner, a shorthander, an even strength, and a power play. GOOD STUFF.
Olympic Hero Cayla Barnes is in on the action for this goal with a whopper of a slapshot from the point that new goalie Julia Pelletier stops initially, but leaves a brutal rebound right in the crease. The best players are where they need to be to score the goals, and that’s there Bilka is, right out front to clean up the garbage, flipping the puck past Pelletier for the quad trick to finish off the second period scoring.
All of that was before the halfway point of the game, and BC largely took their foot off the gas from there with the fourth line getting plenty of minutes the rest of the way.
Boston College Goal #6 (TD): 8:26 of the 3rd period
Olivia Finocchiaro (Kelly Browne, Jillian Fey)
BC 6, HC 0 — FINAL
But the Eagles were still good for the touchdown in the third period as they cruised to the win.
BC probably deserved the goal on the initial shot attempt of this ridiculous 4 on 1 (I would say that is not the ideal way to do defense), but Pelletier made a pretty great stop on the play to keep the puck out. But she can’t keep the rebound under control, and the puck bounces around at the top of the crease a bit before Finocchiaro, who dished out plenty of helpers on the night, flipped the puck in for the goal to get one of her own.
And that would be that on a night that the Eagles were never challenged. There were some pretty great stories of the game in this one:
- Delaney Belinskas’ return after missing one game was borderline miraculous and at a minimum a huge shot in the arm for a team that was probably pretty worried about their teammate last week,
- Hannah Bilka had her coming out party, scoring a quad trick after nearly scoring about a dozen last weekend,
- Super Maddy-O put up her second shutout in three games, and
- The BC penalty kill, while still getting way too much practice at this, put up its third straight 7-for-7 effort. Hockey East refs need to chill the fudge out, but you can’t argue with the results — BC has two shorthanded goals and zero power play goals allowed on the season.
It’s been a pretty soft schedule to start things out, but with all three on the road and three pretty solid efforts, the Eagles have to be pretty happy with where they stand. They’ve got one more game on the weekend, a long slog up to Syracuse for a game on Saturday afternoon, before getting next weekend off.
Saturday’s game at the Orange is at 3pm EDT, and you can watch the game for free here!