A couple weeks ago, Kelly Browne had yet to score this year for Boston College Women’s Hockey. It was a surprise to see one of the team’s most talented offensive players without any goals, but she was still leading the team in assists, so it looked like she was just a little snake-bitten.
After finally finding the back of the net last week against Holy Cross, the sophomore exploded on Friday afternoon against New Hampshire. Browne scored a whopping four goals to lead the Eagles to an easy 5-2 win over the Wildcats, improving BC’s record to 8-0-1.
Boston College Goal #1: 16:19 of the 1st period
Kelly Browne (Hannah Bilka, Olivia Finocchiaro)
BC 1, UNH 0
BC came out firing in the first period, and UNH by and large seemed to give the Eagles plenty of opportunities to do so. The Eagles found themselves with plenty of open looks on goal — that will tend to happen when you outshoot someone 16-3 — and eventually Kelly Browne broke through to give the Eagles the lead.
Browne enters the offensive zone on a 3 on 2 that never quite develops, and she circles back around to the slot to receive a pass. Bilka dishes it to her, and she has enough room to fire on net from a good spot. UNH goalie Ava Boutilier gets beat down low, and it’s 1-0.
Boston College Goal #2: 18:12 of the 1st period
Kelly Browne (Alexie Guay, Hannah Bilka)
BC 2, UNH 0
Less than two minutes later and it’s Browne again with almost the exact same shot. UNH once again allows one of BC’s best shooters to camp out alone in the slot.
The one defender on Browne goes chasing the puck carrier, Guay, and leaves Browne unattended right between the hash marks. Once again it’s easy pickings for the sophomore who only has to shoot at an opening, and despite getting some of her pads on the puck, there’s no closing the 5 hole quick enough for Boutilier to stop a shot from that range.
That made it 2-0 Eagles heading into the locker room, and while both goals were late in the frame, there’s no doubt BC had earned the score (with an assist by the UNH defense).
New Hampshire Goal #1: 2:59 of the 2nd period
Nicole Dunbar (Lauren Martin, Taylor Wenczkowski)
BC 2, UNH 1
The Wildcats did get one back early in the second period, though, to raise an eyebrow or two.
The chance comes off the draw in the BC end after Boutilier made an outstanding save to keep the deficit at two for the Wildcats. Nicole Dunbar of New Hampshire skates into the BC end with speed, and she’s closed off pretty well by the sophomore defender Jillian Fey. Dunbar is forced to skate laterally to the net, and it looks like she’s pretty well closed off, but she fires a shot on net that catches Maddy McArthur leaning and goes in.
That made it 2-1 BC, but that was the only whiff of competitiveness this game would have.
Boston College Goal #3 (GWG, HT): 12:15 of the 2nd period
Kelly Browne (Olivia Finocchiaro)
BC 3, UNH 1
More of that sweet Kelly Browne goodness, and this time it’s just a beast of a shot.
Talk about finishing your hat trick off in style... Browne’s wrist shot here even looks fast in slow motion. It’s hard to fault any goalie for letting in a bar-down beauty like this one.
But the lead-up to the shot is just as pretty. The Wildcats are behind the net setting up a breakout, and the play looks like it should be totally harmless. But after a tremendous forecheck by Olivia Finocchiaro it’s a turnover and a steal and a shot in the blink of an eye. That’s a great play all around and easily the most well-earned goal so far for the Eagles.
Boston College Goal #4 (QT): 14:58 of the 2nd period
Kelly Browne (Hannah Bilka, Cayla Barnes)
BC 4, UNH 1
You would think that after having allowed three goals to the same player that the Wildcats would start to lock down on that player. UNH, well, didn’t, but in their defense, this is a wildly good goal.
The shot itself is great, but the play along the boards by BC here is just sublime. Browne dumps the puck back to Bilka, who already has UNH defenders bearing down on her, so Bilka dishes a Hello there!! sicknasty no-look backhanded give-and-go back to Browne coming off the boards.
Her momentum is already taking her towards the slot, and Browne’s red-hot scoring touch isn’t going to miss from that position tonight. It’s another great shot, and BC’s got this one pretty well sewn up going into the 3rd.
Boston College Goal #5: 6:22 of the 3rd period
Willow Corson (Bridget McCarthy)
BC 5, UNH 1
Coach Crowley basically kept the fourth line on the ice for the entire third period, as she’s (rightfully) been doing quite a bit in BC’s blowouts this year.
The fourth line center for the Eagles, Willow Corson, takes advantage of an opportunity thanks to a sloppy clear attempt by the Wildcats that’s scooped up by McCarthy than then sloppily-again defended by Wilcats leading to an opportunity in the slot. Corson shoots five hole and scores to make it 5-1 for her second goal in as many weekends.
New Hampshire Goal #2: 15:22 of the 3rd period
Tamara Thiérus (Meghara McManus)
BC 5, UNH 2 — FINAL
UNH got one last tally in garbage time on a tough angle shot, somehow finding an opening between McArthur and the post, and that was that. BC easily handed the Wildcats, who were clearly on the “cold” side of their hot and cold start to the season, and took the win by a score of 5-2. It’s hard to imagine that this was the same UNH team that knocked off a ranked Boston University just a couple weeks ago.
Next up for the Eagles is Providence College, who have had their own hot-and-cold start to the season. The Friars took down #3 Northeastern last weekend, so this should be a good test for BC. Puck drop is at 4pm EDT on Saturday afternoon on NESNplus!