It was a frustrating night at Conte Forum on Tuesday for the Boston College Women’s Hockey Team as they fell in a far-closer-than-the-score 3-0 decision to the 4th ranked Northeastern Huskies.
BC was a clear underdog in the game statistically, based on all the models, but given that the Eagles started out pretty strong against weak competition this year, the main goal was to see BC look like they belonged on the same ice as the national-title contending Northeastern Huskies. And despite the final score, it was clear that they did.
Boston College controlled play for large stretches of play, including early in the game, but there’s a feeling that the game might have turned out differently had it not been for a mishap early in the first period. BC’s star Olympic defender Cayla Barnes was defending NU’s Olympic forward Alina Mueller — as expected — when Barnes hit a rut or just generally got tripped up somehow and tumbled to the ice while covering Mueller one-on-one. The tumble allowed Mueller to skate right in on Maddy McArthur and score an early goal, putting Northeastern up 1-0.
The Eagles got back on the wagon though, and outshot — and largely out-chanced — the Huskies in the first two periods. Unfortunately, Northeastern goaltender Aarin Frankel played one of the best games of her career to stone several Grade-A scoring chances for the Eagles and keep the game tied at zeroes.
Frankel again turned aside a few great BC opportunities in the third period, and the Huskies eventually found their way to the back of the net again midway through the third to make it 2-0, and again to make it 3-0 in the closing minutes on the power play to ice the game.
You wonder how the game script might have changed if the Eagles weren’t chasing the game from the opening minutes. Certainly if Frankel had been a mere mortal, the Eagles would have at worst tied the game and, more likely, even found at least a couple to put themselves in the lead at some point — that was how the flow of the game felt. But, it was one of those games for the Eagles as they couldn’t solve the junior netminder and ended up unable to find a tally in the 3-0 loss.
The Eagles get a chance for some revenge next weekend against the Huskies — no, not Northeastern, but the UConn Huskies who handed the Eagles their first loss of the year earlier this month, a humiliating 5-2 defeat down in Storrs. It’ll be a home and home for BC to close out the season series with UConn early.