Our seventh best moment of the Boston College sports decade is the biggest win in the history of the BC Women’s Hockey program: the come-from-behind, overtime win in the 2016 NCAA semifinals.
Let’s set the scene: the women’s hockey team was on a run for the ages, perfect at 39-0-0 with the Beanpot, the Hockey East regular season title, and the Hockey East tournament title already in the bag. The Eagles were smoking everyone along the way, too — BC had won the Beanpot by a combined score of 15-0 (!) against Harvard and Northeastern, and walloped BU in the conference championship 5-0, putting the game away in the first period without even letting the Terriers get a shot in the opening frame.
BC lit up Northeastern in the NCAA quarterfinals to the tune of a 5-1 win as well, setting up a Frozen Four matchup against #5 Clarkson, a former national champion. But the game did not go according to plan, and it looked like the Eagles were going to be one win shy of playing for a title yet again. The Golden Knights scored immediately in the first period and early in the second to make it 2-0, the first time BC trailed by two the entire season.
But BC was able to respond. Haley Skarupa scored before the end of the second period to put the game in reach, and Kaliya Johnson scored a miraculous greasy goal with just a few minutes left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
And under a minute into overtime — total euphoria.
It was the first — and to this point, still only — time that BC Women’s Hockey has advanced to the NCAA finals. Unfortunately, the Eagles gave up a goal 13 seconds in against Minnesota in the championship game and couldn’t recover from there, ending the near-perfect run at 40-1-0. But on that night of the semifinals, it was the greatest moment the program had ever had, ending an 0-5 streak in the Frozen Four and giving us that shot at a title for the first time.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see a dominating run quite like the one the 2015-2016 team put up, even when the team does finally break through and win a title. But their final win of the year certainly put a worthy cap on a brilliant season.