Thursday and Friday’s games at Conte Forum couldn’t have been any more different. Thursday was a plodding, stressful affair, with the Eagles needing just about every minute available to them to find the game winner late and win 2-1 in a close one.
Friday, however, was all BC. The Eagles scored to take a 1-0 lead into the opening intermission and opened the game up in the second period from there. Boston College used strong special teams play (!) and saw five different scorers hit the net as they eased their way to a cool 5-2 win in their final home game of the season.
The win capped off a 3-0-0 stretch of games in four days for the Eagles.
Boston College Goal #1: 16:40 of the 1st period
Kelly Browne (Caitrin Lonergan, Ryan Little)
BC 1, UMO 0
BC didn’t score 19 seconds into the game on Friday, but maybe that was a good thing. The Eagles kept their focus, and while they didn’t overwhelm the Black Bears in the opening period, they did control things and played well defensively, holding Maine to just 4 shots.
But BC did score before the period was up. Caitrin Lonergan and Kelly Browne continued their torrid partnership on a slick goal here, with Lonergan dangling into traffic before feeding Browne right on the doorstep. Maine goalie Carly Jackson is understandably concerned with Lonergan, and the centering pass and shot are too quick for her to get over to cover the net, allowing the Eagles to take the 1-0 lead.
Boston College Goal #2: 0:22 of the 2nd period
Megan Keller (Makenna Newkirk, Daryl Watts)
BC 2, UMO 0
But BC did score right at the start of the second period, giving them some early insurance.
This is great camera work by the BC production crew. Megan Keller is was way up at the point and slings the puck in on net. There’s not much of a threat on it as there’s no traffic to speak of, but a poor Black Bear gets a stick on the shot and makes a perfect deflection to lift the puck over the shoulder of Jackson. Oops — but the Eagles aren’t complaining with the two goal lead.
Boston College Goal #3 (GWG): 2:26 of the 3rd period
Delaney Belinskas (Maegan Beres)
BC 3, UMO 0
Just two minutes later and BC’s pretty much got the game wrapped up already. There’s not much to it here — just a strong forecheck and a well-placed stick from Maegan Beres to force the turnover right onto the stick of Belinskas.
Delaney shoots before Jackson even really knows she’s in possession of the puck, and it slips right by her. The close-up replay looks pretty bad; Jackson surely will want that one back.
Maine Goal #1: 6:13 of the 2nd period
Tereza Vanišová (Ally Johnson)
BC 3, UMO 1
Maine did get one back a few minutes later to at least give themselves some hope of staying competitive. Maine’s star forward Tereza Vanišová takes a shot on freshman goaltender Kelly Pickreign through a ton of traffic, and there’s no way Pickreign has a good look at this. The puck comes all the way through for the Maine goal, and it’s 3-1.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG): 13:47 of the 2nd period
Daryl Watts (Makenna Newkirk, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 4, UMO 1
But the Eagles got the goal back later in the second on just a peach of a shot from Daryl Watts, who has really found her shot in the last few weeks. She scored two goals almost exactly like this on Tuesday night as well, picking the corner with almost nothing to shoot at, which is where she made her money last year.
This one might have been the prettiest of them all. She gets the pass across the slot from Newkirk and takes a second to line herself up. Carly Jackson is able to get squared to the shot as well, but Watts still finds a space to shoot that doesn’t exist, popping the water bottle and lifting the Eagles to a 4-1 lead into the 2nd intermission.
Maine Goal #2: 1:29 of the 3rd period
Ida Press (Tereza Vanišová, Alyson Matteau)
BC 4, UMO 2
Maine got another one back early in the third with garbage time starting early. It’s long distance for Ida Press, and beats Pickreign clean — it’s hard to tell if Kelly just doesn’t get a good look at it or just misjudges the shot, but it hits the back of the net to make the game 4-2.
Boston College Goal #5 (PPG): 5:17 of the 3rd period
Lindsay Agnew (Daryl Watts, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 5, UMO 2
But another power play goal late for BC finished things off. The Eagles’ power play has improved over the last few games, thanks in no small part to improved passing and finding the vacated areas of the ice to fill.
It’s definitely slick passing here leading to the shot from Agnew off the pass from Watts, not very unlike BC’s first goal from the other dynamic duo of Lonergan and Browne — quick pass to the Eagle on the doorstep, and the no-nonsense one-timer that’s too quick for the goaltender to slide across the crease to defend. That’s all it takes for Agnew, and she’s the fifth different scorer for BC to finish off the solid 5-2 win.
BC did a lot of good things in today’s game. 2 for 5 on the power play feels like the first multi-goal effort on special teams in ages, and 5 for 5 on the penalty kill — while still too many penalties for my liking — continues BC’s quietly improving penalty kill. The Eagles continue to showcase their scoring depth with five different goalscorers, Kelly Pickreign did a nice job giving Maddy McArthur a spell in goal, and Kelly Browne, Lindsay Agnew, and Delaney Belinskas have continued their hot play in the second half.
All in all... really not much to complain about, especially with having won 3 games in 4 games.
Unbelievably, BC’s last game of the regular season is next week, Saturday at 2pm in New Hampshire. The Eagles have now won 10 of 11 and are playing their best hockey of the season at the best possible time. We’ll have a great idea of their path to making the NCAA tournament after next week’s game, and beating the Wildcats would go a long way toward making that happen.