Boston College Women’s Hockey made a pretty emphatic statement on Friday night that this week’s loss to Harvard in the Beanpot semifinals is nothing more than a distant memory. With no Beanpot championship game to look ahead to, and with a loss to these same Wildcats earlier in the season to avenge, the Eagles shot the lights out with a 7-1 win at Conte Forum on Friday night, setting a new mark for most goals in a game this season and earning freshman goaltender Kelly Pickreign her first career victory.
There weren’t very many moments when BC wasn’t in complete control of this one.
Boston College Goal #1: 7:41 of the 1st period
Delaney Belinskas (Erin Connolly, Megan Beres)
BC 1, UNH 0
BC puts the pressure on early with a goal just a few minutes in, before New Hampshire even managed to put a shot on net.
The Eagles are really moving the puck well and UNH is pretty much trying to keep things to the perimeter. Connolly takes a shot from down low that’s not all that threatening, but UNH goaltender Kyra Smith leaves a big rebound out front. Belinskas charges the net to get there first, and she goes forehand to backhand for the early score.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 19:03.9 of the 1st period
Megan Keller (Delaney Belinskas, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 2, UNH 0
Same line on the ice for BC, the energy line of Beres-Connolly-Belinskas, and they show a lot of what they do well after the draw. There are a 50/50 puck battles that the Eagles are able to win, before finally getting clean possession and sending the puck back to the point.
Megan Keller is the one up top, and she’s got some traffic to shoot into. Smith may or may not have seen it, but the puck takes a bounce off the post and into the net to make it a 2-0 BC lead at the first intermission.
New Hampshire Goal #1: 1:57 of the 2nd period
Abby Chapman (Nicole Dunbar, Emily Rickwood)
BC 2, UNH 1
Same line again for the Eagles! But this time, the result is less good. The main problem on this goal is that the Eagles have a forward streaking into the UNH zone as the Wildcats are gaining possession and starting to break in the other direction.
It’s really a bit of a disaster all around, and it gives UNH a 2 on 1 in a ton of space as they streak up ice. They convert for the score, and the lead is cut down to one.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG): 6:32 of the 2nd period
Megan Keller (Delaney Belinskas, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 3, UNH 1
That was a pretty bad defensive breakdown for BC, but there weren’t too many of those in the game. Other than that moment, it was pretty much wave after wave of BC chances.
The Eagles took the lead back up to two goals on a power play goal (!) a few minutes later that was some really nice execution of a 1-3-1 setup. BC is looking for some space down low — and even gets the puck to Keller in the slot, but with too much company to get off a shot — and the puck ends up on the stick of Cayla Barnes. Barnes does some really slick stickhandling voodoo to just absolutely end the UNH defender in her area of the ice, sliding the puck just out of her reach and twisting her into a knot down to the ice before skating in on what is now effectively a 5 on 3 with the defender out of the picture.
Keller fills in the high slot for the now open shooting opportunity, and she fires away for the blast and the 3-1 lead.
Boston College Goal #4: 2:46 of the 3rd period
Daryl Watts (Makenna Newkirk)
BC 4, UNH 1
Looking back at the final score and the way the game played out, it feels like there was no way that the game was still just 3-1 going into the final period. The Eagles were dominant, and the floodgates finally opened in the third.
This goal is really just too easy. The Eagles win the draw back to Daryl Watts, who skates to the perimeter and stickhandles around a defender. You’d think she’s going to take the puck behind the net, but she surprises everyone and just waltzed right onto the doorstep.
The defenders give the reigning Patty Kazmaier Award winner way, way too much freedom to do what she wants, and all Watts has to do is slide the puck in on the far side for the insurance goal.
Boston College Goal #5: 3:36 of the 3rd period
Kelly Browne (Caitrin Lonergan, Megan Keller)
BC 5, UNH 1
The rout is on now. Less than a minute later, we’ve got some quick, confident puck movement for BC to create another goal.
The puck ends up on Lonergan’s stick below the faceoff dot, and from there you’d think this is a low-quality shooting angle. But Lonergan’s not shooting for the net, she’s shooting for Kelly Browne’s stick, down and ready for Lonergan to hit the target right out front for the redirection. Browne does a really nice job of taking advantage of what little available space there is out front — there isn’t really anything UNH is doing wrong defending this play, it’s really just nice, quick execution from the Eagles — and gets that redirection past Smith for another BC goal.
Boston College Goal #6 (TD): 6:03 of the 3rd period
Lindsay Agnew (Daryl Watts, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 6, UNH 1
If there’s one thing I would have a problem with as the New Hampshire coach from this game, it’s that the Wildcats seemed to play too passive. There were plenty of examples — and this goal is one of them — where UNH was defending, well, okay... but in the end the shooter just wasn’t challenged enough. Watts’ goal from earlier is an example, and this goal that Watts’ nearly scores (and Agnew finishes) is another.
Daryl Watts does have a habit of creating a lot of space for herself, but wow, it just seems like the Wildcats form a football-style pocket that she skates into. By the time she shoots she’s in between the hash marks, and while she destroys the iron with the shot, her linemate Lindsay Agnew is there to send the rebound back where it came from, giving BC the touchdown.
Boston College Goal #7 (PPG, PAT): 19:33 of the 3rd period
Cayla Barnes (Kelly Browne, Megan Keller)
BC 7, UNH 1 — FINAL
Multiple power play goals in one game! I checked the rulebook, and I assure you, this is legal!
Totally different style of power play goal on this compared to what the Eagles put together earlier. BC attempts to enter the zone but the puck is sent back into the neutral zone, where it’s sent back to the blue line where there are a few BC payers all in one area. Not a clean entry at all, but Kelly Browne, away from the cluster, enters with some speed once the puck clears the blue line, and UNH’s defense is somehow caught pretty badly off guard.
Defending Browne is not really the issue — the issue is that Cayla Barnes, a defender, is allowed to streak into the offensive zone essentially unmarked and get completely behind the play. This is bad defense from UNH, and somehow BC gets a two on one (with the goal coming from a player all alone on the doorstep) off a slow-developing offensive zone entry on the power play. UNH was probably just about ready to pack up and go home by this point, but credit to BC for finishing strong. Based on the reactions on the bench, it was clear that the Eagles were excited to find some magic on special teams, given how much of a struggle they’ve been lately.
The Eagles will get the rest of the weekend off before heading back to Harvard on Tuesday for the sad 5pm version of Beanpot Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean the Eagles can mope into the game — this is a huge one against #3 Northeastern, who was upset in their semifinal as well, and the final at 8pm between BU and Harvard have some disproportionately large Pairwise implications for the Eagles as well.
We’ll get into those implications with a post early in the coming week on what to watch for, but for now, the Eagles can rest up and prepare for the Huskies this Tuesday on neutral ice.