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GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Completes Sweep Of New Hampshire With 4-1 Win

A picture-perfect opening weekend

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

There were certainly a lot of unknowns going into the first weekend of the 2020-2021 Boston College Women’s Hockey season, but the Eagles can come out of their first series of the year feeling like things are pointed in the right direction. After yesterday’s quality 6-2 win at the Whittemore Center, the Eagles picked up right where they left off in Game 2 of their home-and-home against New Hampshire with a similarly convincing 4-1 win at home.

Boston College Goal #1: 9:48 of the 1st period
Savannah Norcross (Kelly Browne, Gaby Roy)

BC 1, UNH 0

It took half a game for the Eagles to find the net on Friday, but they only needed half a period to open the scoring in Game 2.

Two common themes this weekend were chemistry and the Eagles looking great on the breakout, and you saw both in BC’s first goal. The star of Game 1, Gaby Roy, sent a pass up the boards to her linemate Kelly Browne, who didn’t even need to gather the puck in before she centered it. Norcross was behind the defense, and Browne’s pass went right to her stick allowing her to just shovel it pass the goaltender for the 1-0 lead.

Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 10:14 of the 1st period
Jillian Fey (Natalie Tulchinsky)

BC 2, UNH 0

The Eagles’ got right back to it off the faceoff and scored their second just 26 seconds later.

Another great, quick breakout for BC. This time it was the freshman Natalie Tulchinsky who broke up the play behind the blue line and slapped the puck up to her linemate Jillian Fey. Fey was off to the races from there, and she was able to come in alone to slide the backhand past Ava Boutilier to make it 2-0 Eagles.

New Hampshire Goal #1: 15:23 of the 1st period
Tamara Thierus (Unassisted)

BC 2, UNH 1

BC’s only real hiccup in this game came as a bit of a whoops in goal. New Hampshire’s Tamara Thierus came down the ice with possession and the Eagle defense did a gook job of keeping the play to the perimeter. This was about as innocuous a rush up ice as you could hope for as a BC defender, and Thierus just threw the puck at the net with the Wildcats surrounded by white jerseys in their offensive end.

Unfortunately, the no-angle backhand completely caught goaltender Kelly Pickreign off guard, and the puck slipped through, bounced off her skate, and plopped itself right into the back of the net. Surely one she wants back, but the BC offense had her back in this one.

Boston College Goal #3 (SHG): 19:10.0 of the 2nd period
Hannah Bilka (Willow Corson)

BC 3, UNH 1

BC got the goal back at the end of the 2nd period with a slick shot from reigning Hockey East rookie of the year Hannah Bilka.

The feed from Willow Corson was at least as nice as the goal itself. When this play began, it was a two on two coming up ice on the rush. Bilka was able to skate a stride beyond her defender going to the net, but Corson had a pretty small window of where to put the puck to allow her to do anything with it, and had a defender between her and the slot as well.

But Corson dropped the saucer pass out of the sky directly into the shooting motion of Bilka, and the sophomore rifled the finish into the top corner to give the Eagles some breathing room heading into the final period.

Boston College Goal #4: 4:41 of the 3rd period
Kelly Browne (Unassisted)

BC 4, UNH 1 — FINAL

It didn’t take too long for the Eagles to put the game away in the third. BC’s top line showed some fight in keeping the puck in the offensive zone, starting with Savannah Norcross battling behind the net, even though she wasn’t able to win possession.

But the Wildcats rushed it trying to break out of their own end, and Kelly Browne was just able to keep the puck inside the blue line. Browne skated down deep and decided to throw the puck on net, and from no angle lasered a shot past Boutilier into the top corner for the goal. That made it 4-1 BC, and the Wildcats never really threatened to make this one interesting from there.

Honorable Mentions

  • Alexie Guay came in as a very highly regarded recruit last year, and did have a good season. But she looked excellent tonight and was probably BC’s best blueliner in this game. Any extra hard work she may have put in this offseason looks to be paying off.
  • Well hello there, Willow Corson! Corson didn’t get much ice time the last few seasons, but she’s getting top 9 minutes right now and earning every one of them. Her pass to Bilka on the goal was sublime, but that wasn’t her only good play of the game. If this is what we’re going to be getting out of her, the Eagles are going to have more depth than we thought.

Next Up

BC was originally scheduled to play Vermont next week, but the Catamounts have delayed the start of their season. Now, it looks as though the Eagles are set to face off against Providence College as a replacement as the Friars’ series against Northeastern looks like it’s no longer happening:

PC dispatched UConn in their opener on Saturday afternoon without too much trouble, so this should be a competitive series for the Eagles next weekend.