Boston College Women’s Hockey went into the weekend with seven players unavailable due to COVID protocol and faced off against a team that has given them fits the last few years. The Huskies took two out of three against BC last year in the regular season and ended the Eagles’ Hockey East tournament in the quarterfinals. But despite playing with a very short bench, the Eagles found a way to get a couple gut-it-out wins on the weekend and completed their sweep of the UConn Huskies with a 3-1 win at Conte Forum on Saturday afternoon.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 8:43 of the 1st period
Olivia Finocchiaro (Hadley Hartmetz, Cayla Barnes)
BC 1, UC 0
Olivia Finocchiaro strikes first for BC on the deflection! pic.twitter.com/F3ZZhiNBf7— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) December 5, 2020
The Eagles scored first on Friday, but it was UConn that dominated the opening frame. On Saturday, though, BC played much better. After the Huskies took a penalty about halfway through the period, the Eagles’ struggling power play unit finally came through.
Boston College used the perimeter to get the puck up to the point, and Hadley Hartmetz fired away with the one timer up top. Olivia Finocchario was at the other end and got a stick on the shot-pass to deflect the puck up into the net, and it was 1-0 Eagles.
Maddy McArthur with the monster save on a 2 on 0 pic.twitter.com/3U0HbC9FGD— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) December 5, 2020
UConn had some chances, though, but Maddy McArthur came up big on each opportunity. At one point, the Huskies broke up a pass along the blue line and came in on a 2 on 0, but McArthur made the big lateral move to keep the puck out of the net and hold the lead into the first intermission.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 12:21 of the 2nd period
Savannah Norcross (Kelly Browne)
BC 2, UC 0
Okay this is some #art from Savannah Norcross and Kelly Browne pic.twitter.com/Sbp1N0NAYO— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) December 5, 2020
The Eagles had a beauty of a goal for their second to give them some insurance.
Savannah Norcross did most of the puck work here, but Kelly Browne’s contribution to the goal was at least as important. Norcross came in 1 on 1 with the UConn defender, but it was Browne who skated hard off the boards and left two Huskies behind to all of a sudden turn the play into a 2 on 1.
Norcross left the puck behind for Browne and kept on skating, giving Browne a target to slide the puck to off the drop pass. That put Norcross all alone on the goaltender who was still keyed in on Browne, and it was an easy one-timer for the score.
One of the most perfectly executed plays you’ll see on the season.
Boston College Goal #3: 14:15 of the 2nd period
Kelly Browne (Savannah Norcross, Alexie Guay)
BC 3, UC 0
Now Browne on the breakaway makes it 3-0! pic.twitter.com/K0dxtBrWkO— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) December 5, 2020
Less than two minutes later, Browne got one of her own on the breakaway.
Not super impressive by the UConn defense, but it was the tape-to-tape-to-tape breakout passing from Guay and Norcross that allowed Browne to take the puck in stride and sprint through the neutral zone. Browne skated past a pair of UConn defenders like they were traffic cones and finished with the shot through the five-hole to give the Eagles a commanding 3-0 lead going into the third period.
UConn Goal #1: 2:26 of the 3rd period
Savannah Bouzide (Viki Harkness)
BC 3, UC 1 — FINAL
UConn gets one back to make it 3-1 BC pic.twitter.com/LY987ew29o— Grant Salzano (@Salzano14) December 5, 2020
UConn was able to at least keep themselves in the game by scoring early in the third period on a 3 on 2, but while the Huskies were able to get a couple late BC penalties with the goalie pulled, it was really too late to give the Eagles too much stress, and Boston College closed it out for a 3-1 win.
Maddy McArthur had by far the best game for a BC goaltender this season, coming up with quite a few big plays — particularly important with the Eagles playing without a full set of players on the blue line. BC’s top forwards showed up to pick up the team when they were needed most, including sophomore Hannah Bilka who didn’t show up on the scoresheet but might have been the best player on the ice. All in all, it was a very impressive weekend for a team that would have had an excuse to give up some points.
Things will be significantly more difficult for BC next weekend, though, as they’ll take on #2 Northeastern in a home-and-home and will almost certainly be without the same seven players who were missing this weekend thanks to the 14-day quarantine requirement. The teams will face off on Friday in Chestnut Hill before heading downtown on Sunday for game two.