Boston College Women’s Hockey had a chance to punch their ticket to the Hockey East semifinals on Saturday afternoon, but UConn had other ideas. After taking game one over the Huskies by a score of 4-2 last night, the Eagles struggled mightily on Saturday and never really threatened throughout the night on their way to a 2-0 loss.
The story of this game was that UConn showed up and played with desperation, and the Eagles did not. As Coach Crowley pointed out in the post-game press conference, the Huskies played as though their season was on the line and BC played like it didn’t matter because they had another game left. That was a recipe for disaster for the Eagles, and the 2-0 score really wasn’t indicative with how thoroughly they were outplayed by UConn.
The Huskies got on the board first just 5 and a half minutes into the game, and it really set the tone. BC didn’t get a single shot on goal until there were less than 5 minutes remaining in the first period, and while they did put up a few at the end of the frame, they were very fortunate to be down just 1-0 at the intermission.
The Eagles started the 2nd period much better than the first, but of course, the Huskies were able to score early in the period to make it 2-0... and that really took the wind out of BC’s sails. The BC offense has been struggling as it is, and after getting through the first down by only one, playing better and starting to threaten to tie the game in the 2nd, and giving up a goal right when you were starting to find your groove, it really seemed to discourage the Eagles. From there, BC pretty much looked like a team ready to wave the white flag and try again tomorrow, and after a pretty uneventful third period, the Huskies had their 2-0 win, and BC got the 3rd game they seemed to be playing for.
And now, it’s single elimination from here. The next loss will end BC’s season, and while the year as a whole has been a huge disappointment, there’s suddenly a path for the Eagles to have a good shot to get into the Hockey East championship game. 7th seeded Maine upset #2 Boston University last night and is on their way to beating the Terriers again to complete the sweep this afternoon. That, paired with UNH’s upsets of Providence on Thursday and Friday, would mean BC would be the higher seed in the #4 vs. #6 matchup in the semifinal next weekend against UNH. From there, a win as the favorite against the Wildcats would put the Eagles in the Hockey East championship game, where anything could happen.
But the series of fortunate events laid out by the hockey gods this weekend will be for nothing if BC can’t come out and play like their season is on the line tomorrow afternoon. They won’t be able to sleepwalk to a win against the Huskies — it’ll take a much better effort than they showed tonight to make it to next week.