It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but the Boston College Women’s Hockey team just continues to come away with hard-fought victories. Despite missing 3-5 players every game for the last few months with players missing time due to COVID, injuries, or what have you, the Eagles just continue to find ways to extend their winning streak.
Friday afternoon’s matchup against #10 Providence was BC’s biggest game in weeks, with the Friars being one of only two teams to have handed the Eagles a loss all season, and with BC’s last game against a ranked opponent coming all the way back in December. And so, despite missing four impact players on Friday (forwards Olivia O’Brien, Willow Corson, and Gaby Roy, as well as defender Sidney Fess), the Eagles rose to the challenge, coming away with a thrilling 2-1 win in overtime to extend their winning streak to 9 games.
Providence College Goal #1: 5:24 of the 1st period
Bailey Burton (Brooke Becker)
PC 1, BC 0
This was just a thoroughly entertaining hockey game from start to finish with both teams having some good runs. BC started out pretty uneven in this one, which at least makes sense since they had two weeks since their last game. They didn’t play badly, and had their moments where you could see that it was just a lack of sharpness, but that lack of sharpness put them behind early.
All three goals were pretty great in this one, including PC’s game-opening score. Friar defender Brooke Becker threw a really nice pass up through the neutral zone to pick up Burton coming through with a good burst of speed, which she used to blow by the BC defenders protecting the blue line. Oops. That sent Burton in all alone on Abby Levy, who got beat clean on the shot to put Providence up 1-0.
Boston College Goal #1: 9:53 of the 2nd period
Savannah Norcross (Hannah Bilka)
BC 1, PC 1
Providence goaltender Sandra Abstreiter (which is German for “denier” ...what a goalie name), played a brilliant game, and it took some real heroic efforts out of the Eagles to get the puck past her. It took more than half the contest for that to happen, but BC scored a beauty when it finally did.
Savannah Norcross got the goal, but she’ll be the first one to tell you that Hannah Bilka went berserk on this play to make it an easy tap-in. Bilka took possession of the puck, and with the Eagles touching up onside, turned around at center ice to build some speed for the re-entry. She blew through three Providence defenders (while getting mugged in the process) before sending Abstreiter sprawling in the wrong direction and dishing the puck over to Norcross, who had what will probably be one of the easiest goals of her career.
The goal really seemed to help the Eagles get back to full speed. While Providence outshot the Eagles in the first two periods, BC totally went off in the third, blitzing Abstreiter for 19 shots even while killing two penalties. On balance, the game probably deserved overtime with the superb goaltending play at both ends (Levy in particular seems to have begun to solidify her claim to being the #1 option right now) and with each team controlling a roughly equal amount of gameplay. But it was the Eagles who found a way to get the W.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 2:45 of Overtime
Cayla Barnes (Savannah Norcross, Hadley Hartmetz)
BC 2, PC 1 — FINAL (OT)
Twice BC has played 3 on 3 overtime, and twice the Eagles have scored the winning goal.
This was really a misfire from Norcross, but who cares, instead it was a perfect pass. The puck couldn’t have gone in a more perfect direction. Her semi-whiff on the shot slid right over to Cayla Barnes on the doorstep who had her stick on the ice ready and waiting for the opportunity... and she buried it.
Joy and bliss at Conte Forum. Just a really fun game to watch, especially once BC shook off the little bit of rust from missing last week... and the Eagles keep on rolling. They’ll look to continue their hot streak on Saturday as they head to Providence to complete the home-and-home with the Friars. Coverage is on NESN at 3pm.