BC women's hockey keeps on rolling. After jumping out to a quick lead and fighting off a couple brief Terrier comeback attempts, the Eagles held on to secure their 7th straight win, winning 4-1 over BU to advance to the Women's Beanpot finals.
Goal #1 (SHG) -- 6:27 of the 1st period: Taylor Wasylk (Dana Trivigno)
BC 1, BU 0
It didn't take long for BC to get on the board. After playing 4 of the first 6 and a half minutes on the penalty kill, BU made a poor outlet pass and paid for it. Dana Trivigno makes the steal and goes racing in only to hit the post with the initial shot. Fortunately Taylor Wasylk is there to clean up the rebound and BC would have an early lead.
BU would finally take a penalty of their own, and the Eagles would convert on that as well.
Goal #2 (PPG, GWG) -- 14:53 of the 1st period: Emily Field (Andie Anastos, Corinne Boyles)
BC 2, BU 0
Shoutout to BC goaltender Corinne Boyles for notching an assist on this play. But this is just good hard work by freshman Andie Anastos. After skating the puck into the Terrier end, she turns and protects the puck from two Terriers -- and keep in mind BU is already shorthanded, so committing two defenders to one BC player is going to assure them some kind of exaggerated numbers disadvantage if she's able to dish the puck.
She was able to, and Emily Field snipes home BC's second goal. And it was on the power play! We don't get too many of those.
Goal #3 (PPG) -- 19:53 of the 1st period: Haley Skarupa (Taylor Wasylk, Lexi Bender)
BC 3, BU 0
Oh my God another one! Little did we know how big this goal would be (we'll get to that later). For once it's really hard to fault BU for giving up this goal, which came in the waning seconds of the period. What a beautiful pass from Wasylk, who is having a career season. The puck ends up in the crease and Haley Skarupa herself is there to stuff it in.
I express surprise at scoring a power play goal -- two of them, even -- because I really dislike how our power play unit is set up. You can see it above (which doesn't really help my case since they scored, but still). BC has two players way up on the blue line with everyone else in tight on the goaltender.
Here it is again on a power play later in the game with a little MS Paint to help illustrate what I mean.
This drives me nuts. The Eagles stack two players way back on the blue line and will often end up passing back and forth between these two players, or taking a long range slapshot or wrist shot through traffic.
I have a couple problems with this strategy:
1) This wasn't that bad of a play when you had Blake Bolden on defense, who had one of the best slapshots the program has ever seen. Now that she's gone, the Eagles don't really have anyone with that kind of weapon and slapshots from the blue line are going to take way, way too much time to reach the goalie to be effective.
2) You can see the result deeper in the zone when the Eagles set up like this -- they neutralize their own man advantage. BU is able to have 4 players defending 3 Eagles down low. BU is more than happy to let the two Eagles hang out on the blue line where they aren't much of a threat, and that's what most teams end up doing.
When one of them has the puck, they pass the puck a couple times between each other hoping the defense will move around a bit (they don't) and then either take a shot from far away, or pass it in to one of the other players who has less of a numbers advantage than they otherwise would.
In the photo above, Haley Skarupa is about to take a shot, and she is defended well by a Terrier. BU's goalie has a clear view in front of her, and the other Eagles down low are accounted for.
So anyway -- BC wrapped up the first period up 3-0 and certainly earned it, having outplayed BU for much of the period. The second period started out well, with BC outshooting BU 9-0 until BU's Sarah Lefort scored against the run of play to get one back.
BC dominated the period save for a stretch of about 5 minutes toward the end where back to back penalties put us back on our heels. BU actually scored another goal during this stretch but it was waved off for being kicked in. They also hit the post afterward not once, but twice. But BC would escape.
The third period progressed quickly and rather uneventfully, which made it easy on BC fans hoping to see the clock tick away. With just over 2 minutes left in the period, the Eagles would put it away.
Goal #4 -- 17:47 of the 1st period: Haley Skarupa (Unassisted)
BC 4, BU 1 -- FINAL
Officially this won't go down as an empty netter as Skarupa scored this goal before BU goaltender Kerrin Sperry was even able to get off the ice. Skarupa makes a nice steal and puts the game away.
It's pretty safe to say that early season Skarupa is back. She has 4 goals in her 2 games since returning and has looked every bit her old self.
#16 Northeastern pulled a decent upset in the first round, dealing #3 Harvard its third loss of the season, so BC will take on the Huskies, just like in the men's Beanpot. Both teams are riding long winning streaks, so something's got to give.
BU will continue their tailspin next week and take on now-#5 Harvard.
In the meantime, BC will take a brief break from the Beanpot and head down to Storrs to play a Hockey East match against UConn on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles return to Conte next Tuesday and will attempt to finish the job.