BC women's hockey can cross another opponent off on their Redemption Tour.
Saturday afternoon, the Eagles avenged last season's loss against the #3/4 Quinnipiac Bobcats with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Conte Forum.
Quinnipiac started the season off ranked 10th in the polls after a nice 2013-2014 season, but rattled off an unbeaten streak to start their season that was not unlike BC's. But unlike BC's high-flying, aggressive offense, Quinnipiac won games on its stifling defense.
Quinnipiac was no longer undefeated coming into this game, but still holding steady at 3rd in the USCHO poll and 4th in the Pairwise. This game has been circled on the schedule for a long time.
Boston College Goal #1: 16:21 of the 1st period
Alex Carpenter (Haley Skarupa, Kenzie Kent)
BC 1, QU 0
Alex Carpenter may be the superstar Olympian 1st Liner, but Haley Skarupa is just as skilled and just as important to the BC offense.
And she's not just about speed—have a look at Skarupa's strength on the puck on this play. The Quinnipiac defender lifts her stick (it's a borderline hook), but Skarupa fights hard and frees her stick to get off a pass on one knee over to Carpenter. Carpenter is at the far side of the net and gets the shot off to put BC up by 1 at the end of the first period.
The two teams were feeling each other out in the first period, but BC really started to take over in the second period.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 5:34 of the 2nd period
Haley Skarupa (Andie Anastos, Toni Ann Miano)
BC 2, QU 0
Skarupa isn't typically on a line with Anastos, and as commenter wwhyte pointed out from the game, it looked like Skarupa was starting to head off for a line change. But she notices that Anastos is coming in through the offensive zone in need of some support, so instead of heading off, Skarupa stays on and trails Anastos into the Quinnipiac end.
Anastos lets the play develop and passes it back to her temporary linemate who had found her way into the slot. Skarupa let's one go and beats Chelsea Laden up high to put BC up by 2.
BC once again took strong control in the third period, but was much more judicious in their shot selection. BC doesn't often take shots without a purpose, and Quinnipiac did an excellent job of preventing BC from passing the puck into their preferred shooting area in the slot.
Quinnipiac Goal #1: 17:20 of the 3rd period
Nicole Connery (Emma Woods, Emma Greco)
BC 2, QU 1
The Bobcats' good defense kept them in the game, and as often happens against great teams, they were able to pounce on one of BC's few mistakes.
The BC player behind the net makes a bit of an ill-advised play on the puck against the Quinnipiac skater coming in the opposite direction. It's probably not a play she tries to make if BC is only up by one goal.
But what ends up happening is the Quinnipiac player is able to skate around the net with the time and space necessary to find a shooter at the top of the faceoff circle. A little scrum ensues—so many of BC's goals against have been scrums in front of the net, which is why they have allowed so few goals—and a Bobcat finds it and gets it past Katie Burt to ruin the shutout and put BC fans on pins and needles through the end of the game.
But Burt came up large, yet again, and is quickly asserting herself as one of the truly elite goaltenders not just in Hockey East, but in all of college hockey. With last night's effort, Burt is now tops in the nation in both GAA (a microscopic 0.93) and Save % (.951), a mind-bending accomplishment given that she's just 17 years old and a freshman (until her birthday tomorrow, anyway).
BC continued its undefeated streak and stranglehold on #1 in the Pairwise Rankings. Next up is Princeton, a middling team hovering around the TUC cliff. The status of that game is up in the air, though, with the impending blizzard. Follow the @BC_WHockey team on twitter for any updates on the status of that game.