Despite playing mostly weak competition, it has now been 6 games since the still-undefeated BC women's hockey team has scored more than 4 goals, and it has definitely become a concern.
The Eagles wildly outshot the Friars of Providence College on Friday night en route to their 4-2 win, but they once again looked disinterested and looked like they were taking their success for granted. Sloppy play, bad turnovers, and a lack of their usual chemistry almost resulted in BC coming out of a game without a victory for the first time since week two of the season.
Providence College Goal #1: 3:36 of the 1st period
Haley Frade (Cassidy Carels)
PC 1, BC 0
Right out of the gate, it's BC's sloppy, disorganized play that leads to the Friars taking an early lead. Breaking through the neutral zone, there's miscommunication between the two skaters and instead of making a play into the Providence end, there's a bad two foot pass and a single Friar breaks up the play.
The Friars are off to the races. Burt misplays the shot leaving a rebound right in front and one Friar on four is able to beat the defense and put Providence up 1-0.
It was a brutal start, and while BC did play somewhat better as the period went on, the chemistry just wasn't there. It wasn't until just a few ticks left in the period that BC would score the equalizer.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 19:54 of the 1st period
Emily Pfalzer (Kristyn Capizzano, Alex Carpenter)
BC 1, PC 1
And if we're being honest here, it wasn't a particularly great goal, either. BC is on the power play and Pfalzer skates across before taking a long distance shot. It's into some crazy traffic, so it was a decent shot to take with 5 seconds left, but she doesn't get much on it and it's really good fortune more than anything that it goes in.
And it's a damn good thing it did, because while everyone would have expected BC to hit the back of the net with their usual frequency and keep things from getting stressful...it just didn't happen.
BC played their best period of the game in the second period and racked up a ridiculous 15-1 shot count against the Friars—without even the benefit of a power play—but couldn't beat Providence goaltender Allie Morse even once.
It's easy to say "hey, look at the 48-14 shots, looks like they played great" but it was eerily similar to seasons past where there was too much individual play, not enough flow, and not enough chances created. Too many one-off shots, not enough passes to get the goaltender off balance, and the end result was the gaudy shot totals without much to show for it.
It was nearly halfway through the third period before BC would take its first lead of the game on the lowly Friars.
Boston College Goal #2: 8:44 of the 3rd period
Haley Skarupa (Kenzie Kent, Kaliya Johnson)
BC 2, PC 1
Much, much better. Everything about this goal is absolutely what you're looking for out of this team in every way.
1) Kaliya Johnson puts a great effort into fighting hard for the puck at the blue line and wins it down low to Kent.
2) Kent shows the kind of attacking creativity that we have come to expect from BC this season with a masterclass of a feed back to Skarupa. That is really a beauty; if you watch the Providence defender on Kent she is perfectly positioned but the pass completely and utterly takes her out of the play.
3) Skarupa shows beautiful chemistry in getting right to where Kent expects her to be going hard to the net, and then at that point it's just a matter of a nice finish to complete the goal.
Pats on the back all around. As frustrating as the last several games have been, that goal is the blueprint for what BC needs to do to get back on track.
Boston College Goal #3 (PPG, GWG): 12:00 of the 3rd period
Haley Skarupa (Alex Carpenter, Kenzie Kent)
BC 3, PC 1
This is a great shot and a great individual effort from Skarupa but that's really what it is: an individual effort. She wins the battle for the puck along the boards (great!) but then tries to do it all herself in skating into the slot through two Friars. Providence does exactly what they hope to do in forcing Skarupa out away from the net, and that would probably have prevented a goal had it not been one of the most highly skilled players in the sport taking the shot.
Off balance, Skarupa rifles one past Morse on what's really a hell of a shot. Obviously you can't complain about the goal, but that's the kind of shot BC has been taking the last couple weeks that doesn't represent much of a high-quality chance.
It's a good thing she did score, though.
Providence College Goal #2: 18:04 of the 3rd period
Cassidy Carels (Unassisted)
BC 3, PC 2
Shocker, I know, but another sloppy play leads to another goal against for BC for what seems like the 30th consecutive time.
Providence obviously takes one hell of a shot that beats Burt top corner, but even if she chose not to take the shot, there are two other Friars down low and the have a few different options.
But it never should have gotten to that point. You can't give any team a turnover like that—even a team as bad as Providence—and not expect to get burned by it.
That gave Providence plenty of time—almost two minutes—to try and get the tying goal, but they never could get it.
Boston College Goal #4: 19:28 of the 3rd period
Alex Carpenter (Unassisted)
BC 4, PC 2 -- FINAL
Carpenter pots the empty netter and that's that. BC strolled out of Schneider Arena with an unimpressive victory in its last tune up before the Beanpot.
Coach Crowley is going to need to light a fire under this team. The Beanpot final is going to be against either #4 Harvard or #6 Boston University. There's no denying that BC has the talent to go all the way this year, but their minds are not in the right places. They are playing selfish, uninspired hockey and appear to think they can coast through any game against a weak opponent and come away with the win.
Unfortunately, the results have shown that they can, in fact, do that. And that's very bad for their postseason prospectus. Unfortunately given their weak schedule this season, they have very few opportunities to be challenged and improve their game.
Practicing against each other six days a week is great, but the Eagles need to challenge themselves to comprehensively dominate lesser opponents to keep themselves in top form and improve their game for the coming tournaments. That's the only way they will prepare themselves for the postseason.
Right now, they are not ready.