It wasn't necessarily the convincing drubbing most folks would have expected, but the Boston College women's hockey team successfully started their postseason run with a 5-2 victory on Friday at Conte Forum. BC now leads the best-of-3 quarterfinal series 1-0 and will look for the sweep tomorrow night at 7 PM at Conte. BC is now 35-0-0 on the season.
It was BC's depth, not their superstars, that led the way this afternoon. Kristyn Capizzano opened the scoring for the Eagles just 5:02 in to the game, getting BC off and running, but Maine didn't buckle under BC's heavy early pressure and scored a tying goal through Nicole Arnold at 17:41 of the period. BC responded right away on the next shift, with Tori Sullivan scoring to put BC back in to the lead before the break.
The second period was once again mostly one-way traffic, but a brilliantly executed 2-on-1 by Victoria Hummel tied the game back up at 4:39.
This time, BC's response wouldn't come so quickly, as Meaghen Tracey stood tall between the pipes for Maine and stonewalled a series of Eagle attacks. The breakthrough finally came at 10:38 of the period when Makenna Newkirk picked up her 19th goal of the season, what would ultimately prove to be the game winner.
BC secured an insurance goal 1:38 in to the third period when the red hot Dana Trivigno scored to extend BC's lead. Makenna Newkirk rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal to give BC the 5-2 margin.
BC outshot Maine 52-22 on the day, with Tracey earning the game's #2 star by making 47 saves. Trivigno was the #1 star, with a goal and two assists. Newkirk's two goals earned her the #3 star.
In fairness to BC to help explain the surprising "non blowout," the officials seemed to be buying in to the upset special story throughout the game; Maine clearly had a strategy to see how much holding of bodies and sticks they could get away with and the answer was "all of it" - it was a bit like watching the NHL of the early 2000s, and it went unpenalized. The officials also seemed to be asleep on routine things like offsides and line changes throughout the afternoon. Chalk it up to an off day.
In other quarterfinal action, Northeastern survived an early scare to come back and win their series opener vs. Providence. They too will go for a sweep tomorrow.