Yesterday’s Frozen Fenway matchup between Harvard and Boston College — the first ever appearance at Fenway Park for both programs — was not a particularly good showcase of the sport. The game was played in a rainstorm that got worse as it went on, and produced an ice sheet in which neither team could do much with the puck and really made things pretty dangerous for the players.
But in the end, the Eagles got their win over the struggling Crimson by a score of 3-1 and walked away from the event unscathed.
Boston College Goal #1: 9:45 of the 2nd period
Bridget McCarthy (Andie Anastos)
BC 1, HU 0
The best part about these GIFs is you’ll be able to see the progression of the ice from Not Good to Bad to Why Are They Playing In This It’s Stupid. Even early on, though, the ice surface prevented the Eagles from using their skill and speed advantage to take over the game like you would expect them to against a team that’s 1-10-2.
Halfway through the game, though, it was Bridget McCarthy who finally broke through. Andie Anastos draws two defenders with her and drops a slick back pass to McCarthy in the slot. Because those defenders followed Anastos a little deeper, McCarthy has the space to really wind up for a big wrister, and the puck finds its way through for the goal.
Boston College Goal #2 (PPG, GWG): 14:05 of the 2nd period
Erin Connolly (Andie Anastos, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 2, HU 0
Just a few minutes later and you can see the ice getting worse. The players are having more and more trouble moving the puck, and you can see Anastos struggle to move in the corner.
While she and Newkirk are battling along the boards, Connolly sneaks behind onto the doorstep of Brianna Laing. Harvard recognizes it too late, and Connolly has herself a nice one-timer goal to give the Eagles some insurance.
Boston College Goal #3: 12:54 of the 3rd period
Erin Connolly (unassisted)
BC 3, HU 0
As the game moved into the third period, the ice conditions really god out of hand. At this point, the ice sheet is one solid mass of standing water. There are splashes with every move of every skate, and just look at poor Brianna Laing — she’s might as well be swimming.
@Salzano14 we're essentially watching water polo rn— Michael Sullivan (@MichaelJSully) January 11, 2017
Connolly spends all of her focus just making sure that the puck comes with her into the Harvard end and doesn’t get suctioned to the ice. There’s no real point in trying to use puck movement to generate a scoring chance — and the Eagles have a two goal lead already, after all — so she just winds and fires. The puck actually creates a wake like a boat as she sets up the shot, and she really crushes it.
This might be the first time a hockey puck leaves literal a vapor trail.
Harvard would find a goal before the end of the game to prevent the shutout, but there wasn’t much in the way of actual hockey going on in the final twenty minutes.
Poor ice conditions tend to be a great equalizer between teams of differing talent levels, so this was a game that the Eagles really could have conceivably dropped. Taking the win and not having a bad Pairwise loss was critical to keeping BC in the running for a home ice spot in the NCAA tournament, so this was a big win.
Next up for the Eagles is a home and home against Hockey East’s newest member, Merrimack, who has already shown some signs of life. BC will need to sweep this series to keep in contention for a top four spot, but the Warriors will be no pushover.