In Friday’s 2-1 loss to Northeastern, there was a sense that the short bench the Eagles have been playing with had finally caught up with them. It was the 4th consecutive game that the Eagles trailed in the third period, and it was one comeback attempt too many.
On Sunday afternoon, the short bench got even shorter. Forward Makenna Newkirk and defenseman Caroline Ross were both scratched from the lineup with injury, leaving just two players who started the year to anchor a depleted blue line and a severely shorthanded corps of forwards.
But Sunday’s result could not have been more different than Friday’s.
Boston College jumped out to a commanding lead early in the first period and never looked back, running a very solid Catamount team (ranked 15th in the Pairwise) out of the building to the tune of a 7-1 hiding at Kelley Rink.
Boston College Goal #1 (SHG): 6:15 of the 1st period
Megan Keller (Delaney Belinskas, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 1, UVM 0
The Eagles scored early and often, and it started with a shorthanded chance after an early BC penalty.
Megan Keller and Delaney Belinskas led the rush down ice for a two on one, and Keller dished to Belinskas to took a low shot designed for a rebound. That’s exactly what she got, and Keller was there for it — just the way they drew it up.
It was a critical goal for a team that had given up the first goal more often than not over the last few weeks, and BC was really able to play with some confidence with the early lead.
Boston College Goal #2 (GWG): 9:05 of the 1st period
Bridget McCarthy (Haley McLean, Serena Sommerfield)
BC 2, UVM 0
Just a couple minutes later, BC extended the lead with some great work by the third line.
Serena Sommerfield — who has somehow turned into one of BC’s most important players over the last few weeks by being called on to play Zdeno Chara-like minutes with Megan Keller — gets things started up top. She sends the pass to the faceoff dot where Haley McLean turns and fires toward the net.
It’s more of a shot-pass, and it works great. Bridget McCarthy is on the receiving end of the attempt, and she gets a big deflection just over the shoulder of Vermont’s Madison Litchfield for the goal.
BC’s on a roll now.
Boston College Goal #3: 9:22 of the 1st period
Erin Connolly (Andie Anastos, Megan Keller)
BC 3, UVM 0
It only took 17 more seconds for this game to be effectively over.
BC wins the draw and takes the puck behind Katie Burt for the rush up ice, and Erin Connolly does it all.
Connolly, who started the season as a defenseman but was bumped up to play forward after the loss of Tori Sullivan early in the season, is a redshirt freshman who has played like a veteran in the role she’s been forced into. Connolly breezes past a Vermont defender along the boards into a 2 on 1, and she’s given way too much room.
Connolly is allowed to skate all the way into the slot and takes the opportunity to fire away. She deposits the shot just inside the near post, and this game is basically over.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG): 19:02 of the 1st period
Kenzie Kent (Andie Anastos, Megan Keller)
BC 4, UVM 0
BC got one more for the road, though, before the end of the first period. The Eagles were given their first power play of the game and iced it with some great puck movement.
Kent starts it and finishes it. She sends the puck up to Keller and immediately bolts for the front of the net. As Keller dishes over to Anastos, the Vermont defender initially shadows Kent well, but instead turns her attention over to Connolly in the slot.
That gives Anastos a passing lane over to Kent for the well-angled one-timer, and BC’s 4th goal of the opening 20 minutes.
Boston College Goal #5: 2:53 of the 2nd period
Kenzie Kent (Andie Anastos, Megan Keller
BC 5, UVM 0
BC just kept firing away. Early in the 2nd period, they add their 5th goal. Another 2 on 1 develops for the Eagles, and Kent, on the far side, opts to just put the puck on net.
Melissa Blank, Vermont’s 2nd goal of the night (after Litchfield was chased midway through the 1st) probably wants this one back. A backhand shot is a little tougher to track, but it’s not from a great angle and it sneaks its way through the pads for the goal.
Vermont Goal #1: 6:14 of the 2nd period
Victoria Andreakos (Alyssa Gorecki, Daria O'Neill)
BC 5, UVM 1
The Catamounts would not go away emptyhanded, and earned a goal + power play a few minutes later.
Gorecki comes in on a partial breakaway but goes for a nasty spill after getting taken down by Sommerfield. The puck goes to the end boards, but Andreakos is the first person to it. She takes the puck, brings it to the goal mouth, and pops it in before Burt even realizes the play is still happening.
Needless to say, even with the power play, this didn’t change the complexion of the game in the slightest.
Boston College Goal #6: 13:43 of the 2nd period
Megan Keller (Haley McLean)
BC 6, UVM 1
Vermont didn’t score on that power play, and BC got the goal back just a few minutes later. Megan Keller gets the touchdown after Haley McLean’s shot through traffic comes out on a rebound. The puck comes right out to Keller’s stick, and she’s got a gaping net to shoot at for the goal.
Boston College Goal #7: 18:12 of the 2nd period
Andie Anastos (Unassisted)
BC 7, UVM 1 — FINAL
Finally, mercifully, this one comes to an end.
This is... pretty ugly for the Catamounts. A shot takes a big rebound off the boards and four Catamount players are there surrounding the goaltender to gather the puck in and take a whistle.
But somehow, things go awry. It looks like the Catamounts lose control of the puck, and one of them just throw the puck out of the crease in a panic. It winds up on the stick of Anastos who is going across the slot, and she scores somewhat apologetically.
That was that. It was a brilliant result, and a true team effort out of a team that has been “next woman up” for the bulk of the season. There are hopes that BC will get some players back soon, hopefully in time for next weekend’s regular season finale against Providence.
The Eagles are going to need to get healthy if they hope to make a deep run in the NCAA — and, really, Hockey East — tournament, and there’s just one more week left in the regular season.