At what point must you accept that BC is the UNH of women's hockey—dominating through the regular season but never finding a way to win a championship?
Last night at a sold-out Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, the Eagles dominated gameplay once again, holding a 44-21 edge in shots, but gave up two third period goals and fell to the Harvard Crimson 2-1, ending their season.
The game started well enough for BC. Just seconds into the game, the Eagles appeared to get the scoring started. BC sent a harmless puck in on Harvard goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer from behind the goal line and it appeared to bounce its way across the goal line. The referee signaled "goal," and the Eagles celebrated, but a quick review overturned the call on the ice, saying that the puck was kicked into the net.
It seemed to give the Crimson new life for several minutes, but the game seemed to turn in the Eagles' favor with five minutes left in the first. Miye D'Oench, arguably Harvard's most skilled player, took a brutal hitting from behind penalty on BC's Emily Pfalzer, giving her the gate and putting the Eagles on a crucial 5 minute power play to end the first.
BC's struggling power play managed to throw several good shots on net, but Maschmeyer came up with the save every time, sending Harvard into the locker room scoreless in the upset bid and the Eagles into theirs with a familiar sense of frustration.
The bigger story was that the Eagles couldn't break through with D'Oench being sent to the locker room for the vast majority of the game. Not scoring on the five minute major was not just bad for BC on the scoreboard, but it was a bad foreshadowing for the remainder of the game.
The second period once again saw BC dominate the shots but unable to find the back of the net. Maschmeyer made a couple tremendous saves, and the Eagles managed to rifle a shot off the very inside of the post, once again sending BC into the locker room wondering what they had to do to score.
Then, crushing disappointment. Early in the third period, Harvard's Kalley Armstrong took a harmless shot from the point on what was basically a dump in on a line change. The puck trickled through to Katie Burt but took a couple low bounces and knuckled right past the freshman goaltender, giving Harvard the first goal of the game and the lead.
BC responded well, putting more pressure on Harvard and Maschmeyer, but realistic hope of a tying goal took a terrible blow with 7 minutes left in the game. Harvard's Haley Mullins was called for interference—incredible given that the third period was played with prison hockey rules for the first 13 minutes—and after all of BC's pressure, it looked like this was the break they needed.
Instead, Harvard won the very next faceoff, and Mary Parker went coast to coast, burned past BC's defense and sent a shot into Katie Burt. Burt made the initial save, but the traffic in the crease sent the puck bouncing back to her and the puck and Burt both barely tumbled into the net.
Parker knew the puck was in, but the referee waved off the goal on the ice. It only delayed the inevitable, as the game's second review went the Crimson's way again, putting Harvard up 2-0.
The Eagles redoubled their efforts, and managed to get one back with a full four and a half minutes to go giving them plenty of time to try one last time for the tying goal, but two netmouth scrums, a post, a couple high and wide shots later, the Harvard bench spilled onto the ice to celebrate their berth in the national championship game against Minnesota.
It was another blow in a string of postseason heartbreaks for BC. You can say they played well by looking at the shots on goal, but it's the same thing that's plagued them in years past: they made a ton of shots but were unable to score.
After torching every team they played in the first half, the Eagles seemed to become a victim of their own success. They stopped passing and started shooting, and not taking big, early leads only seemed to exaggerate the problem. BC would panic, taking shot after shot from way up high looking for deflections instead of creating plays to get open shots from the slot.
It's going to a very long offseason for this team. BC ended the season with three losses at the worst possible times: in the Beanpot championship, the Hockey East championship, and the Frozen Four. Hopefully the disappointment makes all of the returning Eagles angry and hungrier than ever to break through next season.