It came down to the final minutes, but the No. 7 Boston College women’s hockey team managed to scrape off a fifth straight win on Sunday afternoon.
After beating UNH at home on Saturday, the team headed to Durham, New Hampshire to face the Wildcats-a Hockey East foe that dealt the Eagles their only conference loss back in October-on their own turf. At Whittemore Center, the two teams met to settle the fate of this weekend’s home-and-home series.
Despite securing a dominant 5-2 victory the day before in Conte Forum, the Eagles got off to a rough start in the first period, allowing the Wildcats to strike first. Less than two minutes into the game, UNH’s Kayla Mork put a shot past BC goalie Corinne Boyles to score the first goal of the afternoon and set the tone for the rest of the first period in which the Wildcats doubled the Eagles’ shot total, firing off 14 to BC’s seven.
Three minutes after the first goal, BC’s Taylor Wasylk put up an answer to Mork’s move by netting a goal off of a rebound on Kate Leary’s shot. In the two games against UNH alone, Wasylk tallied three goals and two assists, proving to be a vital force for the Eagles’ offense. The goal was her eighth of the season and brought the teams to a tie, the score at 1-1.
Wasylk’s goal was not enough to entirely shift the momentum in BC’s favor, and UNH controlled the game for most of the first period.
Penalties cost the Eagles during the period as Kaliya Johnson was sent to the penalty box twice for boarding and hitting after the whistle.
UNH’s Jess Ryan was able to take advantage of the second power play, finding an opening and firing a wrister past Boyles to put the Wildcats in the lead with under a minute remaining in the period before heading into the first intermission.
BC also had an opportunity on the power play during the first frame, but the Eagles failed to capitalize on their man advantage.
The Eagles entered the middle frame trailing the Wildcats 2-1, but would not stay down for long. Two minutes into the period, Leary skated into Wildcat territory and lost control of the puck, but teammate Emily Pfalzer was there to pick it up and fire a shot from the right faceoff dot, past UNH goalie Vilma Vaattovaara.
Pfalzer’s goal knotted the score at 2-2, and the competitors remained even for the remainder of the period. The Eagles were not without chances in the middle frame, as two power plays came their way. As has been the story through much of the season, though, the power play failed to convert on man-advantage opportunites. The two teams remained even in that aspect as well as the Eagles took a penalty of their own during the period, but stayed strong on that element of special teams, holding off each of New Hampshire’s scoring attempts to mainain the tie.
The third period saw many failed attempts and a penalty on both sides as each team remained scoreless through much of the remaining 20 minutes. With the score tied and just two minutes left, though, the Eagles were determined to out-score their competitors and come away with the valuable conference win. Junior Emily Field tipped a shot by teammate Haley McLean past Vaattovaara, scoring a game-winning goal that settled the score at 3-2 and extended BC’s unbeaten streak to (7-0-2).
It was not the same dominant performance that the Eagles had exerted the day before at home-UNH outshot BC 33-23-but ultimately the Eagles came out on top.
Boyles was vital in the Eagles’ winning effort. Throughout the season, she has consistently demonstrated her ability to hold off her opponents, and Sunday proved no exception as she tallied 31 saves in the Eagles’ win and improved her personal record to 15-4-2 on the season.
There were two multi-point performances from Eagles, as Wasylk tallied a goal and an assist and Leary notched two assists, proving that BC can still be productive on offense in the absence of top goal-scorer Haley Skarupa as she recovers from injury.
With the win the Eagles extended their lead at the top of Hockey East standings, the second place Boston University Terriers clocking in nine points behind the dominant BC team. While the Eagles have only one Hockey East loss, the Terriers have tallied five this season.
After its winning weekend, the No. 7 BC women’s hockey team will head home to face Providence, currently fifth in Hockey East, on Feb. 1.