The No. 7 Boston College women’s hockey team took on the unranked Boston University Terriers at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kelley Rink in the 36th annual installment of the Women’s Beanpot. Despite playing on their friendly and familiar Chestnut Hill ice, the Eagles were forced to play in front of a decidedly split crowd as those who made the 14-stop trek on the B-Line ensured they would be heard early and often.
Senior Corinne Boyles started the semifinal matchup in net for BC, opposed on the other end of the ice by fellow senior Kerrin Sperry. Both goaltenders entered the game sporting exceptional numbers. BU’s Sperry held a 2.15 goals-against average (GAA) and .922 save percentage while Boyles, who also serves as co-captain for the Eagles, possessed a Hockey East best 1.74 GAA and .939 save percentage.
BU appeared to hold some solid early momentum thanks in large part to two power-play opportunities. That was the case until BC sophomore Dana Trivigno perfectly read and intercepted an ill-advised pass at the BU blue line. After moving in all alone on a breakaway, Trivigno made a slick move to the backhand and almost snuck it by Sperry, who was completely fooled. The puck pinged off the post, but senior Taylor Wasylk was there to knock it home shorthanded, thus wiping out BU’s early momentum.
Special teams continued to be the story for the Eagles in the first period. After already scoring shorthanded, it was the power play’s turn. One minute and 17 seconds into its first power play of the evening, BC cashed in. A crisp pass into the slot by freshman Andie Anastos set up junior Emily Field, who blew it by Sperry for her 13th goal of the season. A little more than three minutes later, sophomore Haley Skarupa had a golden scoring chance but was denied by a sprawling Sperry in the crease. While this play did not immediately result in a BC goal, a crosscheck was called which set the Eagles up on their second power play.
Once again, BC took advantage. Skarupa, who was denied a goal only a minute prior, slammed her 17th goal of the season past a helpless Sperry thanks to a fantastic backhand pass across the crease from teammate Taylor Wasylk. Due to its dominant special teams, BC was able to head to the locker room with a commanding 3-0 lead despite holding only a two-shot advantage.
“Our kids have started to take advantage of the opportunities they have and I thought today we were able to find some seams and put pucks on when we had the opportunity which is great,” said BC coach Katie King-Crowley regarding the power play unit.
The second period was a tale of two BU teams. Less than a minute into the period, assistant captain Kaleigh Fratkin was sent to the box for tripping. BU killed the penalty but was forced to once again kill off a Fratkin penalty minutes later. These back-to-back kills appeared to energize the Terriers, however, as a completely different looking team emerged after their assistant captain returned from the box. Sophomore Sarah Lefort snatched a tape-to-tape pass from Caroline Campbell and flew down the ice, resulting in a 3-on-2. Lefort faked a pass and took it herself, rocketing BU’s first shot of the second period short-side over Boyles’ outstretched blocker from just outside the right dot.
Following a flurry of more chances, BU appeared to have finally made it a one-goal game as Maddie Elia snuck one through the legs of Boyles with 4:39 left in the second. After further review, however, the officials disallowed the goal.
“Our player got her stick up and hit the goaltender in the shoulders, neck or helmet area,” explained BU head coach Brian Durocher after the game.
“Without a doubt I think that if that decision goes in the other direction, it’s 3-2 and one bad bounce, one lucky bounce, one good swing and the game’s tied and we’re still out there playing,” Durocher said.
Durocher had no complaints about the officials ruling on the call, however. “They had a chance to look at it and see the replay and I’m sure they were accurate,” he said.
Boyles was not completely sure about what the call was either. “They didn’t tell me,” she said. “I’m just glad it wasn’t a goal.”
After the controversy passed, Boyles was able to hold the Terriers at bay for the rest of the period. The Eagles headed into the second intermission with their 3-1 lead intact.
In the third period, BC’s defense clamped down alongside Boyles and closed the door on the Terriers. Sarah Lefort played a very solid period for BU, almost putting home her second goal of the game on multiple occasions, but Boyles was there to shut her down each time. As a whole, there were not very many chances on either side in the third, which played into BC’s favor. The lone goal in the third came immediately after Sperry was pulled. Haley Skarupa was able to pick off an errant pass, wrist it into the empty net for her second of the night, and punch BC’s ticket to the Beanpot final.