After taking down the Terriers of Boston University last Tuesday night during the semifinal match up of the Beanpot, the BC women’s hockey team traveled to the University of Connecticut to take on the Huskies in a heated conference match up.
Coming into the match, the Eagles ranked No. 7 in the nation, sitting contentedly at first place in Women’s Hockey East (WHEA) conference standings. On the other hand, the Huskies of UConn have struggled to find wins this season despite their talented squad—they came into the match with a 7-19-2 season record.
From the opening face off, both teams were able to produce multiple opportunities within the first few minutes of the first period. BC was able to acquire a power play with several shots on net, but UConn sophomore goalkeeper Elaine Chuli kept the Eagles off the scoreboard for the remainder of the period. On the other end of the rink, BC goaltender and captain Corinne Boyles came up with a total of eight saves to make sure no mistakes were made. Chuli ended the period with 12 saves. Both Boyles and Chuli earned WHEA Co-Goalkeeper of the Month, based on competition played in January.
The Eagles started the second period with three quick shots on net, but the first goal of the game came from the Huskies’ very own Kayla Campero, who was able to get one past Boyles during the sixth minute of the second period. Shortly after the goal, the Huskies’ attack continued as junior forward Sarah MacDonnell came extremely close to adding one more on the scoreboard as her shot directed off of the pipe to keep the lead at one. BC was able to obtain yet another power play during the 10th minute of the second period, but after three saves from Chuli, the Huskies kept their lead at one and another power play for the Eagles was killed.
Eight minutes later, the Eagles were granted their third power play, but once again the Huskies, led by Chuli, were able to hold on to their lead and enter the third period with confidence. Chuli ended the period with 21 saves while Boyles tallied 10 for the Eagles.
Heading into the third period, regardless of the low score, many players were able to get chances on net for the Eagles including sophomore forward Haley Skarupa and freshman forward Andie Anastos. For the Huskies, Kayla Campero was able to create seven shots on goal, one of which was the game-winning goal. With three killed power plays posing no results, the Eagles needed to step up their game in order to secure this win and protect their seat as first in the conference.
Another opportunity was given to the Eagles in the sixth minute of the third period when they were granted their fourth power play. The Huskies were able to hold off the Eagles attack and kill this one as well, for they contained the puck for the majority of the power play, getting off three shots on net while the Eagles’ three attempted shots were saved yet again by Chuli. The Huskies attack only continued throughout the third period as UConn senior left winger Stephanie Raithby extended the lead to two with a goal in the 10th minute.
Seven minutes later, high tension from the Eagles’ defense resulted in a penalty on senior forward Melissa Bizzari, who was leading the team in shots on goal for the game. Bizzari finished the game with seven shots on goal. With another power play issued for BC in the 19th minute, some hope was still alive for the Eagles, but it seemed to be just a bit too little too late as BC fell 2-0 to the Huskies. Boyles finished the game with 35 saves and the loss, while Chuli tallied 45 saves earning her second shutout on the season ending the Eagles’ 11-game unbeaten streak and seven-game win streak.
The Eagles face off against Northeastern University in the 36th annual Beanpot Championship on Tuesday Feb. 11, at Kelley Rink in Conte Forum with a scheduled puck-drop at 8 p.m., as the team seeks revenge from last year’s championship game.