“I’m glad that I chose BC, and I think the people here have made me a better person, player, student, everything”
For Emily Pfalzer and the seniors of Boston College’s women’s hockey team, the final home game of the regular season versus Boston University was bittersweet. The win against BU, however, made it a little sweeter.
The celebration of senior night was emotional for all, and coach Katie King Crowley had many praises for her five seniors: Pfalzer, Emily Field, Kate Leary, Erin Kickham, and Danielle Doherty. “We have some tremendous seniors on this team and they contribute in all sorts of ways,” Crowley said. “I’m really proud of all five of them for what they’ve done for our program, how they’ve helped our team grow and our program grow, and I can’t say enough about those five kids.”
The Thursday night matchup between No. 1 Boston College (30-1-1, 20-0-0 Hockey East) and No. 6 Boston University (21-8-2, 15-5-0 Hockey East), resulted in a high intensity 5-0 shutout win for the Eagles.
The first period set the pace for the rest of the game, with the Eagles’ defense coming out strong and their offense delivering on goal opportunities. Pfalzer led the effort against the Terriers offense, often sweeping away rebounded shots on goalie Katie Burt. After a penalty on BU’s Victoria Bach for tripping, Pfalzer on the power play passed to Megan Keller, who set up Alex Carpenter to send the puck past BU goaltender Erin O’Neil’s left foot 12:36 into the period. Due to their solid passing and puck possession in their 5-on-5 playing time, the Eagles gave themselves a two goal lead late in the first, with Toni Ann Miano taking a shot that went through the five-hole of BU’s O’Neil.
The Terriers came out strong on offense in the second period. Four total penalties on BC, at one point giving BU a 4-on-3 advantage, allowed the Terriers to have many scoring chances. Burt, however, knocked each away—in the second she saved a total of 16 shots, largely with the help of the Eagles’ penalty kill.
After the third kill by the Eagles, Andie Anastos, assisted by Carpenter, got off a beautiful shot, which went over goalie O’Neil’s left shoulder and into the top corner of the net, bringing the game to 3-0.
Tensions were high between the teams, as to be expected in any matchup of the BC-BU rivalry, causing some pushing to occur after the whistle on goal saves. This restlessness was increased as BU failed to deliver on any of its power play chances. A penalty was called on Pfalzer for hooking at 18:15 into the period, leading to a decision by BU to pull netminder O’Neil to gain a larger advantage. Due to a change in possession down the Terriers’ end, however, Haley Skarupa was able to skate up the ice and dump a shorthanded empty-netter into the BU goal.
The intensity of the game continued into the third period, with BU looking to pull their way back from a four goal deficit and with BC trying to keep the game a shutout. Both the Eagles and the Terriers played aggressively, leading to not only many scoring chances, but also many penalty minutes. After a penalty on BC’s Tori Sullivan for hooking, Carpenter got possession, skated to the right of O’Neil, and let the puck fly into the top shelf of the BU net. The amount of penalty minutes for BU in the third allowed the Eagles to continue their tenacious play and to emerge victorious.
With this win under their belt, the Eagles are looking at the Hockey East playoffs and beyond, but first are concentrating on winning their last game of the regular season at BU. “You know one step at a time for us, but that’s [being in the NCAA final game] been a goal of this team for awhile as well as winning the Hockey East playoffs,” Crowley said. “You know you can’t take one before the other. So now, we’re focused on BU on Saturday, and then we move to see who we play next weekend.”
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor