Everyone knows Alex Carpenter, the star of Boston College women’s hockey. She scores almost every game, hustling for the puck with every play. After winning the Patty Kazmaier Award last season, Carpenter has continued her dominating play. Through eight games, she has 14 goals and 22 points—both totals are second only to Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne. But as a senior, she’ll no longer suit up in the maroon and gold next season, opting instead for the red, white, and blue of the New York Riveters. Before you worry if that’ll put the Eagles in a bind, look over at Makenna Newkirk. In her first nine games for BC, the freshman has notched six goals and six assists. And her most recent goal set the ball rolling for a win against the University of Connecticut, 4-0.
The game picked up quickly, with a power play that the Eagles (9-0-0, 3-0-0 Hockey East) took advantage of within the first five minutes. After a pass from Toni Ann Miano, Andie Anastos directed the puck to Newkirk, who shot high and nailed the back of the net. The early lead benefited the Eagles, but the period did not live up to BC’s usual quick-start standards. BC has scored multiple goals in six of its first eight opening periods.
The Huskies (3-2-2, 0-2-0 HEA) found new energy when Megan Keller skated to the penalty box, giving UConn a power play. They attacked Katie Burt in goal, but only took two shots and could not connect on either of them.
The Eagles widened their lead during the second period, with a goal each from Haley Skarupa and Kristyn Capizzano. With the help of Dana Trivigno and Miano, Skarupa evaded the Huskies’ defenders and landed a shot in the net. Skarupa returned the favor for Capizzano soon after, shooting the puck over to Anastos. The junior center attempted the shot, but it was deflected by goalie Elaine Chuli. Capizzano, however, slapped the rebound in between the left pipe and the goalie’s leg to put the Eagles up 3-0.
BC slowed down offensively in the beginning of the third period, taking a few minutes to find a shot against UConn. Carpenter attempted to break her brief drought with a slap shot, but it missed the goal. A few minutes later, the Eagles hounded the goal, mercilessly setting up shot after shot. Eventually, Meghan Grieves short passed the puck to Lexi Bender, who slipped the puck in. The goal came under review, causing suspense, but was awarded to BC. Coach Katie Crowley admired her team’s persistence leading up to the goal. “You have to attack with grit,” she said.
The win against UConn marks Burt’s fourth shutout of the season. Huskies goalie Chuli saved 34 shots in the first two periods, three times the action that Burt saw on her end. Burt’s lack of saving practice during the games could potentially prove to be a weak spot for the Eagles, especially against Boston University, which is 4-0 in conference play. BC has shot almost twice as much as its opponents this season, with 379 shots to the opposition’s 193.
As for Newkirk, Crowley praised the freshman for her work. “It was good that Makenna could put home a power-play goal for us to start everything off,” Crowley said. Crowley will have a lot to work with in Newkirk. She has adjusted well to college play, which she credits to her teammates, rather than her own talent. “Playing with Carp and Kenz, you can’t really ask for better linemates,” Newkirk said. “Getting to play with these players every day in practice is really helping me out.”
The Eagles have a long season ahead of them. They have only faced one Hockey East team ranked in the top five. But with consistently good players like Carpenter and dazzling fresh faces like Newkirk, the high level of performance that the Eagles showed against UConn is expected.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor