Previewing BC Women’s Hockey: What to Expect in the Beanpot Final

BC Hockey

Boston College women’s hockey has the opportunity to go for the big 30 on Feb. 9. After defeating every opponent they have faced, the Eagles (29-0-0, 20-0-0 Hockey East) will play Northeastern University in the Beanpot final to claim their 30th win, as well as the Beanpot trophy, which the Eagles failed to earn last season after a defeat in the final round against Harvard. For BC to get there, however, it has to get through the Huskies (25-4-1, 19-2-0), who have had an impressive season themselves.

Northeastern and BC have played each other at the finals five times in the women’s Beanpot’s 37-year history, most recently in 2014. The Huskies have defeated the Eagles four times at the end of the road, but the most recent matchup fell in BC’s favor, with the Eagles winning 3-0.

Preserving the victory streak is more important than ever for the Eagles, who last year experienced a late-season collapse at the hands of a Beanpot squad. To remain perfect and prevent the same effects from bringing BC down, it will have to showcase its best performance against the Huskies.

Last Time They Played: BC faced Northeastern on Nov. 28 in a 6-1 blowout for the Eagles. Goals for BC came from regular scorer Alex Carpenter, as well as contributions from Andie Anastos, Dana Trivigno, Kenzie Kent, and Kali Flanagan. The matchup against Northeastern showcases the Eagles’ offensive depth, which is just what a team needs to bring home the trophy. BC also made do with less shots, notching 23, while the Huskies only capitalized on one of its 37. Northeastern offers tough competition to the Eagles, as the team has gone on a 13-game win streak since the last meeting against BC.

Three Keys to the Game:

  1. Stop Kendall Coyne: If there’s any player better than Carpenter, it’s Coyne. She leads the NCAA in goal-scoring with 39, beating out Carpenter by three. Coyne also fares a little better on shorthanded goals, notching four to Carpenter’s three. Similarly, the Eagles notch nearly 3.7 penalties per game, offering the Huskies several opportunities for Coyne to take advantage. The Eagles’ defense will have to stop Coyne in her tracks before she gets too close to the goal.
  2. Back Up Burt: Goalie Katie Burt has been on fire this season, earning 10 shutouts and a .945 save percentage. But despite the stellar numbers, it’s easy to put pressure on the goalie once a forward gets past the defense. In the Eagles’ last game, the University of Connecticut managed to score four goals on 13 shots, an impressive feat, as BC scored five on 38. The lack of practice that Burt has gotten in-game is a downside, even though BC’s defense has been strong. The defense will have to redirect the puck every chance it gets to make sure that Burt doesn’t have to face anything too tricky.
  3. Top Line Takeover: Though most of the Eagles offense has contributed to the team’s 154 goals and 276 assists, the first line offers almost guaranteed goals. Carpenter, Haley Skarupa, and Kenzie Kent opened up the previous game, and replacements to the top line, such as Meghan Grieves, Tori Sullivan, and Makenna Newkirk, also have a lot to offer. All six of them have combined for 98 goals, proving a lethal mix for any team. Two of Northeastern’s three goalies have suited up against the Eagles, but neither has a real edge when facing BC.

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

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Shannon Kelly was the assistant features editor in 2017 and the associate copy editor in 2016. She could win an Emmy one day! Follow her in advance @ShannonJoyKelly.