Following last season, Boston College women’s hockey expected to prove a point after losing to Harvard in the Beanpot final and National Semifinal, and losing to Boston University in the Hockey East Final.
Those losses are in the past. This is a new team that knows what it means to lose on the big stage and is determined not to make it the program’s reputation.
But even the team exceeded its own expectations.
In a 9-1 win over Providence College (10-22-2, 6-16-2 Hockey East) Saturday afternoon, the Eagles (34-0-0, 24-0-0) became the first hockey team—male or female—in Hockey East history to boast a pristine record of an undefeated regular season through conference play. BC joins the 2012-13 Minnesota Golden Gophers as the only teams to make it through the regular season unblemished.
PC initially got it going, firing off two shots before Alex Carpenter answered with a few of her own, although unsuccessful.
Though the team took some time to start off, BC came into its own, starting with the line of Makenna Newkirk, Dana Trivigno, and Andie Anastos. Newkirk assisted Anastos on the first of three goals—the junior’s first career hat trick—putting the Eagles on the board 15 minutes into the first period.
The momentum only picked up from there. Three minutes later, Haley Skarupa was through the neutral zone and passed the puck off to Lexi Bender, who assisted Kenzie Kent on her 13th goal of the season.
Bender started the second period with a goal four minutes in, one of the three goals to come from power plays. The Friars finally responded three minutes later. Cassie Carels launched the puck from the corner during a power play, making it a 3-1 game. But that’s all PC would get as the Eagles picked it up to another level, making themselves worthy of the zeros in their record.
PC head coach Bob Deraney could not find a suitable goalie to stop the Eagles, changing netminders twice from Sarah Bryant to Allie Morse, after Toni Ann Miano’s goal in the second, with Madison Myers finishing the third period.
Right after the goalie change to Morse, Skarupa proved that no one was going to make a difference against a team like this, tipping in Keller’s assist, notching yet another goal for the Eagles.
BC entered the last 20 minutes of play with the score of 5-1, but the game was not over, and the Eagles certainly weren’t done.
“They go until the last buzzer goes,” head coach Katie Crowley said to BCEagles.com. “Today, everyone got in the game and it was a true team effort.”
Six minutes into the third period, Trivigno intercepted a clearance attempt by the Friars who assisted Anastos to gain her second goal of the game. But the Eagles and Anastos were not done there.
Skarupa came back for more, taking the puck away from a PC defender at the point to increase the Eagles’ strength. But Anastos wasn’t done either, with another goal just minutes later.
BC went 3-for-5 on power-play opportunities: Bender, Skarupa, and Ryan Little all capitalized on the man advantage. Skarupa’s was her 72nd career Hockey East goal, putting her third in career conference goals. On the other end of the spectrum, Little’s was her career first and came in the last 20 seconds of play, on assists from Carpenter and Grace Bizal.
But the Eagles are looking to bigger and better things: next up is the Hockey East Tournament, starting with Maine at Kelley Rink, where the expectations are as high as ever. This team still has something it wants to make up for from last season. There is something to be said for finishing the season on a win like this, showing how BC does not want this year to be like last year’s.
Crowley said it all after the game.
“It’s an amazing feeling [to finish the regular season with a perfect record],” Crowley said. “I’m just really proud of the way my team played all year long.”
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor