Behind Four-Goal Outburst, Eagles Remain Unbeaten vs. Merrimack

Syllabus week has come to an end, and while many students are just getting back into the swing of things, Boston College women’s hockey has been busy on the ice. With an 11-0-2 record in their last 13 games, the Eagles have the longest winning streak in women’s college hockey.

Heading into their game against Merrimack College, the Eagles were looking to add to that streak. In the five total games that BC and Merrimack have played one another in the Warriors’ short history, the Eagles have never lost. This game at Kelley Rink was no different, as the Eagles (19-3-4, 15-2-2 Hockey East) skated away with a 4-1 victory over the Warriors (8-17-3, 4-14-0).

With mostly freshmen in the starting lineup, head coach Katie Crowley gave the younger players a chance to get on the ice. Few calls were made, making the first period a very physical one. The only penalty of the period came from Bridget McCarthy, who was called for slashing after trying to force a turnover just three minutes into the game. With an advantage on the ice, the Warriors looked to create an early lead, but the Eagles weren’t going to let the penalty phase them.

With 30 seconds left before the power play expired, Kristyn Capizzano regained possession of the puck when the Warriors overshot a pass and skated unopposed towards the net. The only player standing between her and the twine was goaltender Samantha Ridgewell—and to Capizzano, it was like she wasn’t even there. From the circle, she whipped the puck past Ridgewell to notch a shorthanded goal for her 12th of the season, giving the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.

For the Eagles, a one-goal lead just wasn’t enough. Capizzano again gained control of the puck and headed toward the net to increase the lead, but the net was better defended this time. With a slew of players and Ridgewell ready, Capizzano couldn’t get the puck past the line, but Megan Keller was patient. After Ridgewell deflected the puck, Keller was there to sneak the rebound past her outstretched legs and bring the Eagles lead to 2-0 into the locker room.

The second period began with more aggressive play, as Merrimack’s Allison Sexton sent into the box only two minutes in for slashing. Despite keeping the puck in Warrior territory and taking four shots on the goal, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize on the power play. Determined to make sure the game wasn’t a complete shutout, Annie Boeckers pushed the puck behind the line and gave the Warriors a point after a crowd near the net left Burt tied up in front of the goal. The overcrowding led to BC’s Serena Sommerfield being sent into the box for hitting from behind, and the Eagles were again one player short. BC killed off the penalty, and the game returned to regular play.

“We haven’t played a game yet this season where we haven’t gotten a penalty,” Crowley said. “If we’re going to play hard we have to be able to kill off those penalties and that’s obviously a big deal.”

The Eagles kept the pressure on, though, and McCarthy was sent into the box for the second time for hitting from behind 14 minutes into the period. The Warriors had another chance to close the gap and tie the game. While Merrimack wasn’t able to find the back of the net, BC nabbed a second shorthanded goal of the night when Keller passed the puck to Andie Anastos who was able to get behind the defensemen and sneak the puck past Ridgewell’s legs. The Eagles headed into the second break with a solid 3-1 lead on the Warriors.

After two penalties in the second period, BC wasn’t looking to get any more disadvantages, and Merrimack didn’t want to give the Eagles any kind of leg up either. Both teams were able to keep all players out of the box, and the entire period was played at full strength. BC wasn’t satisfied with only a two-goal lead on its opponents, and Makenna Newkirk took a calculated but fast shot from the left circle and the puck sailed past Ridgewell’s arm, increasing the lead to a three point deficit with ten minutes left in the game. The Warriors were unable to respond, and fell to the Eagles for their sixth consecutive loss.

On the two impressive shorthanded goals of the night, Crowley said the team was vigilant.

“I thought today we were really good at just reading opportunities where we could get going and get actual scoring opportunities off of,” she said.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff