Boston College women’s hockey hasn’t lost a game at Kelley Rink since Oct. 19, 2013. With a strong opening by the University of Connecticut, the Eagles’ NCAA record continues. After a strong first quarter by the Huskies, BC tied the game 4-4, winning its fourth consecutive Hockey East regular-season championship title. In the Skating Strides game that honors the fight against breast cancer, the Eagles (20-3-5, 15-2-3 Hockey East) donned special black and pink jerseys but they had a hard time getting past UConn (12-13-3, 7-10-1), causing them to skate away in defeat.
The first period was tough for the Eagles, as they couldn’t seem to get past the Husky defense. The first goal of the night went to UConn’s Catherine Crawley, when she took a shot that Katie Burt initially saved, but she couldn’t keep the puck in her glove and it slipped over the goal line. Less than 30 seconds later, the Eagles fell even farther behind the Huskies. Kayla Mee snuck past the Eagles’ defense and swept the puck over Burt’s leg, giving UConn an early two-goal lead.
With BC in unfamiliar territory, head coach Katie Crowley was forced to take a timeout. The bad luck continued, as Caroline Ross was sent into the box 11 minutes in for slashing. The Huskies couldn’t capitalize, but only one minute after the all the players returned to the ice, Mee skated down the ice with no opposition. While Burt was able to save her initial shot, Leah Lum got the rebound and bury the puck in the net.
When Nora Maclaine was called for tripping it seemed like the Eagles could get a point on the board, but they couldn’t convert on the power play. With a late penalty on Megan Keller just over 18 minutes into the period, the Eagles headed into the locker room in unfamiliar territory, three points down and one player short heading into the second period.
The second period started out slowly, with both teams making sloppy passes and slipping on the ice. Seven minutes in, however, Keller was able to come back from her penalty. With a large crowd in front of the goal, she was got down on one knee and slid under the arms of the UConn defense and successfully slide the puck past Husky goaltender Annie Belanger. A scuffle in front of the UConn goal caused Jaime Fox to be sent into the box for roughing, giving the Eagles another chance to catch up to the Huskies. BC couldn’t capitalize, and UConn was determined to increase its lead on the Eagles. Kelly Harris got the rebound and shoot the puck past Burt to increase the Huskies lead 4-2.
The Eagles immediately responded as Makenna Newkirk was able to fight through the tough defense in order to secure the Eagles a power play goal, once again closing the gap on the Huskie lead. BC was looking to close the gap even farther to head into the third period as Ross took a risky shot from the circle. The puck sailed through the legs of two UConn defensemen and Belanger, bringing the Eagles even closer to the Huskies as the period ended with BC only one goal behind UConn.
The third period was all business. Only 1:42 in, Keller whipped the puck at Belanger, but the goaltender blocked it with her pad. Caitrin Lonergan was right there to grab the rebound, and with a mostly open net took an easy shot and tied the game. With no penalties and minimal calls, neither team was able to score for the rest of the period however, and while Keller was sent into the box 14 and a half minutes in for hooking, the game ended in a tie and the game was sent into a five minute overtime. The extra five minutes were also scoreless, and the game ultimately ended in a tie.
“We put ourselves in a little bit of a hole there a couple times in the game, but I’m proud of our efforts and our fight back. We were able to get that point though that we needed in order to secure the Hockey East Regular Season.” Crowley said. “It’s always nice to win a trophy, and it’s a tough way to do it, but overall it was a pretty good game.”
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor