Crowley Earns 250th Career Win as Women’s Hockey Sweeps Minnesota Duluth

Katie Crowley

From her position by the left circle, Caitrin Lonergan dove onto the ice to push the puck to Daryl Watts. From there, Watts had her chance. The ringing of the puck hitting the pipes was audible throughout Kelley Rink, but by the time it stopped, the freshman had already secured her third collegiate goal—and it took only 60 minutes to get there.

No. 3 Boston College women’s hockey had a tough opponent in No. 4 University of Minnesota, Duluth. After earning a win one night prior, the Eagles faced their rivals from out west for the second time Friday afternoon. BC headed into the long weekend victorious by clinching head coach Katie Crowley’s 250th career win.

The Bulldogs had a commanding presence early in the first period, firing shots on goaltender Katie Burt less than a minute after the game started. Their control wouldn’t last long, as BC quickly took possession challenged the Duluth defense. Less than 10 minutes into the period, BC found its first opportunity. Co-captain Kenzie Kent received a pass from Kathleen McNamara and didn’t hesitate. Her shot went right through goalie Catherine Johnson’s legs, giving the Eagles the first goal of the game.

The aggressive nature of the game eventually caught up to BC when Serena Sommerfield was booked for tripping. The Bulldogs capitalized 30 seconds before the game returned to full strength. Ashton Bell found a hole in the Eagles’ defense and snuck the puck past Burt. BC came back quickly, and took advantage of Michelle Lowenhielm’s interference penalty. Lonergan set Watts up for the perfect shot, and the freshman cashed in for her first collegiate goal, putting the Eagles in the lead once again as they headed into the locker room.

When the players returned to the ice, the Bulldogs were keen to tie up the game. After a fight for possession, the puck slid through Burt’s legs for what looked to be a tying goal. The experienced goalie showed why she’s one of the best in the nation when she bent back and covered the puck with her glove before it could cross the line.

Once again, Duluth tried to split the Eagles’ defense after Caroline Ross was called for holding. They hammered Burt with shots, forcing her to sprawl on the ice to make an array of saves. One shot in particular was heading right over Burt’s shoulder. Without hesitation, Kent positioned herself between the puck and the twine, robbing the Bulldogs of a power-play goal.

As the game returned to full strength, Watts found herself battling the defense alone as she neared Johnson. She broke away from her defender and with a flick of her wrist, the puck sailed right past Johnson’s foot and into the back of the net. Less than two minutes later, the freshman received a pass from Lonergan and nabbed the hat trick.

It felt really good to finally score my first goal.” Watts said. “For the next two, I guess I was just in the right spot, so I wasn’t really expecting those.”

Burt made an impressive 31 saves in the second game of the series, only allowing one in the first period. Her agility between the pipes helped Crowley pocket her 250th win, an achievement that she shares with assistant head coach Courtney Kennedy.

“It’s been a fun group so far,” Crowley said. “They love the game of hockey, and they love coming to the rink every day and that’s what we want from them. Hopefully we keep going, and hopefully we get to 251.”

Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff