Notebook: Penalties in BC’s Win Over BU Serve as Cause for Concern

Boston College women's hockey

The gasps in the crowd were audible as Erin Connolly sent a Boston University women’s hockey player into the walls. The play resulted in Boston College’s fourth penalty, one of eight they totalled throughout the game. When playing against the rival Terriers, tough play is a common theme. This time, the Eagles overcame their penalties to earn a 4-3 victory over BU.

BC (5-0-1, 2-0-1 Hockey East) always plays aggressively when matched with the Terriers (1-5, 1-5), and Saturday afternoon’s game was no different. The No. 3 Eagles played a very physical game, which can potentially hurt them down the road. The first penalty served by BC was called on Caroline Ross less than 10 minutes into regulation, but the Eagles were saved when Kristina Shuler was sent to the box less than 30 seconds later. It was a common pattern throughout the game, resulting in a lot of 4-on-4 action. BC was able to quickly kill off its penalties in the early periods, but as the game winded down it began to get restless.

Heading into the final period, the Eagles were up by three points. The Terriers quickly caught up as BC got careless, capitalizing on the opportunities they were given.

“We just have to be a little more disciplined,” head coach Katie Crowley said. “I think sometimes when you get up 4-1, more things are called than necessarily if it had been 1-1, so I think it gets a little bit interesting as you kind of keep moving along in the game.”

In the last 20 minutes, goaltender Katie Burt constantly faced shots, allowing the Terriers to close the gap and finish the game only one goal behind the Eagles. Luckily for the Eagles, many of their penalties were matched with penalties called on the Terriers as well, but that won’t always be the case. BC tallied eight penalties to BU’s six, and being down a player for 16 minutes isn’t a position the Eagles want to be caught in often.

Into the last period, the Eagles found themselves on the defensive more than on the offensive. The last time the Eagles met the Terriers at Walter Brown Arena, they went into the third period with a two-goal lead. BU scored five goals in the final 20 minutes, including four consecutive as regulation closed out. BC almost found itself in the same position, which wasn’t helped by the number of penalties the team were called for.

Despite the physicality of the game, BC had a driving force in Daryl Watts, Caitrin Lonergan, and Willow Corson. The three players each contributed at least two goals, feeding the puck to each other throughout the game. They’re becoming a core force on BC’s offense, with Watts leading the team with 14 points so far this season. Thanks to Watts, Lonergan and Corson, as well as veteran Makenna Newkirk, the Eagles are becoming more and more dangerous offensively. Watts has recorded at least one goal every game this season, becoming a premier scoring threat for the Eagles.

This was the first game without Cayla Barnes, who was called up to the U.S. National Team as it prepares for the Olympics in South Korea. Heading into Saturday’s game, Crowley was experimenting with different lineups. The Eagles met the challenge with confidence, sinking four of their 18 shots. The defense was equally ready, blocking 13 shots, with Burt saving a career high of 43.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor