It was a slow start for Boston College women’s hockey against Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles had trouble early getting any momentum, but picked up the pace in the second period to secure a 4-3 victory against the Orange and keep their perfect record intact.
The No. 2 Eagles (8-0-1) made the trip up to upstate New York to face Syracuse (1-7-0) after coming off a 7-4 win against No. 9 Providence at home on Friday afternoon. BC looked to lean on the two top scorers in college hockey, sophomore Caitrin Lonergan and freshman Daryl Watts. Both Lonergan and Watts delivered with each, scoring a goal.
In just three and a half minutes, Syracuse scored off of a second-chance goal thanks to the relentlessness of Stephanie Grossi in front of the net after goaltender Katie Burt failed to secure the puck on what should have been an easy save. Burt initially covered the puck, but the whistle was never blown, allowing Grossi to push the puck into the net for the 1-0 lead. This was just the ninth goal of the season for Syracuse. Seven minutes later, the Orange came back with its second goal of the game after Savannah Rennie skated right past a BC defender and beat Burt on the left post for her first goal of the season.
With just under two minutes left to play in the first period, Watts capitalized on a broken play from Syracuse with the help from Bridget McCarthy and Makenna Newkirk, picking up her 11th goal of the season.
Syracuse started off the second period with up a power play, but the Eagles easily killed it. BC dominated on power plays, scoring on two of its five, while shutting out Syracuse on all four of its power-play opportunities. Just four minutes into the period however, Syracuse defender Lindsay Eastwood took advantage of a blocked shot that put Burt out of position and drilled a shot in for the Orange.
BC was not going to let its perfect record slip away that easily. Just 14 seconds later, a mass of Eagle jerseys and some grit allowed Molly Slowe to score off of her skates with the help of both Maegan Beres and Grace Bizal.
The game went back and forth with opportunities for both teams on either side of the ice, but a power play for BC allowed the team to create a scoring opportunity. The Eagles patiently dominated the power play for nearly two minutes, wearing out the Syracuse line until they finally could get the look they wanted. With five minutes left to go in the second period, Lonergan sent the puck flying past Syracuse goalie Abbey Miller for the equalizer.
BC started to put some serious pressure on Syracuse and began to wear down its line. The Eagles picked up another power play and Toni Ann Miano scored off of a wrist shot for her third goal of the season.
Back-to-back power play goals gave BC its first lead of the day, making it a 4-3 game. After 40 minutes of back-and-forth play and a three-goal run by the Eagles in the second period, they headed into the final frame with momentum.
Syracuse started the third period with a power play, but like all of the game and most of the season, it was easily shut down. BC killed another Syracuse power play. A few minutes into period, what looked like an Eagle goal was waved off immediately by the officials, as the stick of Kenzie Kent was over the crossbar and therefore ruled not a goal. With about a minute left to play, Syracuse pulled its goalie and took a timeout with 35 seconds left in the game to draw up one last final play. But it wasn’t enough, as the Eagles redeemed themselves from a messy first period to top Syracuse, 4-3, mostly thanks to their ability to capitalize on power plays.
BC topped Syracuse on shot attempts, faceoffs, and power plays, but the Eagles and the Orange were even with 27 shot attempts on both sides. It was a close game, but in the end, the speed, strength, and experience of the BC team was just too much for Syracuse. Once again, the Eagles live to see another undefeated day.
Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / Heights Staff