It’s been a little less than a month since Boston College women’s hockey has seen Connecticut. The last time these two teams met, the Eagles came home with a tie. On Friday night, however, UConn didn’t stand a chance. After 60 minutes of hockey, BC came away with a 3-0 victory, goaltender Katie Burt’s first shutout of the season.
The Eagles (10-1-1, 5-0-1 Hockey East) controlled the puck from the first faceoff, circling goaltender Annie Belanger, looking for an early chance to pull ahead. After being fed a pass from Caitrin Lonergan, Daryl Watts tallied the first shot attempt of the game, but UConn (4-5-3, 0-4-2 Hockey East) was able to fend it off. It wasn’t long before the Eagles found their first golden opportunity. After a shot by Makenna Newkirk connected with Belanger’s pads, Caroline Ross sent the puck to Erin Connolly and she drove it home.
One goal wasn’t enough for the second line. Kathleen McNamara tipped the puck to Watts, who quickly skated across the net before sending the puck behind her to Lonergan. With Belanger preoccupied with the freshman, Lonergan had the perfect opportunity to send the puck into the net to secure a two-goal lead for the Eagles. Despite the early goals, the first period was rather tame, with neither team being called for a penalty.
The first few minutes of the second period followed the same pattern, but the game soon turned physical. Connolly took BC’s first penalty after tripping a UConn player with her stick while passing her. The Eagles easily killed off the penalty, and the game quickly returned to full strength. BC didn’t waste any time after gaining back its fifth player. Lonergan gained possession of the puck shortly after Connolly’s penalty was over and circled behind the goal. She found an open Watts, who weaved her way through defenders to find a space between Belanger’s legs, tallying her 13th goal of the season.
Connolly was sent back into the sin bin almost immediately after BC’s third goal for tripping a defender with her stick. The Eagles killed off her second penalty, but Bridget McCarthy skated into the box for hooking less than a minute after the Eagles gained back full strength. BC killed off their third straight penalty, and headed into the locker room with a comfortable three-goal lead.
After a tame first period, head coach Katie Crowley was pleased with the way her team killed off the penalties they were called for in the second period.
“We kind of took tough angles on two of them, and I’m glad we were able to kill those ones off,” she said. “I mean going the whole first period without a penalty I was kind of surprised, so I knew they were coming at some point, we just had to wait for it. I think our penalty kill was very good.”
The Eagles were given their first power play opportunity shortly into the third period after Justine Fredette tripped up Lonergan. Despite the two-minute advantage, the Eagles couldn’t connect. Once the game returned to full strength, the Huskies had their biggest chance to get on the board. Burt deflected a shot, but it trickled off to the side before she was able to cover it up. Before Morgan Wabick could tip it in and secure a point for the Huskies, Burt was able to cover the hole between her and the pipe, denying UConn the opportunity.
The Eagles had their second power play opportunity when Natalie Snodgrass checked Watts and pushed her into the wall and, consequently, was sent to the box. The Eagles couldn’t connect on their second advantage, and failed to do so on their third when Rebecca Lindblad was booked for tripping.
After completing her first shut out of the season, Crowley couldn’t help but praise her star goaltender.
“I thought [Burt] was great. There were a couple times where we got hemmed in there in our defensive zone and I thought she was the one that really calmed things down for us,” she said. “Those are tough games to play when you’re not seeing shots consistently, but I thought overall she did a great job for us.”
Featured Image by Mark Niu / Heights Staff