Boston College women’s hockey started its season undefeated through its first nine games. But since then, the team’s performance has dipped, as the Eagles proceeded to a lose to St. Lawrence and tie Connecticut. Over the past two weeks, the Eagles averaged 3.25 goals per game, compared to 4.44 goals per game in the first nine games. No. 3 BC was looking to rebound offensively Wednesday against a Harvard team that ranks only 28th in defense in the NCAA. The Eagles’ offense capitalized, coming out in full force en route to an 8-1 victory over the Crimson.
The Eagles (11-1-2) got off to a quick start. A little more than a minute into the first period, Daryl Watts carried the puck all the way down the ice and managed a shot on Beth Larcom. While Watts’s shot was saved, Makenna Newkirk came in and buried the rebound to give BC the early lead.
With five minutes to go in the first, the Eagles’ lead was put in jeopardy when Serena Sommerfield was called for hooking, giving Harvard’s (4-3-1) fourth-ranked power play its first chance of the game. The Crimson generated six attempts during the two minutes, but Burt turned away every puck that reached her and kept BC’s lead. The Eagles were quick to repay the favor to Burt: only a minute later, Caitrin Lonergan skated the puck into the offensive zone and fired the puck past the glove of Larcom.
The Eagles were then given the chance to extend their lead even further when Harvard was called for tripping with less than 30 seconds remaining in the period. BC was quick to capitalize. Immediately after the faceoff, Sommerfield fed the puck to Lonergan, who got a shot off that was deflected into the net by Delaney Belinskas. The goal gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period. The shots were much closer, with 10 for BC and nine for Harvard, but Burt’s solid play kept the Eagles well ahead on the scoreboard.
The second period started just as well for BC. Lonergan picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, carried it past Harvard’s defense, and launched a shot past Larcom. Only 30 seconds into the frame, BC was up 4-0. The Crimson responded with some increased pressure, piling on more shots against Burt, but she stood tall to keep Harvard scoreless. The Eagles were then granted another chance on the power play, but failed to score despite some close chances.
Shortly after the power play, BC was called for tripping and the Crimson were given a power play opportunity. A shot by Kaitlin Tse was saved by Burt, but a rebound from Haley Mullins found its way into the net, putting Harvard on the scoreboard with half of the game to go. Despite the goal, any comeback hopes for the Crimson were quickly shut down. Two minutes after Harvard’s goal, Grace Bizal sent the puck from behind the net to Watts, who quickly fed it to Newkirk. She carried the puck down the ice and fired it into the net. Newkirk finished the game with two goals and an assist, extending her current points streak to 14 games.
A minute later, during a 4-on-4, Newkirk received a pass from the point and sent the puck in front of the net. Toni Ann Miano was there to collect the puck and quickly direct it past Larcom, pushing the Eagles’ lead to 6-1. These two quick goals gave all the momentum to BC, as Harvard would fail to register a shot for the rest of the period. The Eagles continued to pressure Larcom, and would capitalize once more when Ryan Little knocked in the rebound of Erin Connolly’s shot. The goal put the Eagles up 7-1 with a few minutes to go in the period, a lead which carried into the end of the second period.
At the start of the third, Larcom was replaced by Becky Dutton. Larcom finished having allowed seven goals on 26 shots. The Eagles started the period on the power play, but only managed one shot on net. Following the penalty, both teams traded chances throughout the period. Burt continued to stonewall the Crimson offense, while Dutton managed to shut down the Eagles’ chances.
With six minutes left in the game, the Crimson received another power play chance. They created a flurry of chances, but Burt stopped all four that got to her. After Harvard’s power play ended, BC was given its own chance. Kate Anesse converted on a rebound with less than two minutes to go to close out the scoring. The Eagles were given one more power play to close out the game, and finished with an 8-1 win over the Crimson.
The game was another offensive explosion from the Eagles. BC outshot Harvard 39-28, and by a margin of 16-8 in the second period. Newkirk and Lonergan each finished with two goals. Lonergan now has 15 goals this season, tied for the most in the NCAA with teammate Daryl Watts, and Burt finished the game with 28 saves on 29 shots.
Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff