Watts, Newkirk Lead Women’s Hockey Past Terriers

Boston College women's hockey

Abbey Stanley got her chance. Boston College women’s hockey goaltender Katie Burt was out of the net, following a save, and the redshirt sophomore had a clear shot at an empty cage. She wound up giving it a go, but before the puck could connect with the back of the net, Serena Sommerfeld skated in from behind to block the shot and deny Boston University a goal.

Matchups between the Green Line rivals are always emotional, and Saturday afternoon’s meeting was no different, as the physicality was palpable. There were 15 penalties in total, and Eagles tallied eight, en route to their 4-2 victory over BU.

No. 2 BC (13-1-3, 7-0-3 Hockey East) dominated the puck early in the game, packing on the pressure right from the initial faceoff, and keeping the puck in BU’s (6-8-3, 3-6-3) zone. Toni Ann Miano took the first shot, but her attempt went just wide of the net and headed for Kenzie Kent. Unfortunately for the Eagles, it was too fast for the senior to handle. The Terriers packed their defense around goaltender Erin O’Neil, denying the Eagles an opportunity to get on the board in the first period. Despite racking up 18 shots, effectively putting pressure on the Terriers’ defense, the Eagles skated off the ice with a one-goal deficit, to head coach Katie Crowley’s dismay.

“I thought our first period was slightly disappointing,” Crowley said. “I felt we were pretty dominant in that first period and we didn’t have anything to show for it, and they were up 1-0.”

Both teams started the second with a player sitting, and BU ended it’s penalty without either team connecting on an opportunity. After returning to full strength, the Terriers kept the puck in the Eagles’ zone, starting the period much more aggressive than in the first. After returning to full strength, BC regained possession and quickly headed toward O’Neil. Both Erin Connolly and Willow Corson made attempts to tie the game, but O’Neil deflected both shots.

BC didn’t have to wait long before it created a scoring opportunity. Maegan Beres took the puck from her own zone and sent it to Daryl Watts. The freshman pushed it down the left side of the ice and ripped a shot that ricocheted off the pipe and past O’Neil’s shoulder, tying the game. Later, BC was on the penalty kill following a whistle on Miano for hooking Deziray De Sous. Watts tried a shorthanded shot right off the face off, but a check from Rebecca Leslie thwarted her plans and resulted in 4-on-4 hockey for one minute before the Eagles returned to full strength.

Leslie was sent to the box when she was called for slashing in front of Burt. With a one-player advantage, the Eagles were immediately on the offensive. After Makenna Newkirk took a shot that deflected off O’Neil’s pads, Watts corralled the puck and narrowly slipped it past the goaltender’s legs and into the net for her nation-leading seventh power-play goal. The Eagles’ lead was cut in half when the Terriers secured a power-play goal of their own.

Heavy traffic in front of Burt led to two shots dangerously close to the net before the senior could jump on the puck. A fight for possession resulted in a pileup as the whistle was blown, and Watts was punched in the face twice by Savannah Newton before Sommerfeld could break it up. The fight sent both players into the box with less than 20 seconds left in the period.

BC pulled away from the Terriers early in the third period, as it recorded its second power-play goal of the day. Sommerfeld immediately followed with the Eagles’ fourth and final scoring play of the game. Desperate to close the gap, the Terriers controlled possession of the puck and whipped shot after shot on goal. After the puck was left open in front of the cage, the seasoned goaltender slapped it away with her stick. Watts came over to cover it up, but was called for delay of game and sat for two minutes, much to her frustration.

“I didn’t think I actually grabbed the puck.” she said. “I fell on top of it, and I knew I wasn’t able to actually grip the puck so I was just laying on top of it. But I didn’t have my glove so my hand was in a fist so maybe [the referee] thought I had it.”

Despite the penalty, the Eagles kept the Terriers scoreless in the third period and finished the weekend series on top to claim their 200th Hockey East victory. With the win, the Eagles remain undefeated in conference play, something no other team in the Hockey East can say.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor