Kenzie Kent, fresh off earning The Boston Globe’s “Top College Athlete” award, had her first multi-goal game of the season Friday for Boston College women’s hockey—and it was more than enough.
Kent scored two goals, and the Eagles (14-1-3, 8-0-3 Hockey East) extended their NCAA-best unbeaten streak to eight games, downing visiting Merrimack, 4-1, at Kelley Rink.
“A lot of times when Kenzie has a great game, it doesn’t necessarily show up on the scoreboard,” head coach Katie Crowley said. “She’s such a dynamic player and I was really happy for her to get two goals.”
She opened and closed the scoring against the Warriors (6-11-3, 1-7-2), who put up a fight early but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles. Kent scored midway through the first after an impressive sequence with Caitrin Lonergan. The two traded passes, culminating in Kent cashing in on a backdoor opportunity. It was a historic assist as well, launching Lonergan into the 75-point club for the Eagles, one of just 30 all-time.
Merrimack rallied, though. Eight minutes later, just after a BC power play expired at the start of the second, Katelyn Rae cleaned up a rebound with a one-timer while skating into the slot. It was all the Warriors would get against Katie Burt, who stopped 19 shots and earned her eighth win in eight chances against them.
It was all Eagles from that point on, though, needing just under two minutes to retake the lead for good. Willow Corson finished off a rebound of her own, ripping a quick wrist shot into the back of the net after having her first attempt kicked back by a Merrimack defenseman’s skate.
Daryl Watts followed with her NCAA-leading 21st goal to close out the second, scoring from the middle of slot with a wrister despite four Merrimack players around her. Watts and Lonergan still rank first and second in points scored this season, combining to average a startling 4.83 per game.
“I think her and Caitrin have had a phenomenal year for us, and you hope for that to continue,” Crowley said. “Daryl in her first year has just been a very, very good hockey player and Caitrin has just really exploded this year. They’re really fun to watch, whether they’re playing together or not.”
Kent capped the scoring after her first shot was deflected. Delaney Belinskas scooped up the loose puck and set her teammate up for a second shot, finding Kent wide open on the doorstep for an easy finish. It was the senior’s first two-goal game since February last season, and showed how deep this Eagles team really is. Makenna Newkirk had her 17-game point streak come to an end, but that didn’t affect BCs chances. The amount of depth Crowley can pull from is evident and on any given night, someone else can enjoy the spotlight.
Take Toni Ann Miano, who added two assists in the win, or Corson, who has quietly accumulated four points in four games. Crowley said after the game that they’re starting to feel tired and sick at the end of the semester, but they’re currently on an unbeaten streak that mirrors the one they had at the start of the season.
What does that say for how they’ll play when they’re well rested and return to make a run at the national championship?