With just under 16 minutes remaining in Saturday afternoon’s game against Vermont, Boston College women’s hockey trailed the Catamounts by a goal. The Eagles’ forwards overloaded the left side of the offensive zone, leaving the middle of the ice wide open for Toni Ann Miano to cut in, receive a pass from Kenzie Kent and snipe top shelf to tie the game at one. Just six minutes later, Miano crept into the middle of the zone again and found the back of the net for her second goal of the night—the game-winner, handing BC a 2-1 victory, its fourth straight.
Both the No. 2 Eagles (22-2-3, 15-1-3 Hockey East) and UVM (6-16-4, 3-11-3) started the game off slowly: Each team was only able to put a total of eight shots on net each in the first period. The frame was ridden with penalties. In fact, five of the game’s six penalties occurred over the course of the opening 20 minutes.
Less than halfway through the period, the two sides were called for simultaneous roughing penalties, resulting in a 4-on-4. Two minutes after the teams returned to full strength, UVM’s Anna Erickson was sent to the box for hooking, but BC failed to capitalize on the power play. The Catamounts were on the ropes a couple minutes later when Amanda Drobot picked up another hooking penalty, but, once again, UVM held down the fort on the kill. Even though the Eagles were just 0-for-2 on the power play, they did shut down the Catamounts’ only first-period power play—one that bled 12 seconds into the second period.
After the first intermission, BC came out with a newfound energy, dominating possession and whipping 22 shots on goal, along with another nine that were blocked by the UVM defense. Despite the strong puck control, the Eagles found themselves down at the end of the second period, thanks to Catamount forward Olivia Kilberg. The freshman corralled a shot off BC goaltender Katie Burt and snuck a shot inside the right post to give UVM their first and only goal of the game.
Rather than throwing in the towel, the Eagles turned it up a notch in the third frame. BC’s high-energy play continued throughout the remainder of the game, as the Eagles launched another 18 shots in the period, 13 of which were on target.
“Being down 1-0 in the second, we could’ve packed it up,” head coach Katie Crowley said after the game. “I’m really proud of the way our team played together and found a way to win this game.”
The persistence paid off: Eventually, Miano cashed in, recording a pair of goals. After the senior gave the Eagles the lead, they had no trouble controlling the puck the rest of the way. When all was said and done, Burt recorded 24 saves, keeping BC alive even when its offense was struggling to get on the board.
Saturday’s performance marks the second time in the past week that Miano has single handedly carried the Eagles to victory. Seven days ago, she piloted a 5-4 overtime victory over Northeastern, scoring a career-high four goals. She has now tallied seven goals and eight points over the past four games, slingshotting her into a tie with Sacred Heart’s Jayne Lewis for the most goals scored by a defenseman in the nation this season.
“We have some pretty potent offense,” Crowley said. “But when someone like Toni gets a couple goals for us, it allows those other players to take a deep breath and not feel like they have to score all the time.”
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Heights Editor