Notebook: Defense and Second Line Tame the Huskies in Beanpot Victory

Beanpot 2016

BOSTON — It was going to be a Beanpot final to remember. Two teams headed into the final with double-digit win streaks. Only one of them could come out a victor. The undefeated, No. 1 Boston College women’s hockey team (30-0-0, 20-0-0 Hockey East) was not going to allow No. 6 Northeastern University (25-5-1, 19-2-0) to get the best of them. In a third-period thriller, the Eagles took home all the beans with a 7-0 victory.

Going into the final frame, the Eagles were only up 2-0. Led by superstar Kendall Coyne, the Huskies had every opportunity to regain momentum and steal the trophy away from BC. But the Eagles spotted weaknesses and capitalized on every mistake Northeastern made. Head coach Katie Crowley knew the Eagles could come up with a win. They did not need a pep talk, they knew exactly what needed to be done. All Crowley had to say was “Let’s go win a Beanpot.” And, as Beanpot Tournament MVP Dana Trivigno said, “You don’t have to say much more than that.”

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Eagles owned the third period, led by three of their stars.

Dana Trivigno and the Second Line

The second line scored four of the Eagles’ seven goals. Freshman Makenna Newkirk fired one past goaltender Brittany Bugalski in the first period to make it a 2-0 game.

But the real star was Trivigno, one of BC’s senior captains—it took her less than 11 minutes to rack up three goals for a hat trick. Trivigno was the spark that put the BC stamp back on the Beanpot trophy. But it wasn’t always easy. After the team struggled to beat Bugalski in the second period, Trivigno had a chat with two linemates, Newkirk and Andie Anastos.

“We spoke [during the intermission] about trying to get to that open ice and the high slot just because we felt that if the puck gets down low and pops back out we would have some opportunities in front,” Trivigno said. Their plan worked.

Less than two minutes into the third, Trivigno rocketed one past Bugalski, ending the 20-minute scoring drought and making it a 3-0 game. With this goal, Trivigno tallied her 125th career point, launching her to a tie for ninth on the all-time BC scoring chart. But she was not done there.

Four minutes after her first goal, Trivigno slipped in another with assists from Kaliya Johnson and Megan Keller. With a 5-0 game, it seemed as though BC had the game in the bag. Trivigno just wanted to make sure she got that Beanpot trophy in her senior year as she snuck one past Bugalski yet again with seven minutes left in the game.

Trivigno may have scored a Beanpot hat trick and she may have won the MVP, but she owed her personal victories to her line. Newkirk and Anastos worked hard to get Trivigno the puck, whether it was direct passes or rebound opportunities. It was their collective effort that won the game, Trivigno just followed along with the plan.  

“It’s just hard work as a line,” Trivigno said. “[But] then good things will happen.”

The Humble Defense

With a stellar offense like the Eagles have, the defense tends to get over looked. Throughout the game, Toni Ann Miano stuck to Coyne, NU’s standout player, and denied her open looks on goaltender Katie Burt. The defense continually turned away rebound opportunities and kept the slot clear, giving Burt a clear view of the puck throughout the game.

“Toni did a great job of keeping [Coyne] to the outside and playing her angles right to take some opportunities away from her,” Crowley said.

With Miano leading the way, the six defenders put on an outstanding performance when it came to shutting out Coyne, a potential candidate for the Patty Kazmaier Award. She was limited to only eight shots on goal, unusual for a player of her scoring prowess.

“They’re the ones keeping [Coyne] to the outside, minimizing her opportunities,” Burt said. “She shoots from everywhere, but our defense really locked her down.”

The defense was particularly important when it came to killing penalties. The Eagles stood their ground in the second half with back-to-back penalty kills. They limited the Huskies’ access to the goal and even broke away on an offensive rush in an attempt to score a shorty.

A power-play goal could easily have changed the goal momentum if the Huskies managed to score. But thanks to the defense, BC denied NU any access to the net, giving Burt the confidence she needed for a shutout victory.

Katie Burt

Burt and men’s hockey goaltender Thatcher Demko are clearly reading the same goaltending manual. They both know that shutouts win games and they both consistently dominate opponents. Burt, the Bertagna Award winner, broke out all the acrobatic moves and dove into plenty of splits in order to seal a BC victory. She had 22 saves in her 12th shutout of the season, making herself worthy of the top goalie trophy. Even more noteworthy, for the first time ever in women’s Beanpot history, a team recorded back-to-back shutouts thanks to a sturdy defense and a stellar Burt.

One of her top saves came in the second period. The Huskies had two power plays in a row after Keller got called for body checking each time. During Keller’s first body checking penalty. Hayley Scamurra curled the puck in from the boards and wove her way into the slot. She fired a rocket toward the goal. Burt came up big with the glove save and acted as though it was no big deal.

According to Burt, however, this was not the toughest save she had to make. There was one save toward the end where Burt had to do a full split in order to deny NU a goal. Even with the game determined long ago, Burt still stayed sharp.

“I was expecting the puck to come to my right,” Burt said. “I don’t know who got a stick on it but they just poked it and it ended up changing direction on me. That was tough.”

Tough is just the way the Eagles like it. It makes the victory even sweeter. And after a wild tournament, the Eagles can now sleep soundly. They no longer have to worry about where the Beanpot will end up. With multiple trophies heading back to the Heights, Eagles can flock across campus knowing another Beanpot is right where it belongs: right here in Chestnut Hill.

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor