For the past month, Boston College women’s hockey has stared down the loss of one of its defensemen, Toni Ann Miano, who was suspended due to violation of team rules. The team had fared well in its second half, clinching the Beanpot after two hard-fought wins. But the Eagles showed their defensive weaknesses Saturday, falling to Providence in a dismal 4-1 rout. The win proved to be substantial for the Friars, who defeated their nationally-ranked opponent on Senior Day in Rhode Island.
The Friars (16-14-3, 11-9-3 Hockey East) jetted off to a quick start against the Eagles (22-5-5, 16-4-3), scoring the first goal against the No. 6 team in the country in just 54 seconds. Providence distracted BC in front of Katie Burt and moved the puck behind the goal to Kathleen McHugh. After evading Serena Sommerfield, McHugh passed it up to Christina Putigna, who wrapped around the other side of the crease and poked it past Burt on the right side.
Providence was BC’s kryptonite, refusing to give up any penalties and time in the box. The Eagles, who boast a 27.21 percent success rate for power plays—best in the nation—did not find an opportunity to capitalize on until the second period. BC played its hand close to its chest, but still allowed another goal for the Friars with five minutes left in the first period.
As Kristyn Capizzano put pressure on Kate Friesen, she passed the puck up to Brooke Boquist between the boards and Capizzano. Boquist took no time to cross it over to a waiting McHugh, who was babysitting in front of the net. She launched a one-timer on Burt’s stick side, leaving a defeated Burt crouched on the ice.
The Eagles were granted a reprieve early in the second period, when Neve Van Pelt was sent to the penalty box for tripping. As the two minutes of the advantage drained, the Eagles struggled to get one back against the Friars. Delaney Belinskas got her due, providing an effortless goal with just 10 seconds left on the power play. Belinskas weaved through several defensemen, flowing on the ice until she got into the Friars’ defensive zone. She moved farther out to the boards and curved in, winding up for her shot, which reverberated off the bottom of the goal.
BC held on to the one-goal deficit for several minutes, until the Friars struck again. Ariana Reid stripped the puck from a BC player, keeping it in the neutral zone. Carrie MacPherson picked it up where Reid left off, streaking back up toward Burt. Meanwhile, Emily Landry made her way up to the goal, ramming herself into Kate Annese and Burt. The collision left open an easy goal for MacPherson. Since Burt appeared to be on the ground before the puck was in the net, the play was questioned by BC coaches, but was not reviewed by the referees.
The Eagles received another power-play opportunity after Providence’s third goal, but failed to get anything out of it. Entering the third, the Eagles attempted to close the gap after Capizzano put one past Madison Myers, but the goal was called off by the referees for a high stick. In the middle of the third period, BC handed the Friars their own chance on a slashing call for Caitrin Lonergan, but they could not get past Burt. Just when the Eagles thought they would get out of the third unscathed, Providence gave it one last go to seal the victory at 4-1.
McHugh notched her third point of the game after a hasty shot to the right side of the goal. The puck bounced off the pipe and landed into the goal, a stroke of luck that the Friars did not need. Though the Eagles have a 30-36-3 record against Providence, BC has proved dominant in its last few years. A win against the Friars would have continued its 16-game win streak against the team since 2012.
Just when it seemed the Eagles were on the up and up again, the Friars defeated them in a devastating effort. The verve that BC presented even last week against Northeastern during the Beanpot Final seems long gone.
Featured Image by Josh Mentzer / Heights Staff