Northeastern women’s hockey started the season on a steady rise and capped out at No. 3 a few weeks ago, but Boston College women’s hockey has had a very different trajectory. The Eagles began ranked between No. 6 and No. 8 for the first three weeks of the season, but they have since fallen out of the polls twice and remain unranked after losing to Northeastern 6-0 on Friday afternoon.
The difference in momentum is clear for the two teams, as BC (11-8-2, 10-6-1 Hockey East) fell to the Huskies (16-3-1, 13-2-0) 3-0 in the teams’ first meeting of the year (when they were ranked within two spots of each other), but lost by a much larger margin in the teams’ second matchup this season.
The game began in the Eagles’ favor, as BC dominated the time of possession and outshot the Huskies 6-0 through the first 10 minutes. But Northeastern’s keeper Aerin Frankel was a force to be reckoned with, and she notched eight saves in the first period alone and 26 on the night.
With play time split between two goaltenders, Kelly Pickreign and Maddy McArthur notched 27 combined saves (only one more than Frankel), but the Huskies simply outshot the Eagles to seal the victory.
After the first 10 minutes, Northeastern began to break away. The Huskies notched a shorthanded goal with eight minutes to go in the first period to open up the scoring, and they never looked back.
Alina Mueller followed up her initial strike with her second goal of the night just four minutes later. Then, Codie Cross added one of her own with just over a minute left in the frame to send the Eagles to the break, forcing them to change something up.
The Eagles came out in the second period looking to strike soon and often. Early in the second frame, Hannah Bilka and Lindsay Agnew each got close with breakaway chances at Frankel, but the Huskies stopped them both before the puck had even left their sticks.
Cayla Barnes and Alexie Guay then followed suit with looks at Northeastern’s net, but Frankel was quick to deny their shots.
Halfway through the period, it was Northeastern’s turn again, and the Huskies struck emphatically. Within minutes of each other, Skylar Fontaine and Mia Brown each found the back of the net. Fontaine’s goal forced head coach Katie Crowley to pull McArthur in favor of Pickreign, but it was too late for the Eagles.
Being down 5-0 is an unusual feeling for the Eagles, especially with just 30 minutes left in the game to close the gap. The Eagles kept fighting, but even their strongest effort wouldn’t be enough to bring them back within reach of the Huskies.
As the second quarter wound down, Barnes had the best look for the Eagles all night, but her wrister ricocheted off the crossbar, and the Eagles headed into the final period without much hope of a victory.
Megan Carter iced the victory for the Huskies with the sixth goal of the night halfway through the final frame.
Even so, the Eagles refused to roll over. With 7:15 left in the period, Bilka got another good breakaway look at the back of the net, but Frankel was once again there to intercept it.
Even after a tough loss, BC has a chance at redemption as it takes on the Huskies once again later this week. Until then, Crowley’s squad will have to regroup and adjust its game plan to avoid being swept by its in-town rivals.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor