By: Max Wolpoff
NORTH ANDOVER, MA — For the third year in a row, Boston University and Boston College renewed their rivalry in the Women’s Hockey East Association Finals. For the second time ever, and first time in the finals, the Eagles defeated the Terriers, 5-0.
Boston College (38-0-0) now receives an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament beginning next weekend. As for BU, their season is likely over at 23-14-2; they do not have the PairWise ranking to push them into the tournament of eight teams.
“They beat us 8-1 earlier in the year, and they played better today. The score said 5-0, but they really were spot on today,” BU head coach Brian Durocher said.
From the opening faceoff, the Eagles controlled the pace. No BU player had a shot on goal in the first period until Maddie Elia threw one at Katie Burt from beyond the blue line on a dump in at around 15 minutes in. BU finished the period with two shots on goal; BC had 17.
Seniors Haley Skarupa and Alex Carpenter led the way for the number one seed, combining for both first period goals and a strike 16 seconds into the second.
“[Carpenter made] one of those plays the great players make; a one-timer in the top corner,” said Durocher.
Sophomore Erin O’Neil played in continuation of yesterday’s performance, making 43 saves, good enough for second all-time in a finals game. Her 97 saves over the two games at Lawler Rink landed her on the All-Tournament team, along with teammates Alexis Crossley and Victoria Bach.
“I like the fact that the kids played with class, the kids played with style, the kids played to the end of the game,” Durocher said.
Megan Keller’s two helpers on third period goals from Kenzie Kent and Kristyn Capizzano gave her 36 total on the season, a new program record for BC.
Durocher gave a lot of credit to how BC’s defense played throughout the game. Every defender kept to their assignment and played the two-way game, to him.
“You maybe can’t have a group like that in Men’s hockey because you need a couple of kids who are gonna lay the hammer down; but in Women’s hockey, where there’s more of a premium on skill, those six are dynamite players,” he said.
Maddie Elia paced the Terriers with eight shots on goal, tying herself with Alex Carpenter for most in the game. Her aggresive play landed her in the penalty box once, but her spirit was worn visibly in her expressions. She played to the final whistle trying to get something on the board.
As the clock hit zero and BC’s end became a yard sale of hockey equipment, Crossley was the first player in the crease to console O’Neil. The entire team eventually took turns doing the same as they awaited the celebration to cease.
Dana Trivigno and Kayla Tutino led their teams through the handshake line. Helped by her teammates, the injured Sarah Lefort also went through the line for the final time.
Eight seniors will leave BU with a major gap in offense, defense, and the locker room. For now, they must wait until next time for title number six.
“[The seniors] wore the name on the front of their jersey proudly today despite the score; that was a little dissapointing,” Durocher said.