The No. 1 ranked Harvard women’s hockey team (20-1-0) defeated Boston College (10-13-3) by a 7-0 margin in the 25th annual Beanpot championship at Bright Hockey Center last night.
In the previous four years, Harvard had needed an overtime victory over Northeastern en route to the title.
“It did come a little bit more easily to us this year.,” said Harvard coach Katey Stone. However, it is just as important and just as valuable.”
Captain Jennifer Botterill lifted Harvard to victory with overtime, game-winning goals in three of those four years.
The nation’s leading scorer didn’t disappoint in last night’s championship game, capturing MVP honors for the third time after posting a hat trick and two assists in the victory, which extended Harvard’s nation-best win-streak to 17 games. Freshman Julie Chu added a goal and four assists. Junior Lauren McAuliffe scored two goals, including the game winner.
Botterill scored her initial goal late in the first period. After receiving a pass from fellow captain Jamie Hagerman, Botterill sped through BC’s zone and fired a shot past Eagles’ goalie Lisa Davis and into the top left corner.
Her second goal of the night came at 3:15 in the second period, when she deflected a scorching Hagerman slap shot into the back of the net.
Later in the same period, Botterill completed the hat trick. Sophomore Kat Sweet started the play, finding Chu in the right corner. Chu centered the puck to a cutting Botterill for the trifecta at 14:43.
The margin of victory reflected BC’s improvement since Harvard shellacked them 17-2 in January.
“They’re playing tougher,” Botterill said. “They played a solid game. We had to make sure we were ready. We had to play well. It was a noticeable difference. They’re a good program and they worked really hard today.”
Stone credited Davis for much of the Eagles’ improvement.
“They were very pesky and the goaltender played really well,” she said. “We got on her really early two weeks ago and caught her off balance a little bit. Tonight, she was solid start to finish.”
Davis, the only goalie to play two full games in the tournament, received the Beanpot’s award for the top goalie.
In a combined effort, Jessica Ruddock made five saves in two periods and Ali Boe made three saves in the final frame of action to secure the shutout. Davis made 43 saves in the loss.
The combined defensive effort from the 7-0 victory over Boston Univesity last Tuesday and last night’s 7-0 win made Harvard the first team to win the Beanpot with consecutive shutouts since 1989.
The Crimson will face a much tougher opponent this weekend’s doubleheader at No. 6 St. Lawrence.