The championship of the 37th annual Women’s Beanpot was a battle of top-ranked teams. Boston College, which entered the game atop Hockey East and the NCAA national rankings, travelled across town to take on ECAC-leading Harvard to see which Beantown team deserved the city crown.
This was not the first time this season that the crosstown rivals had met. Earlier in the season, the Eagles (27-1-1, 18-0-0 Hockey East) beat Harvard (19-4-2, 14-3-1 ECAC) handily, 10-2, on Nov. 18.
This time, it was the No. 4/4 Crimson who outplayed the Eagles, handing the previously undefeated team its first loss, 3-2, to take the crown as Beanpot champions. This is the first time since the 2010 season that the women have taken home the title.
“There are so many reasons why this [win] is huge,” junior forward Miye D’Oench said. “First of all, it was probably our worst game when we played them at the beginning of the season, and coming back to win today was huge for us. Obviously, beating an undefeated team proves to everyone else and ourselves that we can go all the way.”
Within the first two minutes of play, the Eagles struck from the left, taking a shot that deflected off a stick past Harvard goalie Emerance Maschmeyer.
After the opening goal, BC handled the puck for most of the opening minutes of play, taking a stab at the Crimson goal 13 times during the first period. In comparison, Harvard had only four shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes of play. The Eagles continued to outshoot the Crimson for the remainder of the game, ending the night with 32 shots on goal compared to Harvard’s 17.
At the 9:08 mark of the first period, the Crimson broke through onto the scoreboard when freshman forward Karly Heffernan shoveled a pass out to classmate Lexie Laing, who was waiting in front of the goal and took one shot that ricocheted off the pad of Eagle goalie Katie Burt. Junior forward Mary Parker picked up the rebound, finding the back of the BC goal to net her 13th goal of the season.
The Eagles opened up a scoring opportunity at the 12:44 mark of the first period when senior forward Kalley Armstrong was penalized for slashing, but BC could not capitalize on the woman-up advantage.
The power play proved to be the difference in the game, as D’Oench’s goal at 11:54 in the second period went on to seal the Crimson victory. With Harvard having the 4-on-3 advantage, a battle in front of the BC net resulted in D’Oench taking a rebound shot off the pads of Burt and scoring the team’s third and final goal of the night.
“Our power play has been successful recently and we wanted to continue that,” D’Oench said. “[Senior forward] Sarah Edney took a great shot and missed the net. There was kind of a scrum in front of the net, and somehow someone popped it over to my stick and I put it in the net.”
Leading up to that goal, the second period began in a 1-1 tie.
The Eagles, however, broke the tie at 8:18 when junior forward Haley Skarupa muscled a shot past the right glove of Maschmeyer, putting BC back into the driver’s seat.
The control did not last long. Shooting the puck out of the corner, Parker shoveled a pass in front of the goal to Heffernan whose slapshot found the back of the Eagle goal. Less than two minutes later, D’Oench struck with her 14th goal of the season.
“I think one of the big turning points for us was when BC scored their second goal,” Harvard coach Katey Stone said. “I think it really woke us up and ticked us off a little bit, and we were a different hockey team after that than we were in the beginning. I thought we played really well after that. We turned around and answered quickly. We had a fire and we were on our toes.”
In the closing minute of the game, BC took three shots that came extremely close to getting past Maschmeyer, but the junior stood her ground. Maschmeyer’s performance earned her the title of top goalie throughout the Beanpot along with tournament MVP. Over the course of the tournament, Maschmeyer had a .927 save percentage, while allowing three goals in the two games.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m going up against,” Maschmeyer said. “For me I look across the ice and say I’m going to win this battle, and I just have to outplay the other goalie to win. As a goalie, I just have to think about saving the next shot and focusing on the battle of each play.”
—Staff writer Ariel Smolik-Valles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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