BOSTON—The Harvard women's ice hockey team entered Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University Tuesday night looking to take the first step toward repeating as champion of the Beanpot.
Sixty minutes later, that opportunity had come and gone, leaving the Crimson (12-9-1, 9-6-1 ECAC) on the losing end of an 8-0 blowout at the hands of No. 1/1 Boston College (28-0-0, 19-0-0 Hockey East).
CAN’T STOP THE BLEEDING
The opening frame was the most one-sided period of hockey Harvard has played all season. BC pounced early, scoring within the first five minutes of play on a goal from sophomore forward Tori Sullivan.
From then on, the floodgates opened against the Crimson. The Eagles scored all eight of their goals in uncontested fashion, with Harvard unable to gain any type of momentum throughout the course of its time on the ice.
Goals found the back of the Crimson net in all sorts of ways—shots were lobbed past the shoulder of the goalie, they ricocheted off the post, and they squeezed underneath sticks.
“You’ve got to learn from it,” co-captain Michelle Picard said. “You have to see what you did wrong and hopefully make improvements. Coach [Katey Stone] always says to have competitive amnesia, so this is going to hurt for a little bit, but we have to get past it.”
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
In goal, Harvard started with veteran co-captain Emerance Maschmeyer, the team’s leader in minutes and saves. In the previous matchup between the Crimson and the Eagles, Maschmeyer was able to stop 36 of BC’s 38 shots against her.
Tuesday night’s performance in goal was hardly the same, as all five of the Eagles’ first-period goals were scored against Maschmeyer.
In an attempt to switch things up between the goalposts, Stone elected to send junior goalie Brianna Laing onto the ice at the beginning of the second period.
Coming into Tuesday night’s matchup, Laing had started three games for Harvard and come out of all three victorious, making her the only undefeated Crimson netminder before the loss to BC.
In the second period, Laing’s first on the ice, the Eagles still found the back of the net, but the junior netminder was able to keep the scoring to a minimum. Of the 19 shots BC put up against her in the second period, Laing stopped 17.
Remaining in goal for the third period, Laing was able to slow the Eagle offense, allowing just one goal to pass her in net.
THE SILENT TREATMENT
For the majority of the night, the Eagles rode their first line against the Crimson.
With the third-ranked defense in the country belonging to BC, Harvard was unable to muster much of an offensive effort to challenge it, leaving the ice unable to answer any of the Eagles’ eight goals over the course of the night.
Tuesday marked the fourth time this season that the Crimson has been shut out by its opponent, and the second time it has been shut out by BC, as the Eagles blanked Harvard at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center on Jan. 19.
The team was unable to string together much of an offensive effort for the entire length of the game, as the Eagles controlled the puck for the majority of the contest.
While three separate BC players tallied more than one goal against Harvard, there were no standouts among the Crimson offense. During its two power play opportunities, the team squandered both chances to score with a man-up advantage.
Eagle goalie Katie Burt continued her undefeated campaign in net, making 12 saves on the night. Burt has not been asked to make more than 15 saves in a game since her 29-save performance against Harvard in January.
“To play a good team like that with so much talent, it’s tough,” Stone said. “We tried to get the puck in deep, but that was difficult for us tonight. And the times that we were able to get down and were able to get a sustained drive, we [were] playing so much defense [that] we needed a line change.... We just need to play more offense.”
—Staff writer Ariel Smolik-Valles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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