The Boston College women’s hockey team lost. Now, that’s something you don’t hear every day. As a matter of fact, SuperFans have only been able to truthfully utter that string of words twice since October 4th, 2014—the beginning of the regular season.
Sunday afternoon, however, was one of those two unfortunate occasions. In Hyannis, Massachusetts, the Lady Eagles fell to the Boston University Lady Terriers, 4-1.
In BC’s worst defeat of the season, BU outscored, out-defended and outplayed the Lady Eagles.
During the first period, the Lady Terriers snagged an early go-ahead goal within the opening five minutes (4:56). BC goaltender Katie Burt fought hard to ward off a relentless BU offense, which outshot BC 14-10 in the first third. The period expired with BU leading 1-0.
Less than seven minutes (6:56) into the second, BC superstar Alex Carpenter successfully buried a goal to tie the game up, 1-1. Both teams desperately fought for an edge on the scoreboard, and BC generated almost triple (11 shots) the amount of shot opportunities that BU did (4 shots). Despite this, as the second period expired, the score remained 1-1.
With the game tied up, the entirety of the Hockey East title game rested upon the third period. Despite being outshot 12 to 8 in the final third, the Lady Terriers managed to sneak two goals by arguably the best women’s goaltender in the NCAA, Katie Burt. Add one final empty net goal for the Lady Terriers, and the period—and game—ended 4-1.
Who knew it would take the Lady Terriers one period to do what ordinarily takes teams almost three games to do (that is, score three goals)? Despite outshooting BU 33-26, eclipsing BU in the faceoff circle 30-27 and acquiring more power play chances (4 chances versus BU’s 3), the Lady Eagles—a team that has unanimously been the number one team in the country for months—lost.
With a blunder like this before the beginning of the NCAA tournament, should we be concerned? The BC women’s hockey team has never looked as vulnerable as it did against BU on Sunday. Could this game mark the beginning of a collapse in the NCAA tournament? Not likely.
Despite a disheartening loss to crosstown rival Boston University, the Lady Eagles now sit atop an overall record of 33-2-2. With unbelievably strong chemistry, unparalleled offense, defense and goaltending, and phenomenal leadership and knowledge from head coach Katie King, the BC women’s hockey team is undoubtedly still the preeminent team in the NCAA, no matter what rankings may say.
As the 2 seed in the field of eight teams to make the NCAA quarterfinals, the Lady Eagles are set to square off with the Clarkson Lady Golden Knights (24-10-3) on March 14th. If the BC bests Clarkson (which it will be heavily favorite to do), only two games—the NCAA semifinals and the NCAA finals—lie ahead before the Lady Eagles can grasp the national championship trophy.
Yes, the Boston College women’s hockey team isn’t invincible, as both Harvard and BU showed us in the past month. However, the team—in every facet of the game—is the cream of the crop. And with a group of ladies that has been fighting tirelessly to win its first NCAA championship, you’d be very foolish to bet against the Lady Eagles.
Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.