With 16.2 seconds left in regulation, No. 1 Wisconsin scored the lone goal to edge No. 4 Boston College, 1-0, in the Women’s Frozen Four matchup in St. Charles, Minnesota Friday night. Although the Badgers outshot the Eagles 36-22, the scoreboard went untainted until the end of the third period when Wisconsin’s Melissa Channel stuck a quick shot from the left point and wiggled the puck through traffic and behind BC’s Katie Burt.
BC closes the 2017 season 28-6-5, its third best all-time record. Friday night marked the first time in program history that the Eagles were held scoreless in an NCAA game.
In the first period, the Eagles took charge right off the bat, dominating the first half. They held the puck on the Badgers’ defensive end and created opportunity to score, outshooting the Badgers 12-5 in the first. But with the Badgers starting out with a power play that shifted the momentum their way in the beginning of the second, that period proved to be tougher. Wisconsin obtained more shots on goal, and overcame the previous deficit by posting 19 more shots on goal while the Eagles only had seven.
The third period began with both teams still yet to light the lamp, but the Eagles' game had transformed; BC went from domineering in the first to defensive in the third. Wisconsin (33-2-4), on the other hand, continued to make its way down the ice and reel off shots, but were kept at bay. With 16.2 seconds left in the game—when all signs pointed towards overtime—Channel took a dish at the left point from Annie Pankowski and released a swift shot that found its way past Burt, thereby ending the Eagles' season.
Senior Haley McLean and junior Kenzie Kent led the team in shots on goal, with five and four respectively. McLean's last game as an Eagle was her 150th appearance for the team. Burt also set new records with 35 saves, her highest all season—and one away from her highest all-time.
Although falling just short of a national championship, Katie Crowley’s squad has nothing to look down upon. The Eagles have reached the Frozen Four for the seventh time in the last eight years and took home the Beanpot trophy for the second year in a row. BC also participated in its first ever outdoor game—Frozen Fenway—where the Eagles beat Harvard, 3-1.
Since coming off last season—when BC entered the national championship with an undefeated record—Crowley is certain that the Eagles have maintained their high standard.
"We lost a lot of great forwards and D last year to this year," Crowley said. "But the way this team stepped up. We've had some injuries and people leave the team and everybody has stepped up in different ways."
As far as next season goes, the team will remain fairly young, and only plans to lose three seniors this coming fall.
"And that is one of the things that is special about this team is that when their number is called," (in reference to stepping up), "they give everything they have... they have succeeded at that in everything that we've asked them to do."