The Boston College Women’s Hockey team's season gets underway this Friday night when they travel to take on the ninth ranked team in the country, Minnesota Duluth. The team is once again expected to be a contender for the national championship, sitting in the fourth spot in the preseason national rankings. The Eagles are the only team outside of Clarkson to receive a first place vote.
This year’s team has high expectations yet again as the coaches' poll predicts them to win the Hockey East. BC will look to improve upon last season in which they finished fifth in the nationwide rankings following a disappointing quarter final defeat at the hands of Ohio State.
The Eagles bring back their top three scorers from last season, including the top two scorers in the nation, sophomore Daryl Watts and junior Caitrin Lonergan. Last year, Watts totaled 82 points, and Lonergan had 75.
Watts also won the national player of the year award in 2018, becoming the first ever freshman to take home the top award in the country.
BC looks primed to make another run toward the Frozen Four since they return mostly the same team from last year, having graduated only four players. However, the team did endure some very important losses, including top defenseman Toni Ann Miano and forward Kenzie Kent, the fourth and fifth leading scorers from last season’s team.
The team also lost perhaps their most important player in goaltender Katie Burt. Burt won a staggering 121 games in her Boston College career, which set an NCAA record for career wins. She was drafted first overall in the 2017 NWHL Draft by the Boston Pride and signed her contract earlier this year. Her departure leaves a hole in net for the Eagles that must be replaced if they want to contend this season.
The Eagles will try to replace these losses with their six new freshmen, who make up the nation’s fourth best recruiting class.
The team will be captained this season by three seniors: Makenna Newkirk, Kali Flanagan, and Megan Keller. Katie Crowley returns for her 11th straight season as their head coach.
The Eagles open conference play on Oct. 19 against Merrimack. They will also play Harvard on Feb. 5 in the first round of The Beanpot as they look to win the tournament for the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time in six years.
The Eagles finish up the regular season in a conference battle on Feb. 23 at New Hampshire before the Hockey East playoffs begin the weekend of March 1.
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