The Boston College women’s hockey team skated away with a 5-2 win in a Hockey East battle against the University of New Hampshire on Friday afternoon at Kelley Rink.
Kelly Browne had the hot hand on offense, tallying four of the Eagles’ five goals. She earned her hat-trick halfway through the second period and added her fourth a few minutes later to put the Wildcats away for good.
This was the second four-goal game of the season for an Eagle—freshman Hannah Bilka got the first on October 7 against Holy Cross. Browne's four goals on Friday tied for the most by any player in a single game this season.
The Eagles were looking for a win on Friday after a surprising tie to an unranked Maine team last Saturday. Although BC no longer has their perfect record, it is still impressive, rising to 8-0-1 on the season so far.
It was a close battle for much of the first period. Lots of back and forth play allowed both goalies and defensive lines to warm up quickly. New Hampshire was able to hold off the second-ranked team in scoring under five minutes of each period for an unusually long time.
The Eagles finally opened up the scoring 16 minutes in with Browne’s first goal, sneaking it past UNH’s goalie. Hannah Bilka and Olivia Finocchiaro were credited with the assists.
Browne struck again less than two minutes later to tally her second goal. Off an assist from Guay in front of the net, Browne found the goalie’s five-hole and slid the puck right through.
Although BC took an early lead, New Hampshire was still in the game early on, launching plenty of shots at Maddy McArthur. UNH first scored in the opening minutes of the second period, surprising McArthur with a quick wrist shot up high to make the score 2-1, BC.
Both teams seemed to get their respective penalties at the same time. There was some four-on-four action in the second. There was more four-on-four play in the third, which became four-on-three after BC’s Jillian Fey got called. Neither team took advantage of the other’s miscues, as both were able to kill off their penalties with no points scored.
Even though the first half was a close contest, the Eagles were able to break away in the latter half of the game. Browne earned her hat trick after a series of saved and barely-missed BC shots. She forced a New Hampshire turnover and sent the puck to the top shelf for her third goal.
Browne would tally her fourth and final goal less than three minutes later at the 35-minute mark. Again the puck went to the top corner, this time off an assist from Hannah Bilka to give BC the 4-1 lead.
This fourth goal from BC forced UNH to switch out their goalies. Nikki Harnett stepped in for Ava Boutillier, who finished with 22 saves on 26 shots on goal.
BC’s fifth goal came six minutes into the third period. Willow Corson put Bridget McCarthy’s pass away for BC’s final goal.
UNH was able to respond with a second goal of their own in the last five minutes of play. It was snuck past McArthur and was under review for a minute before it was deemed good. This would make the final score 5-2, Eagles.
New Hampshire was not going to go down without a fight after hanging in the game for the first half. They pulled Harnett for the last 2:19 of the game. However, a sixth man on the ice wouldn’t be enough to score on BC.
With this win, the seventh-ranked Eagles improved to 8-0-1 record. They look forward to more Hockey East play on Saturday, taking on Providence to wrap up their four-game home stretch.