The allure of March is the brutal dichotomy of emotion stemming from results.
The dichotomy was all too apparent Saturday afternoon at Kelley Rink. One side of the ice had the No. 1 Boston College Eagles, celebrating a 5-1 quarterfinal victory, sending them into the Frozen Four for the second year in a row.
Then there was a visibly distraught Kendall Coyne, brought to tears during the postgame press conference over the realization that she had played her last game in a Northeastern uniform.
In the final game between Coyne and Boston College’s Alex Carpenter, Carpenter got the better of the matchup, picking up the win, along with two goals and an assist in the game.
“[Carpenter’s] a tremendous player,” Coyne said. “I wouldn’t really call it a rivalry because in two weeks we’ll be teammates. I respect her as a player and as a person.”
The Eagles didn’t waste time striking first. Just 50 seconds in, Carpenter took a shot. Brittany Bugalski made the initial save, but but the puck’s progress was not completely halted. The puck eventually trickled past Bugalski into the net, giving the Eagles the 1-0 lead.
The Huskies settled in after the early goal, playing a largely even game in the first period. Yet, bad luck struck for the Huskies in the waning minutes of the first. Haley Skarupa took a shot on Bugalski that was turned aside, but Tori Sullivan put the rebound home. The Eagles went into the locker room up 2-0.
Early in the second period, disaster almost struck for the Huskies. On a power play carried over from the first period, Carpenter came in on a breakaway with Keller and beat Bugalski for what would have been BC’s third goal. The goal was waved off after review, as it was determined that Keller was offside on the play.
“I just told them to keep composed,” BC coach Katie Crowley said. “And they did.”
The Eagles composure was rewarded. Skarupa scored a goal of her own, beating Bugalski on a snipe from the faceoff circle. The shot was one of 16 by the Eagles in the second period.
Sullivan added her second of the game early in the third period. With Carpenter tallying an empty-net goal late in the period, the future was set, despite a Coyne goal, her 50th of the year, in the last couple of minutes. The Eagles will go to their sixth Frozen Four in program history and second straight Frozen Four.
The Eagles will play the No. 5 Clarkson Golden Knights Friday night. The Golden Knights won their quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 Quinnipiac 1-0 Saturday afternoon. BC is searching for its first national title in program history.
For the Huskies, the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance ended at Kelley Rink Saturday afternoo, and with it, the career of one of the best players to play collegiate women’s hockey.