BOSTON — It’s hard not to draw comparisons to the Boston College women’s hockey team that won the Beanpot in 2016 and the team that hoisted the Beanpot in celebration at Matthews Arena Tuesday evening.
The team that hoisted the trophy in 2016 was a dominant, unstoppable force, en route to an almost perfect season. The 2017 incarnation, on the other hand, is a team that has dealt with adversity, with injuries, and a suspension to boot.
Yet sometimes it is the adversity that makes success better, and for Katie Crowley’s No. 6 Boston College Eagles, Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over Northeastern in the Beanpot Championship game was a culmination of some of the adversity that the team had faced.
“What our team’s been through this year, they’ve dealt with a lot of [the] adversity, and different people keep stepping up, making plays when we need them to make plays,” Crowley said. “I’m so proud of this team for that, because it doesn’t matter who it is, and nobody cares who it is, as long as it is somebody stepping up, in whatever situation it may be, whether it’s a blocked shot, a goal, or a nice pass, or getting it deep.”
The Eagles’ victory didn’t come easily in this game either. The pace of the game was largely physical through the opening parts of the game, and continued throughout most of the first half of it. With the officials only awarding one power play that wasn’t too-many-players on the ice in the first two periods, the intensity was largely allowed to go unchecked, though Heather Mottau and Caitrin Lonergan were given coincidental minors at the end of the first for hitting after the whistle.
Despite the intensity, players started to make their mark offensively as the game wore on. In the waning moments of the second period, Northeastern’s Andrea Renner, who previously had only two points to her name going into Tuesday night, generated dangerous scoring chances during a string of quality shifts.
Her efforts paid off in the third. Renner was able to thread a pass to Kasidy Anderson, who scored on BC netminder Katie Burt to give the Huskies the lead.
“I thought [Renner] played well today,” Northeastern coach Dave Flint said. “She’s played different roles this year for us, and I think it’s been a learning experience for her making that jump to college hockey. She’s starting to make that transition better and better. For her to step up with a good game today, against a team like BC in a high-profile game like the Beanpot championship, it was good to see.”
The Eagles, however, pushed back, and generated offense in front of eventual Bertagna Award winner Brittany Bugalski. The Eagles eventually scored an equalizer around the halfway point of the third period, although it wasn’t through traffic. On a counter attack, Kristyn Capizzano took a shot from the faceoff circle on Bugalski’s stick side. She appeared to find just enough space between Bugalski’s shoulder and the net, and the Eagles had tied the game.
“I think I had just gotten off the ice, and Delaney [Belinskas] was able to give me a leading pass to go into the zone, and I just managed to find some space to get a shot away on net, and I was fortunate enough that it went in,” Capizzano said.
The eventual game-winner, a possible simile for the hard work the Eagles have put in this season, was scored by Erin Connolly just a few minutes after Capizzano’s goal. Connolly was working on an Eagles’ power play, and she had a shot from in front rejected by Bugalski, but made a second opportunity from in front count, beating Bugalski from just in front of the top of the crease. With the goal, the Eagles completed a hard-fought 2-1 win, clinching their seventh Beanpot championship in tournament history.
Boston University 6, Harvard 6
Whether looking at the Beanpot consolation game between Boston University and Harvard from the lens of an offensive shootout or a goaltending struggle, the matchup between the Terriers and Crimson was not lacking for action. What it was lacking for was a winner, as the back-and-forth affair ended in a tie despite 68 combined shots on goal for the two teams. Harvard rallied from a goal deficit three times in the third period, with Kate Hallett scoring an extra-attacker goal with a minute left in the game to provide the final score. Mary Parker for Boston University and Haley Mullins for Harvard had two goals and an assist in their respective teams’ efforts, while BU’s Maddie Elia and Harvard’s Lexie Laing had a goal and two assists each.