Featured image: Joe Eachus
By Miranda Lemus
The first Battle of Comm. Ave of the season did not disappoint. From start to finish, both the Boston University Terriers (5-5-1, HE 4-4-0) and No. 15 Boston College Eagles (8-6-1, HE 8-3-1), showed that this rivalry is truly the best in college hockey. Although the Eagles toppled the Terriers 5-3, this game is only a preview of what’s to come for the rest of the year.
“A lot of positives, obviously not the end result we wanted but there is a lot of good to take away from today,” said BU Head Coach Tara Watchorn. “It’s never hard to get up for a Battle of Comm Ave.”
Right off the bat, BU got a power play opportunity when BC forward Katie Pyne was sent to the box following a too-many-men just three minutes in the first. However, before the Terriers could get any quality chances, the two-minute man advantage expired.
Sophomore forward Sydney Healey opened up the scoring with a quick shot in tight. Healey, who usually plays with junior Christina Vote and senior assistant captain Catherine Foulem has already shown seasoned chemistry with her new linemates, sophomore forwards Luisa and Lilli Welcke.
“I love her puck management, [Healey] uses her size to protect the puck. She continues to play and obviously, she can rip the puck, so really cool. We tried her on a different line today, I liked how they clicked,” said Watchorn.
Just as the Eagles started to gain more offensive momentum, senior captain Madison Cardaci was called for interference. The Terriers proved that their success on special teams is here to stay after killing the entirety of the power play and gaining two shots on net. Terriers stay up one at the end of the first.
Although the Terriers were making big plays in their defensive zone to start the second frame, Pyne was able to backhand the puck past the right shoulder of graduate goaltender Alexa Matses. The short-side tying goal only fueled the fire for BU to get the lead back.
Less than a minute after the Eagles’ goal, senior assistant captain Lacey Martin surveyed for options from the blue line to find sophomore forward Clara Yuhn parked in front of the net. Yuhn then tipped the puck past Campbell to score her third goal of the season and put the Terriers up 2-1.
With seven minutes remaining in the second, graduate forward Sammy Smigliani found herself on a 2-on-1 where she looked off her teammate and ripped the puck glove side high. Smigliani has been one of BC’s biggest additions to their ‘23-’24 roster and her impact with the Eagles has not gone unnoticed. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the second.
This entertaining match-up kept on delivering when sophomore forward Kate Ham scored her first goal of the season on a breakaway chance. Beating Matses five-hole, Ham’s goal gave BC their first lead of the game, going up by one early in the third period.
Down by one, the pressure was on BU to get back into the game. However, it would not take long for freshman forward Neely Nicholson to find the back of the net. After BC sophomore forward Cailin Flynn was sent to the box, the Terriers were granted their second power play of the game. On a pass from Martin, Nicholson cashed in on her second power play goal of the year to tie up the game once again at 3-3.
“It just shows the skill that’s there right, you give these players time and space and an extra body and they can make things happen and [Nicholson’s] got a wicked shot and it was a really nice goal,” said Watchorn
The Terriers followed up their goal by dominating puck possession for the next several shifts until senior captain Gabby Roy scored a rebound goal with traffic in front of the net. BU immediately challenged a missed offside call that was deliberated for over five minutes. The officials came back to the Terrier bench with inconclusive results, putting the Eagles back in the lead 4-3.
With three minutes remaining in the final frame of the game, Matses was signaled to the bench multiple times before the Terriers could maintain possession enough for her to get to the bench without risking a preventable empty net goal.
While BU created opportunities in the offensive zone, the Terriers couldn’t control possession enough to create quality chances. Eventually, BC star and captain Abby Newhook applied enough pressure on Foulem that she coughed up the puck and Newhook darted the puck down the ice and into the net.
Boston College would take the win over Boston University 5-3, but the Terriers will have the chance to improve tomorrow when they travel to Providence College for a 3:30 pm game. Tomorrow’s Hockey East match-up will be available to stream on ESPN+.