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John Sexton / Gavel Media

Women's Hockey Advances to Beanpot Final

Boston College Women’s Hockey handily defeated Harvard 3-0 to kick off their 44th Beanpot campaign on Tuesday night at Conte Forum. Despite some chaos that kept things interesting, goaltender Abigail Levy stood tall in net, recording her fifth shutout of the season with 30 saves. Cayla Barnes scored four minutes in and the Eagles never looked back using their speed and pinpoint passing to cruise past the Harvard Crimson.

Barnes opened the scoring at 3:14 in the first period, rifling home a cross-ice pass from Caroline Goffredo. Gaby Roy brought the puck into the zone, clearing the blue line and drawing two Harvard defenders to her before dropping a pass back to Goffredo. Unmarked and in front of her defense-woman, Barnes redirected Goffredo’s pass up and into the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead early. The goal ended a run of pressure from Harvard and eased BC into the game, giving them momentum and confidence.

Throughout the first, both goaltenders gave fans fits. Abigail Levy held her own, despite repeated chaos in her crease, with Harvard players managing to slip inside of the BC defense to make a play for the puck. Meanwhile, Harvard goaltender Alex Pellicci struggled with pucks in the air, causing the Eagles' offense to shoot high and try to capitalize on a rebound.

In the second period, Harvard came out swinging, pressuring the Eagles' defense and continuing to slip their defense-women and gain the inside position within the crease. Throughout the first eight minutes, the Eagles appeared hemmed into their own zone, forced into sloppy turnovers, and unable to break through and create sustained pressure that interrupted Harvard’s rhythm.

All of that changed the first time the Eagles managed to break through Harvard’s pressure trap and maintain sustained possession. Kelly Browne sniped a shot that Harvard’s goaltender Pellicci managed to stop, but not without giving up a bouncing rebound. As BC and Harvard crashed the net, the puck bounced out towards the right-side face-off dot where a streaking Keri Clougherty crashed in from the blue line, found the puck, and somehow slotted it home past the entire Harvard and BC teams. It was Clougherty’s first of the year to make the score 2-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the second.

The eight minutes in the second where Harvard managed to pressure BC to the outside and keep them from the middle of the ice proved to be the most sustained pressure and momentum the Crimson could muster. Forcing the Eagles wide certainly slowed down their preferred style of play, but once BC cracked the code, Harvard struggled to both keep the puck and the Eagles contained.

The sustained pressure by the Eagles came with more mistakes by Harvard. Crimson forward Ellie Bayard received a game misconduct for direct contact to the head with a little over three minutes left in the second period. With the extended power play, the Eagles continued to pressure, making the most of the advantage.

Sidney Fess scored the third goal with 37.4 seconds left in the second. After digging the puck out from the boards, Barnes fed Fess a pass to the center of the ice. Fess took the puck in stride before wristing home a shot from a distance that beat Harvard goaltender Pellicci up high. The Eagles were clearly targeting Pellicci up high, on both the glove and stick side, hoping to sneak one past her. Fess’ first goal of the season did just that to make it 3-0 going into the third, continuing the trend from the previous run of play.

The third period saw the Eagles flying, keeping Harvard contained to periphery passes and shots from outside the face-off dots. Despite taking a penalty with eight minutes left in the third, the Eagles maintained their composure, calmly fending off Harvard’s full-throttle attack. Even pulling the goalie with three minutes left couldn’t spark the Harvard offense. The game ended with Browne blocking a shot—a good example of both the pressure Harvard applied in the final moments of the game and the commitment to defense the Eagles made.

The Eagles (16-12-1) will play Northeastern (26-2-1) next Tuesday at 7:30 in Conte Forum. Before then though, the Eagles take on BU (10-16-3) in the Battle of Comm Ave this Saturday at 6:00 at BU.

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