Return to Newton
The St. Lawrence Saints returned to the NCAA tournament this year for the first time since their miracle run in 2012. That year they also were sent to Newton to take on Boston College and lost.
The Eagles lit up the scoreboard with six goals in 60 minutes and ran away with a 6-0 win against St. Lawrence. The best sign for them was that the goals were scored by six different skaters. Two of their goals were scored shorthanded, including the dagger with 1.8 seconds remaining in the second period.
Saints goalie Grace Harrison, the first New Zealander to play DI women’s hockey, started off well and kept the Eagles off the board for nearly 19 minutes. After that the wheels fell off, as she let in three goals in the second period before being chased. Two of the goals were shorthanded and not entirely her fault.
Sonjia Shelley had little more luck. Shelley let in a goal with 1.8 seconds remaining and then another halfway through the third.
St. Lawrence was one of the hottest teams in the country to start the season, opening in Boston and dominating Northeastern on their banner night before having a tighter affair the next night. They continued on run that until the end of November. The wheels fell off come December when they had their in conference tilts with Clarkson. Their metrics after that actually had them as the worst team in the tournament since their sweep of Penn State. According to KRACH, they were the 12th ranked team in the nation after that point, and according to the calculations done by BCI’s Grant Salzano based off those KRACH rankings, the Saints came into Newton with a less then 1% chance of winning the tournament and about 19% to win the game against BC.
The Eagles unquestioned star this season has been national team defender Megan Keller. She has been logging 30+ minutes a game on a regular basis most of the season. While she ended up logging a few less in this game due to it being a blowout, she has been a fixture on the ice for the Eagles. Going forward, the question for BC is how much gas is left in the tank for Keller.
Boston College coach Katie Crowley, known to many by Kinger, has led the Eagles back to the Frozen four yet again. This is their sixth appearance in the last seven years. The only year they missed the finals was the year they had to travel to eventual champion Clarkson in the quarterfinals. Most people, many closely-connected Eagles fans included, projected at least something of a down year after graduating an incredible amount of talent last season. Instead they have out-performed the team from two years ago and already have three trophies and five banner numbers to go up next season. Most people have agreed that the season the Eagles have put together this year clearly puts Crowley into the top echelon of great coaches.
The Eagles were in the unenviable position of being seeded fourth, which means they get to play the unquestioned number one Wisconsin. The Badgers steamrolled Robert Morris in their quarterfinal matchup. They are led by Patty Kaz favorite Anne-Renee Desbiens who has allowed only 23 goals in 33 games this season, 3 in her last eight games, including a 15 round shootout that the Badgers won.
The overall feeling is Burt can’t allow two goals and likely needs to pitch a shutout or at least carry a 1-1 game going into OT for the Eagles to pull off the upset next weekend.