Game Recaps, Women's Hockey

Terriers advance to Beanpot Championship, beat Boston College 4-3 in shootout

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

With no goals scored yet in the shootout, Lilli Welcke skated up ice for her chance at pulling BU closer to its first Beanpot Championship game in four years. 

The sophomore forward slowly approached Boston College’s goalie Grace Campbell. Welcke skated far to the left circle, before moving to Campbell’s right, quickly pivoting to her left again, and scooping the puck in past Campbell. 

“I can’t describe it,” Lilli said postgame when asked how she felt after her goal. “Of course it was a relief, I was really happy that I could score that goal for our team.” 

All BU needed was one more stop from its goalie Callie Shanahan, and after 65 minutes and three rounds of a shootout they could advance to the championship game. 

BC’s Sammy Smigliani made her approach to Shanahan’s net, tried to fake out Shanahan to the right, but the goalie followed Smigliani to her left and stopped her attempt. 

“I just tried to keep calm through [overtime], just keep my team in it. Shootout was obviously a whole different change. It went from chaos to completely having to just calm down, shut everything out, shut all the outside noise out,” Shanahan said postgame. 

With Lilli’s goal and Shanahan’s save, the Terriers (9-10-3, 7-8-2 Hockey East) pulled off a 4-3 win against No. 13 Boston College (12-7-4, 11-3-4 HE) and secured their trip to TD Garden on Jan. 23 for the Beanpot Championship. 

Shanahan, who had missed the entirety of the fall semester, had 27 saves Tuesday to help fuel her team’s championship berth. 

“It’s been a long road for me, recovering from injury, so this has really meant a lot and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Shanahan said. 

The Beanpot Championship  will not only be the first for many of the players on BU’s roster but also for Tara Watchorn as a head coach. 

“[I’m] just proud of the group,” Watchorn said postgame. “The way that we came out was one of our best starts all year, and just to sit back and watch them build momentum, give each other feedback, and generate offense [I’m] pretty proud.” 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

A sneaky goal by sophomore forward Sydney Healey gave the Terriers a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game. Healey softly tapped the puck into the right corner of the net, where it slipped past Campbell. 

A little over a minute later, the Eagles responded with a goal from freshman forward Sammy Taber. Taber outpaced the Terrier defenders trailing her, and fired the puck past Shanahan’s stick to even the contest. 

At the ten minute mark of the period, sophomore forward Luisa Welcke grabbed the lead back for BU. With Campbell drawn out from the crease after a shot from Lilli Welcke, Luisa found the puck and scored it behind the goalie for the 2-1 lead. 

Senior forward Caroline Goffredo scored the period’s fourth goal less than two minutes later. Goffredo had a high shot that flew above over the head and out of the reach of Shanahan to even up the game at two apiece. 

In the final moments of the period, freshman forward Alex Law was dealt a five-minute major for contact to the head. 

Immediately following the penalty Luisa Welcke drove the length of the ice, got a shot off and drew a hooking call on Taber to set up two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey amid Law’s penalty. 

Ending the first, the Terriers still trailed shots on goal 11-9. As the second began, BU killed off its major penalty, stopping all seven of the Eagles’ total shots in the major. 

After a high-action first period, the second slowed to a screeching halt. Neither team made much progress to take the lead. A complete lack of penalties contributed to the slow pace of the period.

“We just focus on our habits and the smaller things and hopefully you get a goal,” Lilli Welcke said of the team’s mindset. 

Both teams headed into the final intermission still tied at 2-2, but with the Terriers now leading SOG 23-21. 

Early in the third, though, scoring made its return when senior forward Lacey Martin got the lead back for BU. Martin got the puck in the left circle after a pass from sophomore forward Clara Yuhn and fired it over Campbell to make it 3-2 at 1:36. 

Around the five minute mark of the period, the Terriers drew a tripping penalty on junior BC defender Keri Cloughtery and a minute later drew another on graduate forward Sammy Smigliani.

Despite the promising opportunity to expand its lead, BU came up empty handed on both power plays and stayed clinging to a 3-2 lead in the midway point of the third. 

The Terriers followed that up with granting the Eagles two opportunities at power play goals of their own, after back-to-back penalties went against senior forward Madison Cardaci for holding and hooking. BU killed off both of BC’s penalties, though, due in part to strong penalty kill play from the Welcke twins. 

Watchorn credited the Welcke twins for playing a “200-foot game “all year. 

“Now just to see, amazing skill come through and generate offense creatively on transition and on the powerplay, on the PK, and all different ways, I think that’s what makes them a threat,” Watchorn said. 

The Terriers’ failure to add to their lead came back to bite them as they tried to close out the final minutes of the game. Junior forward Katie Pyne scored with less than two minutes left in the game to tie things 3-3 and force overtime. 

Through five minutes of overtime, both teams traded heart-attack -inducing sequences of extended offensive zone time but neither could not deliver on their scoring chances. 

Photo by Gracie Davenport.

A particularly promising sequence for the Eagles featured six shots in a 30 second span, but clutch saves from Shanahan and the crossbar kept the game tied before the Terriers got the win in the shootout. 

The Terriers will now head to TD Garden next Tuesday and face off against the winner of the Northeastern and Harvard semifinals game. For the players, the historic chance to play in the first Women’s Beanpot at the Garden is almost as big of a moment as the game itself.

“It’s special in general just to play there, but, obviously, it’s the finals so that makes it even more special, especially as a woman being able to play in an NHL rink is pretty awesome,” Lilli said. Puck drop for the championship game is set for 8 p.m. at TD Garden. The Boston Hockey Blog will have full, on-the-ground coverage of the tournament, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (X) @BOShockeyblog and Instagram

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