By Josh Sullivan, Sports Editor
UNH ended a tough weekend against Boston College on Sunday with a 5-0 loss. Though head coach Hilary Witt was pleased with the improvements the team had made from the 10-0 loss in the game before, the No. 1 team in the country proved too explosive for the Wildcats.
“Coming out of yesterday’s game there was not a whole lot of positive,” Witt said. “I think if the puck bounced a couple different ways, we would’ve had a good chance to win the game.”
The Eagles would first get on the board when Emily Field sauced a pass from the point to a wide open Haley Skarupa below the goal line. Skarupa fed junior defenseman Lexi Bender who hammered a shot home through goalie Vilma Vaattovaara’s five-hole. UNH found themselves down 1-0 early on.
“That team has a lot of skill but they use each other very well,” said UNH right wing Kayla Mork. “I thought as a team we did a good job today of shutting them down.”
BC would go on the powerplay for the second time that day when senior Caroline Broderick got a two-minute holding penalty at 2:32 after she took down an Eagle forward driving to the net. The Wildcats killed the two minutes and went into the first intermission losing to the best team in the country by just one goal.
In the second period, the Eagles offense threatened to score often, but for the first 10 minutes of the period, Vaattovaara made several key stops, including a sprawling save at 9:26 with her stretched-out left pad that kept the score at one for just a little bit longer. However, after BC got another powerplay, they added some cushion to their lead. Skarupa went tic-tac-toe passing with defenseman Megan Keller and center Alex Carpenter and grinded it out in the crease until she could bury it home past Vaattovaara’s pad.
BC scored again with 4:35 left in the second period. After a face-off win, Carpenter took the puck the length of the ice and fired a shot on net. After Vaattovaara made the initial save, Carpenter followed her shot, dug out the rebound and slid the puck over to Skarupa who buried the shot into the top right corner.
With just under three minutes left in the second period, Vaattovaara made another unbelievable pad save, flashing her left leg out of nowhere to take away the wide open net and make a save on the ensuing BC attack. UNH headed into the locker room down by just three goals to the same team they lost to by 10 the night before.
The Wildcats would keep BC from scoring again until 8:02 in the third period. Bender carried the puck down the left side of the ice and passed it out front to center Dana Trivigno, who held on to the puck just long enough to force Vaattovaara to make the first move. Trivigno buried the backhander and the Wildcats were down 4-0. senior left winger
Not long after, Emily Field would take a pass from defenseman Emily Pfalzer and put it home to make it 5-0.
“They have a ton of talent,” Witt said. “If we play the way we did today all the time, we’re going to have a good chance to beat teams like BC.”
BC’s Skarupa finished the day with a dominant three-point performance.
“She’s a great skater, I call her slippery out there,” Witt said. “She’s just got fantastic hands.”
UNH goalie Vaattovaara ended up with 23 saves on the day.
The Wildcats will take on Boston University on the road at Agganis Arena Sunday, November 23. The puck will drop at 3 p.m.