Women’s Hockey: UConn begins Hockey East Tournament at Boston College 

UConn women’s hockey lose a hard-fought battle 3-2 against Northeastern in overtime, following a Friday night matchup at the Toscano Family Ice Forum in Storrs, Conn. on Feb. 10, 2023. The UConn Huskies would go on to add to their losing streak the following day, picking up a 2-1 loss against Holy Cross. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus

The UConn women’s hockey team (18-12-4, 12-11-4) has concluded its regular season, finishing fifth with 44 points in the Hockey East standings behind Northeastern University, the University of Vermont, Providence College and Boston College, in that order. They wrapped their regular season up with three straight wins over Holy Cross. 

The Hockey East Tournament already began with the two opening round games on Wednesday, with Merrimack College defeating Boston University in overtime and the University of New Hampshire scoring four unanswered goals to take down Holy Cross. 

In the quarterfinal round, the Huskies will take a trip to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to take on No. 4 seed Boston College (19-14-1, 16-11-0), ranked No. 15 in the most recent USCHO Poll. 

UConn has had the Eagles’ number this season, winning all three of their matchups. They also have won six of the last seven games in the series. 

The Huskies were the runner-up in last year’s tournament, falling to Northeastern, who has won the conference for the past five seasons. UConn has made a championship game appearance every other year in those five seasons, but they have never been crowned as champions. The Huskies have made the semifinal round in the past three years and four times since 2018. 

Boston College is 5-4 all-time when facing UConn in the Hockey East Tournament, with a 3-3 record in the quarterfinal round. It will be the first meeting in the tournament since UConn won in the 2021 quarterfinal round and its the fourth time in five years they are matched up in the quarterfinals. 

The points leader for Boston College is senior forward Hannah Bilka, with 39 points and a team-high 27 assists this season. On Tuesday, Bilka was named one of the Hockey East Co-Players of the Week. Their leading goal-scorer is sophomore forward Abby Newhook, with 18 goals. 

The Huskies will take on No. 4 seed Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. on Saturday, Feb. 25. In the most recent USCHO Poll, Boston College was ranked No. 15. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk/The Daily Campus

Other top performers from the Eagles recently include senior defenseman Alexie Guay and graduate student goaltender Abigail Levy. Guay had one goal and one assist, which included the game-winner, on the road against Providence. 

Levy, who was awarded the PNC Bank Three Stars Award, had a .944 save percentage and led the league with 102 saves this past week. It’ll be quite the goalie matchup between her and UConn sophomore Tia Chan, as Levy finished the conference regular season with 810 saves, which is the third-highest single-season total in Hockey East history. 

Boston College has strong defenders, but there won’t be a better defender in this game than senior defenseman Cayla Barnes, who was the runner-up for Army ROTC Defender of the Year. 

The format for the Hockey East Tournament is similar to the NFL Playoffs, where the highest seed that advances to the next round faces the lowest seed that advances in the tournament. 

The winner of UConn at Boston College will move on to the semifinal round, likely facing the winner of top-seeded No. 5 Northeastern and Merrimack, which begins 30 minutes before UConn’s game. The other games in the quarterfinals include No. 11 Vermont hosting New Hampshire and the University of Maine visiting No. 14 Providence. 

If the Huskies advance, the semifinal round will be on Wednesday, while the Hockey East Championship will be on Saturday, March 4. 

All four quarterfinal-round games will be played tomorrow. The game against the Eagles will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+. 

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