December 7, 2012

Women's Journal: Skarupa a scoring machine for Eagles

By Kat Hasenauer Cornetta

Haley Skarupa was born to play for the Boston College women’s hockey team, and the freshman’s performance through the first half of the season has shown Hockey East as such. 

Haley Skarupa won a silver medal in 2010 at Women's U18 World Championship. (Photo: USA Hockey)

Skarupa netted her first career hat trick in the Eagles’ 7-2 win over the University of Maine last Friday, and added another goal in Sunday’s 10-0 shutout. She is currently tied with sophomore linemate Alex Carpenter for most points on the team with 13 goals and 13 assists, good for a point total of 26 through 16 games - a mark that is better than all but four members of the Boston College team had in all of 2011-12. She led all league skaters with 16 points in November.

Playing for the Eagles has significant meaning for the Rockville, Maryland native. Both of her parents are alumni.

“Playing for BC does have a lot of significance to me since my parents are alums,” said Skarupa this week. “I went to some BC men’s games with my family when I was younger and I had never imagined I'd be playing on the ice in Conte, continuing my parents' legacies as Eagles.”

There was a very small learning curve for Skarupa. She had played for Eagles head coach Katie King Crowley on the silver medal winning 2010 USA U18 Women’s World Championship team, and with Carpenter, Emily Field and Dara Trivigno on several international teams. Those familiar faces, as well as other teammates, helped Skarupa make a quick transition.

“The team has mostly made the transition go smoothly,” said Skarupa. “They really take the freshmen under their wing and help us get to used to the hockey as well as the school. The upperclassmen have been great mentors on and off the ice.”

The line of Skarupa, Carpenter and junior Melissa Bizzari has become one of the league’s best, and the clear communication between them is evident in their play.

“My linemates have really helped in my success,” said Skarupa. “They let me know what different options I have on the ice and encourage me all the time during practices and games.”

For her outstanding play so far, Skarupa was named Hockey East’s Rookie of the Month for November. Boston College will hope she keeps up her high level of play after the holiday break, as they face the meat of their league schedule and the women’s Beanpot. Skarupa will use her family’s BC legacy to motivate the remainder of her already stellar freshman season.

“I know (my parents) love coming back up to BC to watch my games,” said Skarupa. “It makes the experience that much more special.”

Player of the Week

Marie-Philip Poulin, Boston University

Boston University knew it needed two big league wins this past weekend to help them in the Hockey East standings as the fall semester draws to a close, and they got them thanks to the performance of Poulin. The junior notched a three goals and two assists on 14 weekend shots as the Terriers edged Providence 4-3 and 6-4. Poulin’s had an assist on the game tying goal in Friday evening’s come from behind win.

Game of the Week

Providence at Harvard, Friday night

This non-league game is the Friars’ last game before the holidays. Despite scoring seven goals on the weekend, Providence fell to third in the conference with their two losses to Boston University. Harvard is coming off wins against Dartmouth and Team Russia last weekend where they scored a combined ten goals. They have won their last four regular season games by at least two goal margins.

D3 Note of the Week

Middlebury leads the NESAC with a 4-1-1 overall record. They earned their first tie of the season this past weekend against league mate Trinity, but ended up beating them the next day 4-1. Panthers goaltender Laura Pinsent earned her third win of the season in the win, making 34 saves on 35 shots.

Power Rankings

1) Harvard (8-1-0 overall, 7-0-0 ECAC)

The Crimson have a pair of games against Hockey East teams this weekend: Providence and New Hampshire. Harvard is seeing a lot of success with their goaltending rotation of freshman Emerance Maschmeyer and senior Laura Bellamy. Senior Jillian Dempsey is up to her 23rd consecutive game with a point.

2) Boston University (11-3-1 overall, 6-2-1 Hockey East)

The Terriers travel to Duluth, Minnesota this weekend to test their mettle against Minnesota-Duluth in their last contests before the holidays. Minnesota-Duluth is 1-1 against Hockey East teams so far this season, and is coming off a weekend sweep of Bemidji State.

3) Boston College (10-3-2 overall, 7-2-1 Hockey East)

The Eagles finished up their fall semester with a 4-1 win over the University of New Hampshire Wednesday night. They head into the break having turned around their early woes thanks to a stellar crop of forwards turning on the goal scoring. They have scored at least three goals in their last 12 games, and have won their last four games by at least five goal margins.

4) Providence (8-7-4 overall, 5-4-2 Hockey East)

The Friars have a well-distributed scoring attack led by senior leader Nicole Anderson, who had a hat trick this past Saturday against Boston University. They played very tight with the Terriers last weekend, and are not at all out of the Hockey East hunt. Sophomore Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.) has been a huge helper as of late - she had three assists last weekend after a frustrating four game stretch earlier in November that left her without a point.

5) Quinnipiac (10-7-2 overall, 6-3-1 ECAC)

Kelly Babstock continues to lead the Bobcats. She was named the ECAC’s Player of the Week for her two goal performance against RPI and her two assists against Union. Quinnipiac is also getting great goaltending out of Victoria Vigilanti, who is on a three game winning streak. 

Kat Hasenauer Cornetta can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at@sportsgirlkat.