No. 4 Eagles Rally Past Saints 6-3, Advance to Frozen Four
Mar. 10: The No. 7 St. Lawrence University women's hockey team's 2011-12 season came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as No. 4 Boston College scored five unanswered goals to rally to a 6-3 victory in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals in Chestnut Hill, MA.
St. Lawrence, which won the ECAC Hockey Championship for the first time last weekend to earn a spot in the NCAA field, finishes its season at 24-10-4. Meanwhile, the Eagles improve to 24-9-3 and await the winner of No. 1 Wisconsin and Mercyhurst in Duluth, MN next weekend.
"It was a fun game, exactly what we expected with the back-and-forth action," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "We executed well early in the second period which helped us take the lead, but their goal late in the second really swung the momentum their way for the rest of the game."
The first period saw each team trying to get into the flow of the game, with close calls coming for each squad on a pair of hit posts. Boston College would take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to a short-handed goal at 16:30 by Alex Carpenter. Though rookie goaltender Carmen MacDonald would make the initial save, the Saints were late in back-checking which allowed the puck to find Carpenter on the door step for her 20th goal of the year.
St. Lawrence came out flying in the second period, scoring three goals in the first 3:33 to open up a 3-1 lead. Senior captain Karell Emard tied the score at 1-1 only 20 seconds into the stanza on a snap shot over Corinne Boyles' glove. A mere 20 seconds later, junior Michelle Ng slammed home a rebound off a shot by senior Vanessa Emond to give the visitors a quick 2-1 advantage.
The Scarlet and Brown would keep the pressure on Boyles and pushed the lead to 3-1 only 2:53 later on the power play. Sophomore Mel Desrochers set up classmate Bailey Habscheid at the point, and though the netminder made the first save, first-year Ellie Williams one-timed the rebound for the two-goal lead only 3:33 into the stanza.
Boston College would pull to within a goal at 3-2 on the power play at the 11:00 mark of the second when a shot from Emily Field deflected off a St. Lawrence player in front of the net and floated over MacDonald's outstretched glove and across the goal line.
Perhaps the key moment of the game came in the final minute of the second period, as St. Lawrence worked the puck up the ice on a 4-on-1 try. However, the centering pass was deflected and allowed the Eagles to counter in transition on a 2-on-1 which they converted with 10.7 seconds showing on the game clock. Mary Restuccia made a beautiful crossing pass right on Blake Bolden's stick, who one-timed a shot past MacDonald to knot the game at 3-3 heading to the third period.
The goal clearly swung the momentum in Boston College's favor, as they would take the lead only 2:23 into the third period. Danielle Welch charged up the ice and attacked the St. Lawrence defense. Though the Saints seemed to have the play under control, Welch lifted a shot that went over MacDonald again and into the net for the 4-3 lead.
The Saints, trailing in the third period for the first time in the post-season, worked to create chances in front of Boyles, including a shot by Emond and a tip try by sophomore Rylee Smith. However, the Eagles did an excellent defensive job without taking penalties to protect their one-goal advantage.
Boston College would add an insurance goal at 15:47, as Taylor Wasylk beat MacDonald to a loose puck in the slot and scored on the empty net to push the lead to 5-3. With MacDonald on the bench in favor of the extra skater, Ashley Motherwell sealed the victory for the Eagles at 19:28 to cap the scoring at 6-3.
MacDonald closed with 33 saves, while Boyles made 28 stops. Boston College outshot the Saints 39-31 including an 18-5 margin in the third period. St. Lawrence was 1-for-3 on the power play, while BC finished 1-for-4.
After the two teams shook hands at center ice following the game, the Saints were greeted with a standing ovation from the large St. Lawrence crowd on hand. The contest was the last for the four members of the Class of 2012, including Emard, Emond, Alley Bero and assistant captain Josee Belanger.