BOSTON, Mass. - A four goal explosion in the third period helped the No. 8 Northeastern Huskies (13-5-2, 7-4-2-1 Hockey East) to a 7-4 victory over Boston College at Matthews Arena on Monday night. With the victory, the Huskies take over sole possession of first place in the Hockey East standings, one point clear of Boston College. Junior Kristi Kehoe recorded a goal and two assists on the night and junior Lori Antflick potted a career-high two goals, including the game-winner with 9:57 remaining.
The seven goal output was the Huskies' highest since Feb. 3, 2004, an 8-0 win over Boston University in the opening round of the Beanpot. The team's previous high this season was five goals vs. Maine on Nov. 14.
Trailing by a score of 4-3 entering the third period, the Huskies were granted a glorious chance to equalize with a 48-second two-man advantage early in the frame. Despite long spells of possession in close to the Eagles' net, the Huskies could not pry apart the compact BC defense, which collapsed in the low slot to deny the Huskies a clean look at the goal. Hard work would eventually pay off, however, as senior Katy Applin was left open in the high slot after the first penalty had expired. Applin let loose with a cannon of a shot, low and toward the center of the net, where senior tri-captain Annie Hogan was able to redirect the puck past BC netminder Kiera Kingston with just under 12 minutes remaining.
With the game tied and momentum squarely in their corner, the Huskies went back to work quickly in the BC end. Freshman Kelly Wallace dug the puck out of the corner and found sophomore Stephanie Gavronsky heading toward the cage from inside the left circle. Gavronsky's blast ricocheted off the far post, then off the near post, before finally settling on top of the goal line behind Kingston. Antflick, crashing the net, spotted the loose cylinder before the Eagles' defense, and swatted it home for her second of the night at 10:03.
The goal frustrated the Eagles as freshman Blake Bolden took a five minute penalty with 4:32 remaining in the contest, putting Northeastern on the power play for the rest of the game. Northeastern made Boston College pay to the tune of two insurance goals-- one by freshman Casey Pickett and the other by Kehoe-- to make it 7-4 with just over two minutes left. For Pickett, it was her third goal against the Eagles this season.
Junior Leah Sulyma earned her fourth win in as many starts, making 18 stops on the night. One of the Sulyma's biggest saves came early in the second period when the Huskies were clinging to a 2-1 advantage. Boston College's Allie Thunstrom walked in alone on goal, but was denied in tight, before ringing a second chance off the iron only seconds later.
Thunstrom finally did beat Sulyma two minutes later when she redirected Bolden's drive home at 3:59, tying the score at 2-2.
Antflick untied the game at 13:07 of the second period with a nifty backhander at the top of the crease. Senior Cassie Sperry made the initial pass from behind the net to the point, where junior Julia Marty was left open. Marty settled the puck and delivered a perfect pass onto the tape of Antflick, who pivoted around a defender and slipped the puck between the pads of Kingston.
The see-saw game continued as BC drew blood twice more before the middle period ended. Freshman Caitlin Walsh scored her second of the night three minutes after Antflick's tally to tie the score at 3-3. Then, three minutes later, Walsh fed sophomore Mary Restuccia for a snap shot inside the left circle to put the Eagles ahead by a goal heading into the third.
Walsh's first goal opened the scoring at 6:46 of the first period when she tipped home a centering pass from freshman Dru Burns.
Hogan answered Walsh's goal with her third of the season at 12:11 of the opening frame, finishing off a pretty move around Kingston with a lifted backhander on the doorstep. Freshman Brittany Esposito drew the primary helper with a terrific diagonal pass from outside the blueline, splitting two BC defenders in the process.
Marty gave Northeastern its first lead of the game at 2-1 with 4:55 to play in the first period with a snipe through traffic from the top of the right circle.
With the victory, the Huskies surpassed last year's overall win total of 12. The last time Northeastern won 13 or more games in a season was the 2003-04 campaign when the team finished 13-13-8.
The Huskies return to action on Friday at Maine at 7 p.m.