Chestnut Hill, Mass. - For the first time in program history, the Boston College women's ice hockey team is headed to the NCAA Frozen Four in consecutive seasons. The fourth-ranked Eagles (24-9-3) scored five unanswered goals to defeat No. 7 St. Lawrence, 6-3, in the national quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon at Kelley Rink.
Four players - Blake Bolden, Emily Field, Ashley Motherwell and Mary Restuccia - tallied multiple points and junior goalkeeper Corinne Boyles registered 28 saves to lift BC past the Saints (24-10-4). SLU rookie net-minder Carmen MacDonald stopped 33 shots in the loss.
The Eagles scored the first of their season-high six points when freshman center Alex Carpenter produced her team-leading third short-handed goal of the year at 16:30 in the first. BC had been whistled for checking about a minute prior to Field winning a turnover near the blue line and transitioning to the attack. The rookie duo combined for three quick attacks on MacDonald, before Carpenter punched in the opener, 1-0. The short-handed goal was BC's first since Allie Thunstrom posted one against Dartmouth exactly four years ago.
The Saints erupted for three goals in the first four minutes of the second period to take a 3-1 lead. Senior winger Karrell Emard landed a slap shot over Boyles glove 20 seconds into the frame to even the score, 1-1. Exactly 20 seconds later, junior center Michelle Ng tapped in a rebound off a shot by line mate Vanessa Emond to give SLU the lead, 2-1. When BC was called for hooking at 2:26, freshman right-wing Ellie Williams delivered a one-time a rebound after Boyles prevented chances from sophomores Bailey Habscheid and Mel Desrochers.
Boston College moved one-step closer, 3-2, when Field netted her team-best eighth power play goal of the year at 11:00. Junior defenseman Dru Burns fed sophomore center Megan Mangene at the top of the slot, who hit Field outside the crease. The Littleton, Mass. native put the puck on neck, but a deflection by a Saint caused the puck to float over MacDonald and sounded the horn.
Bolden and Restuccia teamed up to tie the game at three at 19:49 in the second. SLU pressured heavily with a 4-on-1, but a centering pass was knocked away by the Eagles deep in the defensive zone. Restuccia transitioned quickly down the right side boards drawing the Saints in as she entered the opposite circle. The captain split a pair of defenders to hit Bolden for a one-timer and capture the momentum heading into the final intermission.
At 2:23 in the third, senior forward Danielle Welch capitalized on a turnover won at the blue line and beat MacDonald for her 11th goal of the season.
In similar fashion, Motherwell found sophomore winger Taylor Wasylk in the right circle, who proceeded to beat MacDonald for the insurance goal at 15:47.
The Saints pulled MacDonald with three minutes to play. As St. Lawrence pressured with the extra attacker, Bolden cleared the puck off the boards in center ice. SLU tried gain possession, but whiffed and Motherwell sniped an empty net from the neutral zone at 19:28.
Boston College advances to take on the winner of the Wisconsin/Mercyhurst quarterfinal on Friday, March 16. Game time is yet to be determined. The Eagles were topped in the final seconds of the 2011 Frozen Four by Wisconsin.
Notes: Boston College advances to its third Frozen Four ever...the Eagles have been to the national semifinal round three out of the last six years...the Maroon and Gold are now 3-3 in post-season play...BC's 24 wins ties the school record established by the 2007 and 2011 squads...Boyles' 24 wins ties the program mark set by Molly Schaus in 2007 and 2011...This was the first time the Eagles defeated the Saints in the last seven meetings, a span dating back to 2009...Boston College is now 8-4-2 against ranked teams this season.