The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime against nationally-ranked No. 5 Boston College on Friday afternoon at Appleton Arena. However, Eagles' senior captain Blake Bolden would net the game-winner only 1:49 into the extra session to give the visitors a 4-3 non-conference win in an exciting rematch of last season's NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.
St. Lawrence, which closed with a narrow 41-40 advantage in shots on goal, falls to 11-8-1 on the season while the Eagles improve to 13-3-2 thanks to a solid effort by the penalty killing unit, which held the home team scoreless on five power play tries.
"That was a classic St. Lawrence-Boston College game: tons of fun to be in, what the fans come to see and why players play," said Saints head coach Chris Wells. "It's a shame more people weren't able to see the great product that was on the ice tonight!"
The goaltenders each had their work cut out for them in the game, as St. Lawrence sophomore Carmen MacDonald made 36 saves including some dazzling stops down the stretch to force overtime. Boston College's Corinne Boyles was equally as impressive, making 38 saves including 12 with St. Lawrence on the power play.
St. Lawrence scored the opening goal at 3:56 of the first period, as Kayla Raniwsky re-directed a shot by Amanda Boulier past Boyles for her sixth of the season. Senior Brooke Fernandez also had an assist on the game's first tally.
However, Boston College would rally with two goals in a span of 1:42 to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. Haley Skarupa got the Eagles on the board after an outstanding shift by the visitors, deflecting the puck behind MacDonald for her 14th of the year off a shot by Bolden at 9:16. Alex Carpenter, who also assisted on the first BC goal, gave the Eagles the 2-1 lead at 10:58 as she converted a 3-on-1 try with MacDonald.
Despite a 14-10 advantage in shots in the second period, the Saints' deficit grew to 3-1 as Emily Pfalzer scored the only goal of the frame for Boston College at 12:36. Pfalzer took a pass from Carpenter, cut through the slot and wristed a shot past MacDonald for her third goal of the year. Dru Burns also assisted on the lone goal of the second stanza.
St. Lawrence came out of the gate on the attack in the third and scored on the first shift to pull to within one at 3-2. First-year Abbey McRae one-timed the puck past Boyles only 25 seconds into the third for her 10th of the season, with Kelly Sabatine and Rylee Smith setting up the goal. Sabatine would then tie the game at 3-3 at 9:40, taking a feed from McRae and beating Boyles for her 11th of the year.
Boston College used its timeout following the tying goal, and would settle in and begin to pressure MacDonald down the stretch including a hit cross bar by Dana Trivigno with 3:00 to go. Though the Saints goaltender was able to help force the extra period, Bolden would give her team the win on the only shot in overtime, a snipe from the slot past MacDonald's glove for her fourth of the season. Trivigno and Emily Field assisted on the game-winner.
St. Lawrence had numerous chances on five power plays, including a 5-on-3 for over a minute, but failed to convert and finished 0-for-5 in the game. Boston College was 0-for-1 in the contest, but managed to hand St. Lawrence its first loss to a Hockey East foe this season in the final non-conference game of 2012-13.
The Saints begin the stretch of the ECAC Hockey regular season next weekend when they travel to Yale and Brown for a pair of conference games. St. Lawrence and Yale square off on Friday, January 11 at 7:00pm in New Haven, CT, followed by the Brown game on Saturday at 4:00pm in Providence, RI.