Women's Ice Hockey Downs @ #5 St. Lawrence

The win continues a strong season thus far for the Eagles, who have put themselves back into the national picture after a disappointing campaign in 2007-08. Last year, in which BC went 14-13-7 and missed out on the Hockey East tournament. This year, the Eagles have amassed a 13-5-3 record and are contenders to be one of the eight teams in the NCAA tournament.

CANTON, N.Y. - The #7 Boston College women's hockey team defeated #5 St. Lawrence 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, handing the Saints their first home loss of the season and earning a split of the weekend series.

Junior forward Allie Thunstrom scored two goals, including the game winner, to lead the charge for BC. Thunstrom, a Maplewood, Minn. native, scored three goals in the series, giving her 14 for the season.

"This was a huge win for us," said assistant coach Courtney Kennedy , standing in for Katie King, away coaching the US national team at the U-18 world championships. "This was a battle of two really good, physical teams. To come out here and get a split is big. St. Lawrence has a tremendous program. Getting the win speaks volumes about our preparation and hard work this week."

Thunstrom's game winner was a power play tally at 9:49 of the second period. With the score tied 1-1, Maggie Taverna ripped a shot from the point that St. Lawrence goalie Brittony Chartier pushed aside. Kelli Stack's rebound bid was denied, but Thunstrom was there to pounce on the second opportunity, knocking it home to put the Eagles on top.

St. Lawrence had their best chance to tie the game with three minutes left in the second period on an extended 5-on-3 power play, but an outstanding penalty kill – backboned by two great stops by Molly Schaus – preserved the Eagles' advantage. Schaus made 38 saves to earn #1 star honors.

"Molly Schaus gives us a chance to win every game we're in," said Kennedy. "She bails us out when we're tired and giving up good opportunities. She's as good as they come."

From there, BC owned the third period, pouring in two goals to ice the game. Becky Zavisza was instrumental in the third BC goal, drawing a penalty at 4:39, then assisting on Stephanie Olchowski's first goal of the season at 7:09.

"We worked our tails off to crash the net and create chances," said Zavisza. "On that play, we drove to the net and I hit it at the goalie. It fell off to the side and Steph [Olchowski] stepped up to bury it."

Thunstrom put the game away with an empty netter with two minutes to play.

The win continues a strong season thus far for the Eagles, who have put themselves back into the national picture after a disappointing campaign in 2007-08. Last year, BC went 14-13-7 and missed out on the Hockey East tournament. This year, the Eagles have amassed a 13-5-3 record and are contenders to be one of the eight teams in the NCAA tournament.

BC roared out of the gate, jumping to a 6-0-2 start and a #4 national ranking before hitting a rough patch in November. They lost 3 out of 5 games - including a loss to Maine, the last place team in Hockey East, and a 4-1 drubbing at home at the hands of rival Boston University.

Since that point, the Eagles have rattled off a 5-2-1 record, including their signature win of the year – a 5-0 blowout victory over BU at Walter Brown Arena.

The Eagles have put together a solid NCAA resume. In addition to their road wins over ranked BU and St. Lawrence, the Eagles have two wins over Connecticut, two more over resurgent Northeastern, a season-opening win over Clarkson, and a 7-3-1 record in conference play - good for first place in the league.

"We've done the little things you need to do in order to get better," said Kennedy. "Sometimes you get caught up in the big stuff, but things like winning battles for the puck, skating hard, forechecking – those are the things that lead to winning hockey… We've got some great, hard working hockey players on this team."

The leaders of BC's resurgence are the same players who were so instrumental in their run to the Frozen Four in 2007 – forward Kelli Stack and goaltender Molly Schaus. Stack leads the team in both goals (14) and assists (19), while leading all of Hockey East in points (33). Schaus's 1.66 goals against average is second in Hockey East, and her .941 save percentage is third. Both players are candidates to make next year's US Olympic team.

"Kelli Stack is just an incredible hockey player," said Kennedy. "She has the ability to slow the game down and get everyone on the same page. When she gets the puck, you know good things are going to happen for us."

She also had high praise for Mary Restuccia, one of BC's seven freshmen. "I would put [Restuccia] in that same category, of players who are confident with the puck." The Eagles now head to Matthews Arena on Thursday for a tilt with Northeastern – one of ten straight games on the road for BC.

"We've been working hard and traveling a lot," said Zavisza. "Some of us only got five days off for Christmas, and we've only had one day off in the last two weeks. This team has a lot of heart – we go out there and try to win every battle."


Eagle Insider Top Stories