– Allie Thunstrom and Danielle Welch scored third-period
goals and Kiera Kingston stopped 27 shots to propel the Boston
College women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s
2-1 victory against fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire in
Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH is now 18-7-5 overall and 12-6-2-0 in Hockey East. With the loss, the Wildcats are now in a tie for third place in the league standings with one game remaining in the regular season. Boston College, which ended its nine-game winless streak (0-8-1) vs. the Wildcats, improved to 8-15-10 overall and 7-9-4-4 in Hockey East.
Following two scoreless periods of play, UNH opened with pressure in the opening seconds of the third period. Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) skated out of the left corner towards the post and was denied by Kingston. Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) charged to the left post and swept a shot on net that was also turned aside by the BC goalie.
Boston College responded quickly with a rush in which Mary Restuccia’s shot from the left doorstep hit UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas; 31 saves) and trickled towards the goal line. Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) stopped the puck and Minton lunged back to cover it with her glove.
BC took a 1-0 lead at 3:52 on a rush by Thunstrom. Katelyn Kurth cleared the puck off the right dashers into the neutral zone to set up the breakaway. Thunstrom cut inside the defender at the right faceoff dot to shift to the slot and she wristed a low shot into the net.
In the ninth minute, BC’s Caitlin Walsh was positioned in the low slot and one-timed a pass from behind the net, but Minton scurried off the left post to the top of the crease to make the save.
The Eagles extended the advantage to 2-0 at 13:04 when Danielle Welch corralled the puck in the neutral zone on the left wing and skated to the faceoff dot, where she snapped a shot into the upper-right corner.
UNH responded with a goal at 14:59 to pull within 2-1. Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) picked up a rebound at the left post and skated behind the net and continued to the right corner. She threw the puck to Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario) in the high slot and her shot was redirected into the net by Paton.
BC called time out at that point, and UNH used its timeout with 2:31 remaining and pulled Minton in favor of an extra skater.
Kingston turned aside shots by Long and Lavoie – and the ‘Cats fired two other shots wide -- before the Eagles were able to clear the puck into the neutral zone. The ‘Cats immediately re-entered the offensive zone and had a shot blocked and another go wide of the cage before a centering pass from behind the net went the length of the ice with 30 seconds remaining. BC’s forecheck prevented UNH from advancing the puck beyond center ice to secure the victory.
BC recorded a 13-6 shot advantage in the scoreless first period. UNH’s Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) executed a tape-to-tape pass through the neutral zone to spring Paton on a breakaway down the slot. As she approached the right doorstep, she lost control of the puck and it slid wide right of the cage.
Midway through the opening stanza, the Wildcats’ Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) lifted a backhanded shot that ricocheted off Kingston’s right shoulder and the crossbar. The Eagles quickly went on a counterattack and Minton denied Walsh’s redirection from the top of the crease.
The visitors generated a dangerous scoring opportunity in the opening minute of the second period. Thunstrom stole the puck at the right point and maneuvered to the slot, where her she sent a backhanded shot back towards the right post, but Minton extended her left leg pad to push the puck wide.
In the 12th minute, Thunstrom fired a shot from the left faceoff dot that Minton snared with her glove.
With just over two minutes remaining in the second period and UNH on its only power play of the game, Kingston denied Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) in the slot and then made an acrobatic save to slide towards the left post and stack the leg pads to deny Brittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.).
Moments later, Thunstrom went on shorthanded breakaway on the right wing. She skated from the right point to the slot and continued to the left doorstep. Minton shadowed her across the crease, however, to shut the door at the post.
Prior to the game, UNH recognized its four seniors -- Long, Paton, Shannon Sisk (Pipersville, Pa.) and Kelly Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich.) -- who were playing in their final regular-season home game at the Whittemore Center.
New Hampshire and Boston College conclude the regular season Feb. 21 (7 p.m.) at BC’s Conte Forum.