Durham, N.H. - Providence came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the No. 8 ranked Eagles of Boston College by a final score of 3-2. 1:23 into the third period, freshman Jackie Duncan (Hudson, Que) scored what would turn out to be the game-winner. The victory means the Friars, who now stand at 16-15-4, will play UNH in the finals of the HOCKEY EAST Tournament tomorrow, February 4 at 12:30 p.m. at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. It marks PC's fourth appearance in the Championship game in the last five years.
The first period ended with the teams still locked at 0-0. but each team generated several quality scoring chances. Boston College dominated the early part of teh period, as they were able to outshoot the Friars 8-0 in the game's first ten minutes. PC killed off three straight BC power-plays, and senior netminder Jana Bugden became the team's best penalty killer as she made 8 saves in the period for the Friars while they were on the penalty-kill. PC generated its best scoring opportunity when senior Sonny Watrous (Albuquerque, N.M.) took a shot from in close while PC was on the power-play, but BC goaltender Molly Schaus came up with a left pad save to deny the Friars the Lead.
Providence came out in the second period with just under a minute left on its power-play, but they were unable to capitalize. BC broke the deadlock at the 10:16 mark while on the power-play, as Maggie Taverna took a shot from the point that beat a screened Bugden. The goal was assisted by Kelli Stack and Kelli Allison. Then, PC earned a power-play of its own after Freshman Pamela McDevitt (South Boston, Mass.) was checked by BC's Zavisza. But BC was able to add to its lead moments later when Allie Thunstrom took the puck, which was deflected at BC's blueline, in on a break-away in which she rang a shot off the far post and in to beat Bugden.
Providence would not be deterred as they answered with two quick strikes of their own. Mari Pehkonen (Tampere, Finland) pulled the Friars within one when she scored a power-play goal at the 12:37 mark. Senior Kristin Gigliotti (Saquoit, N.Y.) took a pass from Sarah Feldman (Fall River, Mass.) at the left point and then found an open Pehkonen at the far post, where Pehkonen calmly shot the puck past a lunging Schaus. The goal was scored when PC was skating with a 5X3 advantage. 21 seconds later, Jenna Keilch (Clinton Township, Mich) tied the game at two, as she scored the Friars' second power-play goal of the period by knocking in a rebound in front. Kathleen Smith (Waterloo, Ontario), who took the first shot that Shaus saved, was credited with an assist. PC had a chance to take the lead at the 16:26 mark when sophomore Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ont.) skated in on Schaus while on a break-away, but Schaus flashed her left leg out to make the pad save.
In the third period, the Friars scored their third straight goal when freshman Duncan beat a BC defender to skate in on a break-away and beat Schaus with a low, driving shot just 1:22 into the period. The teams then traded scoring chances, but neither team was able to score. Then, with 1:23 remaining, BC pulled Schaus in favor of the extra attacker. Bugden made a game saving stop with 15 seconds left to secure the win. Bugden finished with 33 saves for the Friars, while Schaus made 24 stops for BC.