Junior forward Jean O'Neill scores overtime game-winner for Friars

Jean O'Neill had the game-winner for the Friars

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - No. 9 Providence College women's hockey defeated Boston College, 2-1, in overtime to improve to 11-7-8 and 7-3-4-2 in Hockey East play. Boston College falls to 5-11-9 and 4-7-4-4 in Hockey East. PC junior forward Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.) scored the game winner with only 31 seconds remaining in overtime. Sophomore Kate Bacon (Chanhassen, Minn.) also scored for Providence. Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ontario) made 30 saves in net for the Friars while BC netminder Corinne Boyles stopped 19 shots.

Providence held its fourth-annual Skating Strides game today at Schneider Arena, helping to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The proceeds from today's game went to benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. Providence College Dean and son of Gloria Gemma, Joe Gemma, dropped the ceremonial puck to start the game.

Providence took an early first period lead at 5:26 when Bacon notched her third goal of the season. After a pass along the left boards from junior Leigh Riley (Lexington, Mass.), Bacon skated around the BC cage and put a wrap-around through the pads of BC goaltender Corinne Boyles. Riley earned her third assist of the season on the play. Senior Arianna Rigano (Malden, Mass.) also assisted on the play, registering her sixth of the year.

Boston College outshot the Friars, 17-4, based on five shots during three power plays. BC earned a five-on-three advantage for 1:00 midway through the period. BC freshman Blake Bolden fired a pair of slap shots from the left point forcing Lacasse into action but PC killed both penalties to keep the score at 1-0 in favor of the Friars.

Providence nearly doubled the lead at 6:31 of the second when junior Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) slapped a one-timer towards the net but Boyles made a glove save to keep the score at 1-0 PC. The Eagles evened the score at 6:41 when Allie Thunstrom stole the puck at the BC blue line and skated in on Lacasse, faking left before sliding the puck into the right side of the cage. BC outshot Providence, 7-5, in the period and the two teams went into the locker room with the Eagles holding a 24-10 shot advantage and the score tied, 1-1.

Providence earned a power play with 2:04 left on the clock in the third period but shots from defenders Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) and Amber Yung (Rockville, Va.) were saved by Boyles to send the game into overtime.

The Eagles earned a power play at 2:21 but shots from Allie Thunstrom and Danielle Welch were saved as the power play expired. Just eight seconds later, O'Neill picked up a loose puck in the PC zone and skated across the Boston College blue line before snapping a shot over the right shoulder of Boyles to earn the 2-1 victory.

The two teams will finish the season series in Boston tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at Kelly Ice Rink in Chestnut Hill, Mass.