Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Junior forward Caitlin Walsh and senior winger Danielle Welch produced a pair of first period goals for the fourth-ranked Boston College women's ice hockey team and third-year goaltender Corinne Boyles was phenomenal in net, as the Eagles (13-4-1, 7-2-1 WHEA) emerged victorious from a very physical contest against sixth-ranked Mercyhurst, 4-2, on Friday evening at Kelley Rink.
Boyles (13-4-1) was able to stave off the Lakers (11-4-0) on several one-on-ones and denied the barrage of the nation's second ranked offense to pick up a season-high 43 saves, including 21 in the third period.
The Eagles set the tone early with Hillary Pattenden (10-4-0), ripping 14 shots on the Lakers' net-minder in the opening period. The senior stopped 35 shots, before being pulled in favor of an extra attacker late in the third.
Walsh opened the scoring with her second goal of the season at 5:06 in the first. Sophomores Jackie Young and Melissa Bizzari worked a put down the right wall into the corner and found their teammate from Franklin, Mass. in the kill zone for the 1-0 lead.
Welch changed the scoreboard, 2-0, when the captain intercepted a pass coming off the right end line and stick handled through three Mercyhurst defenders to beat Pattenden at 9:50. The goal was the 37th of the Hastings, Minn. native's career, BC's active leading tally.
The Lakers took advantage of two late tripping calls on the Eagles to hold a 16-14 edge in shots after one frame.
Mercyhurst pulled within one, 2-1, in the opening minute of the second. Forward Jess Jones and junior defenseman Caroline Luczak worked the puck to center Kelley Steadman, who moved up ice along the right side and took a rip from top of the circle that got past Boyles at 00:56.
Thirty-nine second later, Young won a loose puck in the offensive zone and found forward Ashley Motherwell along the wall. The junior passed it to herself off the boards and got off a sweeping shot as she was pulled to the ground near the top of the slot, extending BC's lead to 3-1 with her third goal this year.
The second period saw eight penalties, six on the Lakers, and enabled BC to control the tempo with an 18-7 shots advantage. However, the roles reversed in the third as Mercyhurst fired 22 shots on net and BC was penalized three times. The Eagles penalty kill came out unscathed each time to improve to 7-for-7 on the night.
At 16:57 senior defenseman Pamela Zgoda skated through the left circle and punched home her second goal of the season to give the Lakers hope, 3-2.
Boston College withstood the pressured after that, even holding off the Lakers when they pulled Pattenden for extra fire power at 18:30.
Freshman Alex Carpenter sealed the game, 4-2, when she maneuvered through Mercyhurst defense and flipped a light wrister towards an empty net at 18:48.
The win improved Boston College to 2-4-0 all-time against Mercyhurst and was first victory over the Lakers since 2001. BC had not faced MC since Katie King Crowley became head coach.
The Eagles hosted the Lakers again on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. The game will be the final skate of the 2011 calendar year for Boston College.