B.C. seniors making memories
Notes: Top-ranked RIT suffers first loss of season
Elliott Olshansky, NCAA.com
The seniors of No. 7 Boston College will play at Conte Forum again, albeit probably just once.
On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles will host New Hampshire on the Kelley Rink ice in Chestnut Hill. After that, they’ll travel to Durham for a Sunday matinee at the Whittemore Center, concluding the regular season. With second place in the Hockey East standings locked up, BC won’t play again until the Hockey East semifinals, scheduled to take place at Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena on March 5.
However, while the days on home ice may be numbered for Kelli Stack, Molly Schaus, Katelyn Kurth and Laura Hart, they made a memory on Tuesday night that will last a lifetime.
Schaus stopped 31 of the 32 shots she faced, Stack scored her 33rd goal of the season to give BC a two-goal cushion, and the No. 7 Eagles defeated Harvard, 3-1, to win the Women’s Beanpot for the third time in five years.
“We love the Beanpot,” Eagles head coach Katie King said. “It’s a fun event for our kids, to be able to have a championship in the middle of your season, and I think our kids do a great job of getting up for it and getting ready to play when it’s time for the Beanpot. Hopefully, this continues, but you know, one step at a time.”
For this year’s BC team, not only does the Beanpot represent a championship, but it’s a title the Eagles could win on home ice. For the seniors whose final game at the Heights is nearing, that raised the stakes on Tuesday night’s game with the Crimson.
“It’s a perfect ending for me,” said Schaus, who, like Stack, missed last season to compete with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. “We’re the only team in the country that had a chance to win a championship on home ice in February, and we took advantage of it. I was fortunate enough to be here freshman year and win it on home ice, so to get to do that twice is pretty memorable.”
Junior forward Mary Restuccia was named the tournament MVP after scoring the game-winning goal with 6:52 gone in the third period and then assisting on Stack’s insurance goal. Overall, Restuccia finished with two goals and two assists in the tournament, as BC became the first school since Northeastern in 1988 to capture the men’s and women’s Beanpots in the same year.
“That’s pretty exciting for us,” Schaus said. “We went back and forth for a couple of years with the men and us winning, so I think that’s a lot of bragging rights for Boston College.”
Now in her fourth season as head coach, King knows that as their Eagle caeers draw to a close, one thing this year’s seniors have earned – particularly Schaus and Stack, who have led the Eagles to two NCAA tournament appearances and the 2007 Frozen Four - is bragging rights.
“Kelli and Molly have changed our program,” King said. “For them to be able to end their Beanpot senior year with a win is awesome. They’ve worked extremely hard for the four years that they’ve been here, and I’m really proud of them and proud of what they’ve brought to our program. I know they have some good things left in them for the rest of the season, but I’m really, really proud of them.”
NEED TO KNOW
• One of two season-long unbeaten streaks in Division III came to an end on Saturday, as Oswego goaltender Emi Williams stopped 46 of 47 shots to backstop the unranked Lakers to a 2-1 win over then-No. 1 RIT. Freshman forward Olivia Boersen assisted on the Lakers’ first goal and scored the second, helping the Lakers solidify their hold on fifth place in the ECAC West standings. For their efforts, Williams and Boersen were named the ECAC West Goalie of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. The Tigers, meanwhile, dropped to No. 2 in the USCHO.com Division III Women’s Poll, replaced at the top by Wisconsin-River Falls, which won its final non-conference game of the regular season last Wednesday, beating St. Thomas, 5-2. Then, they proved all but unstoppable in a weekend series against Finlandia, beating the Lions by scores of 7-1 and 12-0. With one weekend left in the regular season – and a trip to 1-21-1 Marian on the schedule - the Falcons’ record stands at 20-0-3.
• The Whalers Hockey Fest at Rentschler Field in Hartford afforded four women’s teams a chance to take their game outside, with both Division I and Division III represented. On Saturday, Providence junior Laura Veharanta scored two goals 2:06 apart in the second period to break a 2-2 tie and give the Friars a lead they would not relinquish in a 4-3 victory against UConn. Then, on Tuesday, No. 8 Trinity got two goals and an assist from Sarah Kohn en route to a 5-1 victory against Wesleyan. Celia Coleman-McGaw opened the scoring nine seconds into the contest and the Bantams didn’t look back, limiting the Cardinals to six shots on goal in the contest. The games were the third and fourth NCAA women’s hockey games to take place outdoors; New Hampshire defeated Northeastern last January as part of the “Frozen Fenway” event at Fenway Park in Boston, while Wisconsin defeated Bemidji State at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison last Feburary.
• Dartmouth joined the USCHO.com Division I poll this week for the first time since November 15, replacing Harvard at No. 10. The Big Green has won eight of its last nine games and took advantage by a pair of ties by Harvard (against Northeastern and Clarkson) to replace the Crimson in the top 10, although Harvard still holds a three-point lead on the Big Green for second place in the ECAC Hockey standings heading into the last weekend of the regular season, which will see both teams face Colgate and No. 2 Cornell.
• Elmira suffered a surprising setback over the weekend, as Buffalo State’s Kailyn Murray scored her fifth goal of the season 3:17 into overtime to lead the Bengals to a 4-3 victory against the then-No. 3 Soaring Eagles. The victory ended a nine-game losing streak for Buffalo State, and also allowed No. 4 Plattsburgh to take sole possession of second place in the ECAC West standings behind RIT.
• Quinnipiac freshman Kelly Babstock earned a dual honor from ECAC Hockey this week. Babstock, a Mississauga, Ontario native, was selected as the league’s Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week. Babstock, currently ECAC Hockey’s leading scorer with 29 goals and 26 assists, assisted on the Bobcats’ only goal in a 1-1 tie with New Hampshire on Feb. 8, then figured on every Quinnipiac goal (3g, 2a) in a 5-1 victory Rensselaer on Feb. 11 and added two more goals the next day in a 4-0 victory against Union.