WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Bizzari's Heroics Finish Off Win
Published: Monday, November 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
The No. 5 Boston College women’s hockey team (6-3-2, 5-2-1 WHEA) weathered a late-game offensive surge, took back the lead, and came out on top of a 4-3 slugfest against visiting No. 9 Northeastern (8-3-2, 4-3-1 WHEA) on Sunday afternoon at Kelley Rink. Junior Melissa Bizzari scored two goals in the third period to bring her team back on top from a 3-2 deficit and secure the win.
“Despite letting [the Huskies] back in it, we were able to come back and come up with the win,” said head coach Katie King Crowley after the game. “We were up, and let them put in power play goals, and I thought we battled back.”
The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period after Alex Carpenter and Shaliya Johnson both notched goals. With 7:58 remaining, a scrum formed around the Northeastern net as Blake Bolden and Emily Field tried to force the puck by Huskies goaltender Chloe Desjardins, who was drawn out of the net. The puck popped out of the melee, right into the stick of the lurking Carpenter, who swept it in unchallenged for the first goal of the game.
Eight minutes later, Johnson lined up a shot from the point and, taking advantage of a screen, fired and scored to double the Eagles’ lead. The goal was the defender’s first of her collegiate career.
“It’s always exciting for the freshmen when they score,” King-Crowley said. “I thought she did a great job of finding a way to get the puck to the net.” Johnson suffered a concussion during play last weekend, but has not missed a beat since her return to the ice this weekend.
The Huskies mounted a last-second assault on the Eagles’ goal, firing off a barrage of shots that goalkeeper Megan Miller managed to block until Claire Santostefano whipped in an outside shot on a power play with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.
The next goal would come almost five minutes into the third period, after both teams ground out a scoreless second. Northeastern forward Casey Pickett took a pass through traffic from linemate Kendall Coyne and found a way past Miller to tie the score at 2-2. At 8:24, the Huskies capitalized on a second power play as forward Paige Savage scored to give her team its first lead of the game.
That was where Bizzari stepped in. Just 22 seconds after losing the lead, the junior found a rebound from teammate Haley Skarupa’s shot, and beat Desjardins to tie the score 3-3.
“I was just in front of the net trying to get a screen, and it kind of scooted through,” Bizzari said. “I got my stick on it, and it crept in the net.”
The Eagles kept up the pressure, and with just 17 seconds on the clock, Bizzari saw her chance. Chaos in front of the net had left Desjardins laid out on the ice. The puck ricocheted off her pads, and right onto the waiting BC forward.
“I just kind of flipped it over, and it went in,” Bizzari said.
The Huskies made a last-ditch effort to tie the score in the remaining seconds, pulling Desjardins to add another stick on offense, but Miller and the defense withstood the pressure and held on for the 4-3 win.
“I thought overall, we battled pretty well,” Crowley said. “There were times I thought we could’ve won some 50-50 battles that we didn’t win.”
On Friday, the Eagles built a 4-0 lead over the Huskies at Matthews Arena in Boston, including two goals from Carpenter, on the way to a 6-4 win. Corinne Boyles started between the pipes for the Eagles, but Miller came in to relieve the senior halfway through the second period. Boyles let in three goals but was credited for her fourth win of the season.
On the other side of the ice, the Eagles benefited from a five-point performance from Skarupa. The forward notched her sixth goal of the season and the Eagles’ fifth score of the game, along with three assists. With the pair of wins over the Huskies, the Eagles extend their current unbeaten streak (5-0-2) to seven games.