Last season, BC women's hockey faced St. Lawrence in their second weekend. Up at Appleton Arena in Canton, NY, the Saints handed BC an early season tie.
It would be the only blemish on the Eagles' record until February.
A year later, St. Lawrence rolled up to Conte Forum in week two hoping to once again knock the Eagles down a peg. But BC would have none of it as they took care of business, dominating St. Lawrence 7-3 on Monday to complete a weekend sweep of the Saints.
Despite the similar score, Monday featured a much-improved Eagle offense, led by Patty Kazmaier Award winner Alex Carpenter.
Boston College Goal #1: 2:32 of the 1st period
Alex Carpenter (Grace Bizal, Makenna Newkirk)
BC 1, SLU 0
BC wasted no time in dominating the Saints up and down the ice. Just over two minutes into the game, Bizal spotted a lane through the traffic all the way through to Carpenter on the doorstep. She finessed the pass on through and Carpenter has an easy time getting a top on the puck to deflect it past SLU goalie Grace Harrison.
Boston College Goal #2: 5:33 of the 1st period
Makenna Newkirk (Alex Carpenter, Kenzie Kent)
BC 2, SLU 0
Get cozy because it's going to be a steady stream of Alex Carpenter in this post.
This time it's Carpenter setting up the play. Unbelievably, from blue line to faceoff dot she's able to turn on the afterburners and get past #7 Alex Moore entirely. But aside from that speed, the other thing she has going for her is that she's Alex Carpenter.
All four Saints on defense are panicking realizing who has the puck. Nobody notices Newkirk on the back door going in on net. Well, that is, other than #3 Nadine Edney, who tries to tell #26 Brooke Webster not to abandon her man...but Webster pays her no heed, and Newkirk has an easy tap-in goal for the first non-empty net goal of her career.
Boston College Goal #3: 15:59 of the 1st period
Meghan Grieves (Tori Sullivan, Lexi Bender)
BC 3, SLU 0
Not too many cheap ones for the Eagles this afternoon. Meghan Grieves turns in the goal of the night on the back end of this one-timer from Tori Sullivan.
Grieves is the most underrated player on the roster and has tremendous speed. She's played on the fourth line—or worse—for much of her career and looks primed to a patented Jerry-York-style senior explosion. Bumped up to one of the top lines early this year, she's been turning in some of the team's best shifts.
She uses her speed on this play to stay plenty clear of the trailing defender to keep BC with a 2 on one deep into the offensive zone. Tori Sullivan gets the defender to go down but delays just a little extra until she really starts to lose her balance, finally feeding across a well-targeted pass across the slot that Grieves doesn't miss.
St. Lawrence Goal #1: 2:20 of the 2nd period
Kailee Heidersbach (Lydia Grauer)
BC 3, SLU 1
Sophomore Gabri Switaj got the start in net to give starter Katie Burt an early season break, and she seemed to have a tough time with the long stretches without action. BC outshot SLU 47-12 in the game and the few chances SLU had weren't particularly threatening. This goal for St. Lawrence is a harmless shot that Switaj can't quite corral and it drops back into her crease where Heidersbach cleans up the garbage to put SLU on the board.
But Captain America responded to keep things from getting too stressful.
Boston College Goal #4 (PPG, GWG): 5:17 of the 2nd period
Alex Carpenter (Haley Skarupa, Kali Flanagan)
BC 4, SLU 1
More Carpenter on the finish, this time on the power play. The Eagles continue to improve on last season's struggles on the man advantage, climbing up to 5th in the country in PP% on Monday's 1 for 3 effort. The key for the Eagles has been a change in philosophy that thus far has appeared to pay dividends.
That change of philosophy is on display on this goal—BC wastes no more time than is necessary along the perimeter before sending the puck in on net.
Last season, BC would set up a maddening passing display along the blue line that was too far from the net to get the defense to move out of position. The Eagles have taken to a strategy of moving the puck quickly to open up a lane, get the puck on net, and either look for a deflection or try and clean up a rebound.
It works to perfection this time. Skarupa and Carpenter both manage to get a stick on the puck, deflecting it past Harrison and putting the Eagles back up by 3.
Boston College Goal #5 (Hat Trick): 4:41 of the 3rd period
Alex Carpenter (Makenna Newkirk)
BC 5, SLU 1
As good as Carpenter is on a regular basis, she was really on another level on Sunday. She contributes to a prolonged battle along the boards that the Eagles win toward the back of the net. Carpenter sneaks onto the goalie's doorstep just as Newkirk gains possession behind the net, and another well-placed pass gives Carpenter an easy one-timer goal to complete the hat trick.
Boston College Goal #6: 6:54 of the 3rd period
Tori Sullivan (Andie Anastos, Kali Flanagan)
BC 6, SLU 1
Not good for St. Lawrence here—this is a pair of defensive zone turnovers for the Saints that BC capitalizes on.
First a blown opportunity to clear the puck finds the stick of Kali Flanagan who sends the puck toward net. She doesn't get all of it, and it's gathered in by #20 Kayla Nielsen. Nielsen makes an ill-advised decision to turn toward the net to start skating the puck out, and Andie Anastos just has none of it, immediately lifting the stick and taking possession right in front of the net. Harrison sells out for the save and Anastos drops the puck back to Sullivan who rifles the puck in to make SLU pay for their mistake.
St. Lawrence Goal #2: 13:28 of the 3rd period
Kennedy Marchment (Hannah Miller, Lydia Grauer)
BC 6, SLU 2
Remember earlier when we talked about Switaj having a rough time staying sharp between SLU chances? This is a really tough one for Switaj to give up. Marchment doesn't even really shoot the puck so much as she throws it on net and Switaj just doesn't corral it. It slips through her to close the gap by 1.
St. Lawrence Goal #3: 15:20 of the 3rd period
Kayla Nielsen (Justine Reyes)
BC 6, SLU 3
Let's just get it out there right off the bat: you can't pin the blame squarely on Switaj for this goal because of the very bad turnover at the blueline on the pass out from Miano, typically the team's best lockdown defenseman. But at the same time, this has to be a puck that Switaj stops. It's a low line drive with no one screening her, from above the faceoff circles. It was in garbage time in an early season game so it's hard to get too upset about it, but hopefully Switaj can tighten things up for her future relief appearances for Burt.
Boston College Goal #7 (ENG): 17:46 of the 3rd period
Megan Keller (Haley Skarupa, Kristyn Capizzano)
BC 7, SLU 3 -- FINAL
#Keller4Kicker as she puts the finishing touches on the win with the extra point in garbage time.
This was an encouraging win for a BC team that has looked a bit uncoordinated over the first couple of weekends. Despite playing halfway decent opponents (Minnesota-Duluth of the WCHA and St. Lawrence of the ECAC), the 3-0-0 record going into Sunday's game felt a bit hollow. But the Eagles can go into conference play next weekend against Maine and UNH with some momentum from a strong showing against the Saints.