Women’s Hockey Washes Away Warriors

By Sarah Olender and Mike Puzzanghera

NORTH ANDOVER, MA — On Friday night, Northeastern women’s hockey handled Merrimack easily, skating almost effortlessly to a 5–0 win backed by a Maureen Murphy hat trick. By all accounts, it was their most dominant game of the year.

Until today.

Backed by a three-point effort from Skylar Fontaine and a couple of firsts, the Huskies made quick work of the Merrimack Warriors in a 6–0 win at Lawler Rink.

“That was a full 60 minutes. We were working hard the whole time, we were possessing the puck very well,” Northeastern associate head coach Nick Carpenito said. “We did a great job keeping our heads and matching the intensity that Merrimack was bringing.”

Northeastern controlled from the start, even after Katy Knoll took a penalty four minutes in. In fact, that’s what gave them the lead. On the kill, Fontaine picked up a pass from Alina Mueller and found herself in acres of space. She ripped her shot by Merrimack goaltender Emma Gorski to give the Huskies a quick 1–0 lead. 

The Huskies were determined to widen their lead. Junior forward Emma Jurusik soon scored her first collegiate goal and first point. With a quick scrum in front of the net, Jurusik got her stick on the puck, took it back into open space, and fired a shot that the heavily screened Gorski stood no chance of saving.

Of the 11 goals Northeastern scored this weekend, this one sent the bench into the wildest frenzy.

“Jurusik is probably one of the best teammates that any of these players have ever had,” Carpenito said. “She’s always positive. She always works really hard. We always try to find an opportunity for her to play and the team loves her, the coaching staff loves her. When someone like her gets an opportunity to play and they’re rewarded for how they’re doing out there, it’s really special.”

All of this happened in the first eight minutes of the first period. Already, anyone watching knew this game was going to be eventful.

But things lulled down until the final minute of the first, when Mia Brown, coming off an injury that kept her out of the lineup for a few weeks, sniped the top corner from just above the right face-off dot, the area Carpenito referred to as “Mia’s office”.

After a couple of rough games, Northeastern’s power play is finally clicking, and they got another tally today. After an impressive play down low by Brown to win the puck, Mueller found Megan Carter between the circles. Carter, who normally isn’t that high up in the offensive zone, took her chance with glee, picking out the top corner with a bullet for her first tally of the year.

The third period started quietly. There were a few back-and-forth penalties, but nothing was brewing until Fontaine matched Northeastern’s goal total from yesterday by placing a rebound five-hole on Gorski during four-on-four play. Murphy picked up the primary helper on the goal, her fourth point of the weekend after Friday’s hat trick.

And then Husky Katie Cipra, who potted a beautiful NESN Top 10 goal earlier in the season, notched another picture-perfect snipe. She collected the puck near Northeastern netminder Gwyneth Philips, then wove up the ice, through Merrimack’s players, swooped around the goal, and fired from the left faceoff circle. She saw Merrimack’s positioning, chose to not take a wrap-around, backed into open space, took Gorski off her angle, and fired a more strategic shot. Cipra’s quick reaction helped the Huskies bring the score to 6–0. 

It seemed like Northeastern’s puzzle pieces were fitting together perfectly. New and old Huskies found the back of the net, passes connected, and nothing got past Philips.

“I thought we saw a quality Gwyneth Philips today,” Carpenito noted. “She was seeing the pucks really well, I thought she actually made a couple of big saves for us when Merrimack had a couple flurries on net. She’s an outstanding goaltender, very athletic, and we’re very fortunate to have her.”

If Merrimack had one saving grace, it was Gorski. She made many saves on rebounds, flinging herself from one post to the other. Other than that, the Huskies dominated the game and fought hard for the win.

The team’s next games will likely be announced in a few days. Check the “Schedule” tab on this website for updates on our coverage.

Murphy Tips Her Hat in Win Over Merrimack

Story by Catherine Morrison

Photos by Mike Puzzanghera

BOSTON — Northeastern women’s hockey’s Friday afternoon game against the Merrimack Warriors was destined to be epic. The Warriors were sitting dead last in Hockey East; meanwhile the Huskies were riding high as the fourth-ranked team in the country. They were also within spitting distance of the conference’s top spot, despite having played fewer games than their neighbors.

Bucking their recent tradition of using the first period to feel out their opponents, the Huskies started strong, dominating the puck and staying in front of Merrimack’s net. Warrior netminder Emma Gorski was put to work early, and it was only a matter of time before the Huskies made one. Just under ten minutes in, Katie Holmes started the scoring, capitalizing off a rebound and slamming the puck in to put the score at 1–0.

Not even one minute later Chloé Aurard dished to Maureen Murphy, who notched her second goal of the season.

Gorski held it down for the rest of the period, making some great saves as the bright spot on an otherwise dismal team. Merrimack tried to put as many bodies as they could in front of the net to block the Huskies, who outshot the Warriors fifteen to three in the opening 20 minutes. 

Gorski held her own in the beginning of the second, making some great glove saves against Molly Griffin and Brooke Hobson. Veronika Pettey looked like she was going to get the scoring going again when she dove in front of the net and shot, but Gorski couldn’t be bested. 

Merrimack looked like they were going to get their first real shot at scoring when Hosbon was called for slashing, giving Merrimack their first power play. However, Northeastern’s elite penalty kill put the pressure on the Warriors, giving Murphy the chance she needed to breakaway and score her second goal of the game shorthanded and unassisted. 

The rest of the period continued much the same, with Northeastern controlling the puck only to come up short against Gorski. The only blip happened when Merrimack’s Hannah Corneliusen made a great shot, but was blocked by the indomitable Aerin Frankel. It was Frankel’s third consecutive shutout, her sixth of the season, and her 25th as a Husky. After posting a 315-minute shutout streak last year, she’s working on a 200-minute one now.

The third period started with Murphy on the lookout for a hat trick in only her third game with Northeastern. Four minutes in, it looked like she was going to get her chance when Merrimack’s Kiki Roust was called for cross checking. Northeastern played aggressively, but couldn’t capitalize. It looked like Murphy’s hat trick aspirations were slipping away, but one second after the power play ended, she grabbed a rebound and slid the puck in for the team’s first hat trick of the season.

The fun didn’t stop there, when only four minutes later Katy Knoll broke away and skated circles around Merrimack in order to shoot the fifth goal of the game unassisted. 

Although Northeastern seemed hungry for a sixth goal, Merrimack dug their heels in to support Gorski and avoid a complete blowout, holding Northeastern scoreless for the rest of the game. The 5–0 win, the Huskies’ sixth in a row, moved them to 10–1–1 and pushed them above Boston College for the top spot in Hockey East. The Warriors remain mired in last place.

The teams will rematch tomorrow in North Andover, with puck drop coming at 3 PM Eastern. Mike Puzzanghera and Sarah Olender will be on the call for WRBB, with coverage commencing a few minutes before gametime.

2020–21 Women’s Hockey East Preview: Merrimack Warriors

Last season: 5–24–5 (2–20–5, 10th place conf.), missed tournament

Head Coach: Erin Hamlen (sixth season)

Preseason Poll Finish: Ninth

Losses: G Léa-Kristine Demers, D Lauren Mac Lean, F Mikyla Grant-Mentis, F Jessica Jacques, D Chloe Cook, F Kate Bukolska

Additions: D Natalie Nemes, D Grace Karunakar, D Bree Bergeron, F Ally Qualley, F Reagan Minor, D Raice Szott, F Carly Glover, F Hannah Corneliusen, G Aries Mustoe

By Catherine Morrison

Merrimack is a young program, entering just its sixth season in the NCAA. The Warriors are looking to find their identity after an atrocious 2019–20 campaign in which they won two conference games (five overall) and sank to the bottom of the conference standings. The Warriors’ only wins came over Maine and Connecticut, and they scored just one goal in three games against Northeastern.

Senior Megan Fergusson was named as team captain along with seniors Courtney Maud and Dominika Laskova as assistants. Fergusson was assistant captain last year and will need this experience to lead a young team with eight freshmen. However, it’s not a good sign when your team captain only scored two goals in the previous season.

Merrimack hopes to energize its team with nine new players, including Hannah Corneliusen — who led all high school players in Minnesota with 50 goals and 75 points last season — and Alaska All Stars forward Carly Glover. Sophomore Emma Gorski will have to compete with newcomer freshman Aries Mustoe to start in goal. Gorski played in nine games last season and made a season-high 47 saves against Northeastern. 

Bottom Line: The Warriors will look to improve on a dismal season by winning a few more games, but even in a best-case scenario it’s hard to see them jumping up more than one slot in the standings.