After the pandemic robbed Northeastern of a promising run in the NCAA Tournament, this season is set to be quite the revenge tour for the Huskies. Luckily, the key parts of last year’s success are returning, with the Huskies losing only three seniors to graduation. The high-flying offense is set to make a return as Alina Mueller, one of the nation’s top scorers, and her linemate Chloé Aurard both head into their junior years.
Most exciting for the Huskies is the addition of Providence transfer forward Maureen Murphy. Murphy is looking to return to the ice after her 2019–20 season was cut short due to injury. She notched 22 goals and 21 assists during her sophomore campaign with the Friars, and even managed seven goals in 11 games before her injury last year. Murphy will likely be replacing Jess Schryver on the top line of forwards, and will add another scoring threat to an already deadly group.
The loss of the Class of 2020 is not small, however. The graduating seniors left Matthews Arena as the winningest class in program history, and for good reason. Two-way center Matti Hartman was a true 200-foot player, while defenders Paige Capistran and Codie Cross were cornerstones of the Huskies’ blue line. While their leadership will be missed, the addition of freshmen forwards like Molly Griffin and defenders Lily Yovetich and Abbey Marohn should serve to fill the gaps.
Between the pipes returns Aerin Frankel, who boasted an NCAA-leading .956 save percentage and a strong 1.07 goals against average. Frankel was also a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, joining her teammate Alina Mueller in that recognition.
Skylar Fontaine, the reigning Hockey East Defenseman of the Year, returns to her throne at the top of the Huskies defense for her senior season.
Bottom Line: The Huskies do not need to improve on much from last season, but they will anyways under the leadership of Dave Flint. The addition of Maureen Murphy makes them arguably the most talented offense in the nation, and Aerin Frankel is a top-two college goalie. The only area of slight concern is the defense without captain Paige Capistran, but there is more than enough talent on this team to overcome that challenge. The rest of the NCAA had better look out; the beast of Huntington Avenue is ready to finish what the pandemic cut short last season.
MA — There was a theme for the 2020 Hockey East Championship, a theme the Northeastern
Huskies hammered home forcefully and often: goals, goals, and more goals. That
theme propelled the Northeastern Huskies to an unforgettable 9–1 victory over
UConn and their third consecutive Hockey East Championship.
began the day with 149 goals on the season, and they decided to add to that in
a big way. The Northeastern Huskies played the Huskies of UConn, a team they
had beaten three times during the regular season by a combined score of 10–2.
By the time Sunday’s game wrapped up, Northeastern had doubled that margin.
Northeastern came out firing early and often, applying heavy pressure on the UConn defense and tallying several opportunities in the first five minutes. Junior defenseman Skylar Fontaine gave Northeastern its first goal of the day as she finished off a brilliant feed from forward Alina Mueller. Including the two quarterfinal games against Vermont, the semifinal against Maine, and her goal on Sunday, Fontaine had scored or assisted on the Huskies’ last eight goals.
Northeastern doubled its lead soon after, as Jess Schryver finished off an excellent pass from Chloé Aurard for a 2–0 lead. The goal was initially called back for interference, but replay confirmed the score.
lone goal came just two minutes later, as an awkward bounce off the boards put
goalie Aerin Frankel in a difficult position and allowed UConn forward
Catherine Crawley to put the puck in the back of the net.
That’s when Northeastern really decided to take things seriously.
Huskies stayed aggressive for the rest of the game, tallying minutes upon
minutes of offensive zone time with exquisite puck movement that made it seem
like they had eyes in the back of their heads. Mueller triggered the avalanche
with a minute to play in the first period, fielding a pass in the high slot and
firing an impeccably placed rocket into the bottom left corner.
The second period was easily the
lowest-scoring, but its lone goal was easily the most impressive of the night.
Just one minute in, Matti Hartman was skating away from the goal near the right
dot when a quick pass flew behind her. Without looking at the goal, Hartman subtly
flipped her stick behind her back and poked it through traffic for the Huskies’
fourth score. It’s difficult to tell from looking at her reaction whether or
not she was trying to score, but the result was gorgeous either way.
Hartman’s fellow captains Capistran and Brooke Hobson logged assists on the play. After the game, Hartman remarked that three had been waiting for a such a goal for some time, and that they finally got their chance.
period was a nonstop Northeastern tidal wave, with goals from Chloé Aurard and
Katie Cipra coming in the first 40 seconds.
end of the period Jess Schryver, Codie Cross, and Peyton Anderson had joined
the party, yielding the 9–1 final score that set records for goals and scoring
margin in a Hockey East Championship. Eight different Northeastern skaters punched
home a goal, with Schryver the only double-dipper among them.
“I had confidence in the team, seeing how relaxed they were before the game,” coach Dave Flint said. “I felt good about them going out and taking care of business.”
spoke on the team’s recent results, noting “with the recent success, it’s
important to remember where you came from. Freshman year was tough and so was
sophomore year. We were about .500 that year, and we’ve tried to remember that
struggle going into games like this.”
took home Tournament MVP for her efforts throughout the Hockey East Tournament,
including a one-goal, three-assist performance in the championship. Mueller now
has 66 points on the year as the leader one of the most formidable attacks in
college hockey. Aurard matched Mueller’s performance with four points of her
own in the championship game.
coach Dave Flint praised the entire first line, noting that they played like a
“buzz saw” for the entirety of the contest. Flint also reflected on his time at
Northeastern after the game, explaining that he has learned to focus on the
players in the locker room rather just look ahead to victories and bring in
recruits. Flint emphasized the impact former Husky Kendall Coyne had on the
locker room during her junior year and says that competitive mindset has been
maintained during the past several years.
Aerin Frankel took home goalie of the tournament, although she didn’t have much to do in this game. Northeastern’s defense stepped up on the biggest stage, forcing UConn into several turnovers throughout the game and preventing the bad Huskies from having significant offensive zone time.
Flint briefly discussed the future after the game, stating, “You can get up there and you can achieve excellence, but how are you gonna sustain it? That’s the challenge for us now looking ahead to the [NCAA] tournament.”
will likely play Princeton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament next
weekend, though specific details will be announced later. WRBB will have the
call for that quarterfinal matchup.
In the midst of one of the
greatest season in programs history, nine players on the No. 4 Northeastern women’s
hockey team and head coach Dave Flint were honored with a slew of awards for
the 2019–20 campaign, the conference announced this week.
Freshmen Megan Carter and
Katy Knoll, sophomores Alina Mueller and Chloe Aurard, juniors Skylar Fontaine
and Aerin Frankel, seniors Matti Hartman and Paige Capistran, and head coach
Flint were all recipients of various conference awards, as voted on by the league’s
10 head coaches.
Headlining the honors were
Mueller and Flint, who took home two of the most prestigious awards on Friday.
Mueller was unanimously
selected the Cammi Granato Award winner as the Player of the Year in Hockey
East. With 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points
in Hockey East play, Mueller led the conference in scoring by a wide margin; the
next closest player (teammate Chloe Aurard) was 10 points behind. Mueller led
the conference in both points and assists as well, in addition to her nine
game-winning goals and three shorthanded goals. If ever there was a time for a
unanimous selection, Mueller’s season fits the bill.
also earned a pair of statistical awards during her otherworldly regular
season. The sophomore was named both the league’s Scoring Champion and the PNC
Bank Three Stars Award winner.
every Hockey East contest, the Three Stars of the game are announced. The Three
Stars Award is given to the player that accumulates the most “points” based on
these recognitions, with first being worth the most points and third the least.
Mueller was named the first and second star four times apiece and the third star
on a trio of occasions, earning her the overall award.
second year in a row, Flint was voted as the Coach of Year. Northeastern’s
helmsman led the Huskies to a program-record 24 conference wins and their
second consecutive regular season title. Flint’s never-too-high, never-too-low
mentality has been a staple of his teams’ success over the years and helped the
Huskies to new heights this year.
Aurard, Fontaine (unanimous), and Frankel were each named First-Team All-Stars
and collectively comprised two-thirds of the team’s selections.
Second only to her linemate Mueller, Aurard racked up 34 points on 15 goals and 19 assists in Hockey East play. Individually, her goal and assist tallies rank third and second in the conference. Aurard was the only player in Hockey East to record two hat tricks, and she matched Mueller’s three shorthanded goals. Talk about a lethal duo on that top line.
Northeastern’s star blueliner, led Hockey East defensemen in myriad categories,
including goals (13), assists (21), points (34), rating (+42) and shots on goal
(155). Fontaine was a vital contributor to Northeastern’s elite offense and
defense, often her blinding speed and smooth stickhandling to initiate attacks and
Fontaine was also honored with the Best Defenseman Award. She is the first Northeastern player to win the award since its inception ten years ago.
Stalwart as ever in net, Frankel compiled one of the best seasons in Hockey East history. Her .967 save percentage is the highest mark in conference history, while her .84 goals against average ranks third. Frankel also led the conference with nine shutouts, as well as wins and win percentage (.864) with a 19–3–0 record in Hockey East play. A top-10 Patty Kazmaier candidate, Frankel consistently gives the Huskies a chance to win every game. The junior netminder was also named Goaltender of the Year for the second straight season.
Carter and Knoll, the most
prominent members of the Huskies’ standout freshman class, were both named to
the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team.
Carter was a pivotal part of the conference-best Northeastern defense, her size and physicality perfectly complementing Fontaine’s speed and shiftiness. The blueliner led Hockey East freshmen with 41 blocked shots in the regular season, while chipping in two goals and nine assists.
Knoll made an immediate offensive impact for the Huskies. The Amherst, New York native oscillated between the first and second forward lines for most of the season, earning two Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Month nods (November, December) and a WCHA National Rookie of the Month award as she led Northeastern freshmen in scoring with 10 goals and 16 assists (26 points). Those numbers were good for fourth, second, and third among Hockey East first-years.
Matti Hartman, the Huskies’ second-line center, was named the conference’s Best Defensive Forward. Hartman excelled on the forecheck, pinning opposing teams in their own zone and regaining possession for the Huskies by forcing turnovers. When opponents actually made it down to the Northeastern end, her excellent positioning clogged passing lanes and disrupted attacks. Hartman is the third Husky to earn the honor, joining alumnae Casey Pickett and Hayley Scamurra.
Capistran is the first-ever Northeastern recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.
Voted by her teammates as captain for the first time in her final campaign,
Capistran has been a Husky mainstay over the past four years and always
exemplified leadership qualities on and off the ice.
A quick anecdote about Capistran to cap things off, as it’s one of my favorite stories and really illustrates what she’s meant to the program. In the waning seconds of regulation in last year’s Hockey East Championship, all hell broke loose. A waved-off empty netter, a thrown notebook, and a late Boston College faceoff goal to force overtime left the Huskies reeling as they headed back to their locker room to regroup.
Was it captain Brittany Bugalski that settled things down and rallied the troops? One of the assistant captains, maybe? According to Kasidy Anderson, it was actually Capistran, who up to that point was known by the media as more of a quiet presence than an outspoken leader. Anderson recalled that Capistran reminded everyone to forget about the chaos that had just happened, even though it “sucked,” and focus on the task ahead. It would have been easy to blame officials or lament bad luck, but the now-captain displayed true sportsmanship, shrugging it all off and getting her team back on track as they went on to claim the trophy.
Huskies will look to return to the championship again this weekend, starting
with their semifinal matchup against Maine at 12 p.m. today. WRBB will provide
written coverage of the game.
BOSTON — Coming off of a 3–0 win
against the Merrimack Warriors Friday night, the Northeastern Huskies were
still feeding off of that energy.
Northeastern’s three seniors were honored before their last regular-season home game. Codie Cross, from Alberta, Canada, Paige Capistran, from Manchester, New Hampshire, and Matti Hartman, from Etna, New Hampshire, were all recognized for their contributions to the program.
Cross played a shift in the first period, but an ongoing lower-body injury kept her from playing heavy minutes. Capistran and Hartman both played their hearts out, as did many other Huskies.
great leaders on and off the ice and really nice people, and I think they’ve
done a lot for this program,” junior goaltender Aerin Frankel said. “Our
culture has grown a lot, and it started with them as freshman learning from
their seniors and they’ve done a really good job carrying that out to this
Even though the Huskies’ position in
Hockey East was determined more than three weeks ago, head coach Dave Flint
still wanted to finish the year strong.
get more passionate, I think, on senior weekend,” he said. “Even though it was
a long time ago for me, I remember what it was like . . . so I always want the
seniors to go out on a winning note.”
The energy that Flint
wanted was evident throughout the first period and most of the game. The Huskies
started strong, maintaining possession for most of the period.
With nine minutes
center Tessa Ward received a penalty for cross-checking. While most teams might
be nervous when down a player, the Huskies seem to gain confidence. Only eight
percent of the team’s penalty kills have ended in goals, compared with the
Huskies’ 15 percent success rate on the power play.
This penalty kill was no
different. Alina Mueller fired a shot into the back of the net for her
third shorthanded goal this season.
The Huskies notched a second goal when
Miceala Sindoris’ slick puck handling and blocked wrister led to a loose puck
in the slot. Brooke Hobson was trailing the play and positioned herself
perfectly to slap it home.
In the second period Merrimack increased their intensity and energy. They had many attempts on goal, but none passed through Frankel. The Husky goalie fired her team up near the end of the second period when she made an initial save, saw the puck was open and vulnerable behind her, dove backward to make a second save, and perfectly cleared the puck to Katy Knoll. Knoll found Tessa Ward, who carried the puck up the ice, wrapped around the net, and perfectly fed Mia Brown for the third and final goal of the game.
The third period was a slow
and scoreless one for the Huskies. While they maintained possession for most of
the period, they did not get as many shots on goal as they would have liked.
Near the end of the game, a
Tessa Ward checking penalty and a Chloe Aurard slashing call brought the fierce
penalty kill squad back out onto the ice. It was fitting that the successful penalty kills would seal
an illustrious defensive record — when the clock showed zeros, Aerin Frankel
had recorded her 10th shutout of the year, breaking Erika Silva’s
20-year-old school record. Frankel also equaled Chanda Gunn’s 19-year-old
record of 23 wins.
“It’s a cool thing to know, but it’s not super important to me personally,” Frankel said. “It’s more important to me that we keep winning.”
The Huskies (28–4–2, 24–3–0 WHEA) kick off the Hockey East Tournament this week with a best-of-three quarterfinal series against the Vermont Catamounts. Tune in for WRBB’s coverage from Matthews Arena, with the first game starting at 1 PM EST on Thursday.
need to be focused, we need to be ready,” Flint said. “It’s playoffs, anything
The No. 3 Northeastern
women’s hockey team opened Hockey East play on Friday night with a matchup
against the Maine Black Bears in Orono, Maine. Continuing their impressive
undefeated start to the 2019–20 campaign, the Huskies rolled over the Black
Bears with a convincing 6–1 victory at Harold Alfond Sports Arena.
As has become customary
this season, the Huskies (4–0–0, 1–0–0 HE) used a first-period flurry to claim
an early advantage. Freshman Jess Schryver opened her collegiate account just
over halfway through the period to give the Huskies a 1–0 lead, and senior
Matti Hartman doubled that lead 13 seconds later. Sophomore Chloe Aurard made
it three a couple minutes after that. This is the third time already this
season that head coach Dave Flint’s squad has scored at least three goals in
the first period. Not too shabby.
That dominance continued
into the second period, when the game was well and truly put out of Maine’s reach.
Sophomore Mia Brown, who scored a last-minute, game-winning goal against
Syracuse the weekend before, forced a turnover in the Maine zone, got the puck
back, and rifled it into the top-right corner of the net. 4–0 Northeastern.
Sophomore phenom Alina
Mueller, already with two assists on the night, decided she might as well get
in on the scoring with 8:05 left in the period. She chased Maine goaltender
Loryn Porter from the game with a five-hole goal. 5–0 Northeastern.
Taking advantage of a power
play partway through the final period, Mueller added her second goal of the
night on a breakaway to conclude the Huskies’ scoring on the night. Maine got
one back when Tereza Vanisova got behind the Northeastern defense and fooled goaltender
Aerin Frankel with a slick deke, but it too little, too late for the Black
Bears (2–2–1, 0–1–0 HE). The game ended at 6-1.
What more can you say about
Mueller at this point? Through four games, the reigning Hockey East Player of
the Week has netted three four-point games. Kendall Coyne, the only Northeastern
player to win the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best player in women’s college
hockey, had just eight points through four games the season she won the award.
If she continues this elite level of play, Mueller — who was a top-10 candidate
last year — will be in the conversation at season’s end.
Also impressing were
Aurard, who tallied two assists and a goal, and senior captain Paige Capistran,
who notched two assists of her own. Aurard now has seven points on three goals
and four assists, second on the team behind Mueller in each category.
Frankel was stellar in net
once again, saving 24 of 25 shots. The Huskies’ chief netminder now has a
staggering .944 save percentage on the season to go along with a 1.28 GAA.
Northeastern will make the
trek back to Boston for Sunday’s home opener against New Hampshire (3–1–2,
2–0–1 HE). Two updated banners recognizing the team’s Hockey East regular
season and playoff titles will be raised to the rafters. Puck drop is scheduled
for 3 PM at Matthews Arena.