Story by Sam Kirshman
BOSTON – Goaltending was the name of the game as the Huskies (2-1-0) lost a tough one to Boston University 2-1. The teams tallied 62 shots between themselves but only amassed a total of 3 goals. Penalties haunted the Huskies and led to both BU goals. Both defenses were strong but the Terriers came out on top.
The game started off slow, with lots of transitional play and turnovers, but the Huskies were eventually able to find a home in the offensive zone. That wouldn’t matter however, despite launching 17 shots, they couldn’t find the back of the net. BU goaltender Kate Stuart was excellent in the first, but the better goaltender actually belonged to the Huskies. Gwyneth Philips shined throughout the first, starting off shaky but quickly finding her footing, controlling her rebounds and flashing her glove. As a result of their physical and aggressive defense, Northeastern took two penalties towards the end of the period, which was the beginning of a long night for them in the penalty box. Philips continued to put in the effort which resulted in the period ending 0-0 despite the high shot total.
“We gave [Philips] the start,” said Head Coach Dave Flint. “I thought she stepped up, did well.”
The second period started off with some excellent defense by Northeastern, as they killed off a five on three. Their physical defense continued to get them in trouble though. They took more penalties toward the middle of the period, and this time, the five on three was too much. The Terriers scored a goal around an excellent screen, with Julia Shaunessy putting it home. There was nothing Philips could do – the Huskies just needed to cut down on the penalties.
“We’re taking too many penalties, we’ve got to stay out of the box,” remarked Head Coach Dave Flint. “Our penalty kill wasn’t great tonight, they had two powerplay goals.”
The Terriers knew going into the third that all they had to do was protect the back of the net. They came in with a solid defensive strategy, playing keepaway for the final ten minutes of the period. They let Northeastern keep the puck in the offensive zone, but keenly did not allow any really dangerous passes into the middle of the ice. Stuart shined, stopping all 24 shots that she faced in the final 20 minutes. It came down to the final 1:27, when the Huskies pulled Philips for the extra attacker, allowing them to try a six on five offensive opportunity. Unfortunately, they simply could not connect any key passes, and couldn’t put a dangerous shot on net. The game ended 2-1, with Stuart and Philips ending with 35 and 24 saves respectively.
This loss is not the end-all-be-all for Northeastern. It’s still very early in the season, and this is a Northeastern team that knows it is among the best in the country. They have the talent to be just as good, if not better, than they were last year. There is no reason for them to not come out of the game swinging against Providence Saturday night.