By Emma Sullivan
PRINCETON, NJ – The Huskies unbeaten streak was extended to 12 games after a 2-0 shutout over the Princeton University Tigers Friday afternoon. For the first time in over 10 years, the Huskies found themselves in Hobey Baker Memorial Rink playing against the Tigers. Northeastern’s defense once again shined, backstopped by another brilliant performance from goaltender Aerin Frankel.
The Huskies didn’t let Thanksgiving slow down their momentum, as they came out strong to start the game. Pressure remained firmly on the Huskies side throughout the first period, as they managed to generate nearly 30 shots, including 14 on goal. That offensive dominance continued throughout the rest of the game, with the Huskies ending with 40 shots on goal compared to the Tigers’ 22.
Just over 15 minutes in, the Huskies got their first of four chances on the power play thanks to a tripping call on Tigers forward Danielle Calabrese. However Princeton was able to keep the game scoreless thanks to a strong performance from Tigers goaltender Rachel McQuigge who made all 14 saves by the end of the period. The Tigers were able to get a few looks themselves, but Frankel also stood strong in the opening period and the two teams went into the first intermission tied at zero.
Mia Brown got the scoring started for the Huskies with her second goal of the season at 8:30 into the second period. A strong shot from the faceoff dot was able to sneak past McQuigge to put Northeastern up 1-0, assisted by forward Tessa Ward, who added her fifth helper of the year on the play, and defender Lily Yovetich with her second assist of the year.
Northeastern continued to maintain strong control of the puck throughout the rest of the second period save for a handful of chances off of sustained pressure from Princeton towards the end of the frame. The Huskies did get another power play off of a hooking call on Princeton’s defender Dominique Cormier, however they were unable to convert. The two teams went into the locker room with Northeastern holding on to the one goal lead.
The third continued much as the previous two periods had played out. High sticking was called on Annie Kuehl less than two minutes into the final period after Kuehl caught Meghan Carter high just behind the Huskies net. Maddie Mills was able to capitalize on this advantage and knock one home from the doorstep to put the Huskies up by two. It was Mills’ seventh of the season and her third on the power play. Alina Mueller and Skyler Fontaine with the assists.
Just twenty seconds later, the Tigers (and Kuehl in particular) took another high sticking penalty, and the Huskies went right back onto the power play. There was more pressure on this kill from the Tigers than on the last three, including a few shots making it in front of Frankel’s net but the Huskies goaltender was able to keep the puck out.
The rest of the game seemed to be a little rocky for the Huskies, with two penalties taken and sustained pressure from the Tigers. Princeton got their first power play of the game after Ward tripped up Shannon Griffin as the Tiger forward was cutting towards the net. Frankel continued to stand strong in net even after some continued pressure from the Princeton power play. The advantage came to an end without a goal for the Tigers.
Princeton was able to get another power play thanks to a Peyton Anderson tripping call with just over seven minutes left in the game. Mills got a breakaway while on the penalty kill but was denied a shooting opportunity. The Huskies penalty kill remained dominant for another game, and the Tigers were unable to convert on the advantage. Frankel did have to make some brilliant saves to keep the score 2-0.
The game came to an end after a few more chances from either side, however the defense from both teams were able to keep the puck from crossing the goal line again. The shutout for Northeastern was their seventh of the season and their 13th win overall.
“I thought the first two periods we played really well,” head coach Dave Flint said after the game. “I thought in the third period we went back on our heels a little bit. Credit to them, they just kept coming at us.”
Flint added, “Aerin Frankel made some great saves there in the third to keep it 2-0 and to secure the win.”
Coach Flint did note that getting pucks on net isn’t the Huskies problem, but that they needed to “bear down on our chances a bit more,” but that he was overall pleased that the Huskies are “generating so many chances.”
The Huskies and Tigers are right back at it tomorrow in Hobey Baker Memorial Rink at 3 p.m.