For the first time in a decade, Northeastern played a series against the Princeton University Tigers. They cruised to an easy win on Friday, shutting out the Tigers 2-0 but faced a little bit more adversity on Saturday. Ultimately, however, Northeastern prevailed, winning 3-1 in an absolutely bonkers game that took everything the Huskies had.
The first period was tense, with a constant battle for possession of the puck by both sides. Princeton, the No. 10 team in the nation, was able to match Northeastern’s speed, something that most teams are unable to do. Because of this, Northeastern wasn’t able to break away in their normal fashion and instead had to fight with the Tigers every step of the way, ending the first with no goals on the boards.
The second period continued much the same as the first, until just over halfway through the momentum changed when the Huskies got their first power play of the game after Princeton was called on cross checking. Northeastern has dominated on the power play all season, and Alina Mueller was ready. She bounced on into the goal for Northeastern’s first of the game, but it ended up being ruled a no goal due to goalie interference. Mueller, undeterred and fired up, went out back on the ice and immediately scored again to rightfully claim her place on the scoreboard and get the lead for Northeastern.
Princeton wasn’t about to be shut out again, however, and came back with a goal of their own by Maggie Connors, skated down the wall and shot almost directly level with the net, somehow mankind it in at an almost impossible to tie the game with 40 seconds left in the second.
Northeastern, perhaps still stinging from the no goal and hungry for the ranking points, came back with a goal of their own just two seconds left in the second when Peyton Anderson sniped the puck just outside the faceoff circle to get the lead back for the Huskies.
Princeton and Northeastern went toe-to-toe in the third, with Princeton matching the Huskies every step of the way, desperate to keep the deficit to one goal. Both NU’s goaltender Aerin Frankel and Princeton’s Rachel McQuigge saved shot after shot. After almost 10 minutes of a stalemate, Skylar Fontaine, one of the best defenders in the country, made a huge slap shot from just in front of the blue line, sending the puck sailing into the net and giving Northeastern an insurance point.
Princeton’s best opportunity to score came a few minutes later when Gillian Foote was sent to the penalty box for cross checking, making Northeastern a man down against a team that was hungry to prove itself. With Chloe Aurard gone, the Huskies were in a tight spot. Their penalty kill looked a little shaky, with Princeton dominating the offense and getting a ton of shots in, but the Huskies held strong and killed the penalty.
With two minutes left in the game, Princeton made the risky choice to pull McQuigge from the net to give them an extra defenseman on the ice. It seemed like the decision was working out for the Tigers as they had almost total control over the puck, spending the majority of the last minutes of the game in their offensive zone, but it wasn’t enough against the Huskies strong offense and Northeastern own 3-1, extending their winning streak to 13 games a win over a tough opponent.
The Huskies look to play Cornell on Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. at Matthews Arena. Catherine Morrison (that’s me!), Emma Sullivan, and Matty Wasserman will be on the call.