Story by Emma Sullivan
Photo by Sarah Olender
BOSTON – After falling short to the Boston University Terriers in October, the Northeastern University Huskies bounced back in this matchup with a 3-1 performance at Walter Brown Arena for their 19th win of the season. Outshooting the Terriers 47 to 18, the Huskies took advantage of a team that hadn’t played in almost two weeks to stretch their unbeaten streak to 17-0-1.
Both teams were affected by COVID-19 coming into the weekend. Northeastern was originally scheduled to play a home-and-home series against the University of New Hampshire but that was canceled due to protocol issues impacting the Wildcats. BU was scheduled for a series against the University of Maine but that series also suffered a cancellation due to COVID-19. The Terriers themselves were undermanned coming into today only being able to dress 10 forwards (replacing the empty spots with two extra defensemen) and one goaltender for the game. Huskies’ head coach Dave Flint was also unavailable due to protocols, with associate coach Nick Carpenito taking control behind the bench for Northeastern.
Regardless of the issues plaguing both programs, there was a desire to play leading to the game being moved from it’s scheduled day of next Saturday, Jan. 22. The Terriers had not been able to play since their loss to Penn State Jan. 2 due to cancellations, and even with the amount of players unavailable, the team wanted to play this game against one of their biggest rivals.
“We’ve been waiting a while to play this game,” Terriers forward Lacey Martin said during an interview after the first period. “I think the energy coming into this game has been 10 times higher than it normally is.”
Both teams started the game out strong, trading possession of the puck back and forth and getting a few shots each towards the other’s goal. Huskies forward Tessa Ward headed to the box with 12:10 left in the first after a hooking call. The Terriers applied a lot of pressure on the ensuing power play with five shots on goal, but the Huskies penalty kill stayed strong, killing off the advantage.
Forward Chloé Aurard picked up right where she left off last weekend for Northeastern (where she had six points in two games) with her 13th goal of the season just as the penalty kill was coming to a close at 10:04 remaining in the first. Aurard cut off a pass intended for Martin in the middle of the neutral zone and took it right back into the Terriers’ zone before putting it past goaltender Kate Stuart. There were no assists on the play for Northeastern.
Martin however would answer later in the period with her own goal. A scramble in front of the net left two players on the ice directly in front of Huskies’ netminder Aerin Frankel, and Martin wasted no time taking advantage of the distraction. Martin rifled a shot from above the faceoff dots that sailed past Frankel to tie the game at one with 4:16 left in the period. It was Martin’s second goal of the season with assists coming from defenseman Julia Shaunessy and forward Catherine Foulem who picked up their sixth and fourth assists on the season respectively.
The Huskies would get their own shot at the power play before the period ended after Terrier defenseman Alex Allan was called for interference with 3:34 left. The Huskies power play, which has been outstanding all season, was held scoreless even after some good looks from the Huskies. The period came to an end soon after with the teams tied at one.
“I felt in the first period BU came at us really hard, which we know we’re always going to expect against them,” Carpenito said of his team after the win. “It might have caught us off guard a little bit but after the first period I felt like we really turned it on.”
The second period started out better for the Terriers who had more chances than the Huskies were able to get on goal. That however soon changed as Northeastern’s power play would get another shot after Shaunnessey was called for body checking with 15:35 left in the second. The Huskies had eight shots on goal on the power play including forward Mia Brown’s which went sailing past Stuart to give the Huskies the 2-1 lead. Brown and forward Andrea Renner were able to take advantage of a turnover and connect in the offensive zone for the goal. It was Brown’s fourth goal and Renner’s second assist of the year.
Two minutes later with 11:29 left in the period, Northeastern forward Maddie Mills received a call for tripping to put the Terriers on the advantage for the first time in the period. BU would have one strong shot on the power play but were unable to get past Frankel again. Less than a minute after the Terriers’ power play ended, the Huskies went back on their own man advantage with forward Courtney Correia receiving a body checking penalty. That too was killed off by BU.
Brown would be called for a tripping penalty against the Huskies before the period came to a close. Both teams would have some shots on goal during the ensuing two minutes but goaltenders stood strong in their respective creases.
Northeastern entered the third period up 2-1 over BU and maintained control for a large part of time to start the frame. Nadia Mattivi, with 14:13 left, would head to the box after being called for high sticking. The Huskies power play would again dominate on shots, but Stuart and the Terriers defense stood strong and killed it off once more. The Northeastern power play, which has been dominant all season, was unable to convert much against BU.
Both sides were able to get some sustained pressure in their offensive zones in the last ten minutes of regulation. The icing on the cake for Northeastern came with 1:32 left in the period with forward Alina Mueller scoring her sixth goal of the season. Aurard picked up her second point of the game with an assist and forward Peyton Anderson got in on the scoring with her fourth assist of the season. Mueller now has points in 12 of the 14 games she has played in this season, including 11 straight.
Northeastern and BU will face off again Friday, Jan. 21 at Matthews Arena. Between then however, the Huskies will head to Conte Forum for a game against the Boston College Eagles Tuesday, Jan. 18. WRBB will be on air with Matty Wasserman and Khalin Kapoor on the call starting at 6 p.m.