Story by Emma Sullivan
Photos by Sarah Olender
BOSTON – In their only game of the weekend, the Northeastern Huskies did not look like themselves after the first 20 minutes of play at Matthews Arena. In their third matchup of the season with the Boston University Terriers, the Huskies gave up two goals in the first two minutes of the game, causing them to have to play catchup for the majority of time remaining. The team however showed their resilience and turned the game back around to get the win.
An issue plaguing this team over the last few games has been their inability to start playing well on time, something both head coach Dave Flint and associate head coach Nick Carpenito have commented on. That same sloppy style of play to start the game was once again apparent today, as 21 seconds after puck drop, Terriers forward Courtney Correia was able to win a puck battle along the boards and walk into the zone to put the puck up and over Huskies starting goaltender Aerin Frankel’s shoulder to give BU the lead. Correia, BU’s leading scorer, continued her strong play offensively to give her her 11th goal of the season. Forward Emma Wuthrich picked up the only assist on the play.
The Terriers weren’t done however, as another misplay defensively in front of Frankel’s net allowed for the puck to end up on the stick of forward Julia Nearis, who got a quick shot off before forward Catherine Foulem took advantage of the rebound and the wide open net to put home the second goal of the game for the Terriers, just1:08 into play. Forward Lacey Martin was also credited with an assist alongside Nearis on the play.
Northeastern’s power play got their first opportunity of the game at 5:30 into the period after BU defenseman Julia Shaunessy was called for tripping. Even after some strong opportunities for the Huskies, the Terriers penalty kill continued their strong play against Northeastern to kill off the man advantage and keep the score 2-0. Northeastern’s Megan Carter got called for holding with 8:50 left to play in the first period, but this too was killed off.
With 6:11 left to play in the period, Nearis headed off after being called for cross-checking. This time the Northeastern power play took the advantage and ran with it. Forward Maureen Murphy, one of the key pieces to the success of the power play for Northeastern, took a shot from the top of the faceoff circles which was then tipped into the goal by forward Aurard to get the Huskies on the board with 5:09 left in the period. It was Murphy’s 15th assist of the season and forward Maddie Mills added her 6th assist as well.
The period wasn’t done yet however, as a pass intended for the Huskies turned into a blatant turnover as the puck ended up going directly to Terriers captain and forward Kaleigh Donnelly who took the shot and put it glove side past Frankel for the 3-1 BU lead.
The second period started with the same score but a new goalie for Northeastern. Backup netminder Gwyneth Philips entered the game after Frankel gave up three goals on just eight shots. Coach Flint explained his decision to switch goalies was because he “thought we needed to mix it up a little bit, try to get the team going.”
“I wouldn’t fault Aerin for the goals,” he added. “We just needed a change.” Philips went on to make multiple strong saves to keep the Terriers from adding to their goal total the rest of the game.
Northeastern came back out for the period and immediately began applying pressure. It all came to head after defenseman Brooke Hobson was able to make a shot as she dove to the ice that beat Terrier goaltender Callie Shanahan to bring the score within one with 9:34 remaining. Forwards Tessa Ward and Miceala Sindoris were credited with their eighth and third assists respectively.
A really bright spot for BU was their goaltender Shanahan. The freshman made her eighth career start for the Terriers and her first against Northeastern. She was lights out for much of the game, facing 58 shots while her team only generated 19, robbing the Huskies time after time with a variety of saves. One such save included robbing forward Alina Mueller with her stick to keep the score 3-2.
Northeastern had three power play opportunities during the second as well, including a five-on-three that began with 6:12 remaining in the period, however the power play was unable to convert and the score remained 3-2 to enter the third period.
The Huskies played strongly throughout the third, but could not solve Shanahan until they went back on the power play with 7:18 left in regulation. Shaunessey was sent to the box for a second time, this time for tripping. On the ensuing advantage, the top unit went to work. Mills took advantage of a crowd in front of the net and some space to the right side of Shanahan, to put it past with a shot from the top of the circles. Mueller and Aurard added to their point totals on the season with the two assists.
“It took a little bit for our power play to get going,” Mills said of her goal. “I think we saw we just needed to get the puck to the net.”
She commended Aurard’s screen in front of the net as well. “Chloé was doing a phenomenal job screening which is so important because otherwise I wouldn’t have scored that goal,” Mills said.
Just a minute later, the top line once again connected for a score to put the Huskies ahead for good. Aurard was able to control the puck off to the right side of Shanahan before making a direct pass in front to a wide open Katy Knoll directly in front of the net who tipped it right past Shanahan for the fourth Huskies goal of the game. It was the forward Knoll’s sixth goal of the season, with Aurard and Mueller picking up another assist each.
BU pulled their goaltender in the final minutes of play trying to build back up any sort of momentum. Murphy however skated into the offensive zone and added a fifth goal for Northeastern. It was her second point of the game with 1:08 remaining.
One final penalty would be called with 55 seconds left in the game as defenseman Nadia Mattivi headed to the box for tripping. Northeastern, even with the game seemingly in hand, refused to ease up on the gas and the first power play unit once again struck, this time with Mills once again finding the back of the net. Shanahan lost sight of the puck in her own crease and couldn’t scramble to maintain control allowing Mills to capitalize with a rebound off a Skylar Fontaine shot for the goal. Fontaine and Murphy were both credited with assists as well, as the score would stand with only 12.7 seconds remaining.
“The best thing that could have happened to us is what happened to us, if you start out slow you’re gonna have to dig yourself out of a hole,” coach Flint said post game of their two goal deficit to start the game, noting that it builds character. “We haven’t had to face that adversity this year.”
He noted there was a lot to take away from this game moving forward both in their approach to starting games and in how they respond to different situations.
The Huskies will look to have a stronger start to their game and continue their unbeaten streak next Friday as they take on the University of Vermont at Matthews Arena. WRBB will have live coverage of the game with Khalin Kapoor, Daisy Roberts, and Rae Deer on the call when the puck drops at 2 p.m.