BOSTON — After not looking their best Friday, Northeastern bounced back for a dominant victory over the Long Island Sharks Saturday. Highlighted by forward Alina Müller’s first NCAA hat trick and a two-goal performance from freshman Holly Abela, Northeastern scored double digits in goals for the first time since 2020-21.
From the jump, Northeastern started stronger than the night before. They kept the zone for extended periods of time, won puck battles around the ice, and were rewarded less than eight minutes into the game.
Forward Taze Thompson won a faceoff to the left of LIU sophomore goaltender Tindra Holm and dropped the puck back to graduate defender Maude Poulin-Labelle at the blue line. Poulin-Labelle shot the puck in front of the net and wound up hitting two different LIU skaters in front before it managed to trickle past Holm on the left pad side. It was Poulin-Labelle’s first goal and Thompson’s first point with the assist in a Husky uniform to give Northeastern the 1-0 lead.
Northeastern’s second goal was caused by a poor turnover behind the net that allowed defender Abbey Marohn to sauce a pass to a wide open Müller in front of the net. Müller sent the puck over the left shoulder of Holm to hit the backside of the crossbar and find the back of the net for her first goal of the season. Forward Maureen Murphy also picked up an assist on the goal.
Just 15 seconds later, a scramble in front of the net caused Holm to lose sight of the puck. LIU had been strong in clearing the puck out of the crease so far this series, however this time Abela took advantage to pot the third Northeastern goal of the game with 9:08 left in the period. Poulin-Labelle and junior forward Molly Griffin had assists on the play.
Late in the first period, freshman forward Lily Brazis went to take a shot in the crease and the top end of her stick caught Holm in the head accidentally. Holm managed to get back on her feet and finished the period, however she did not return after intermission and was replaced by freshman Annie Abramson.
After going down 3-0, LIU’s play devolved into a more frantic style causing them to take two penalties. Forward Paige Vreeman took a hooking penalty 11:43 into the period. LIU was able to kill off the first penalty before Lauren Spino received a roughing call with 1:17 left. The Huskies powerplay carried over into the second period and finally converted after five opportunities.
Twenty-seven seconds in, forward Chloé Aurard gained control of the puck and sniped it past Abramson. Northeastern added a second power play goal two minutes later after LIU forward Ashley Morrow got called for a hold. Murphy got her first goal of the season off a drop pass from Aurard and fired a shot from the top of the zone that slipped through the traffic in front. Defender Megan Carter picked up an assist on the play.
Müller added a third goal for the special teams with a 4-on-4 tally 4:12 into the second.
The rest of the period was quiet for Northeastern, who fell back on their heels slightly in the frame. LIU tallied 11 shots on goal, their first time shooting double digits in a period this season.
The Huskies added another four goals to round out the final period of play. Senior forward Katy Knoll scored her first of the season 1:17 into the third. Freshman forward Lily Shannon scored her first collegiate goal off a backhanded rebound in front of Abramson’s net. Poulin-Labelle put the puck off the netminder’s pads allowing Shannon to stuff it home to make it 8-0. Defender Kristina Allard, playing in her first collegiate game, nabbed an assist for her first point.
Abela scored her second of the game after maintaining control of the puck through the offensive zone. She sent the puck home off a hard wrister from the faceoff circle to put it over Abramson’s glove.
“It’s been such a surreal weekend,” Abela said postgame. “I’m so happy to be here with this group of girls. After coming from the [Friday] game that was really close, we wanted to bring the energy today and I think we got that done.”
Head coach Dave Flint seemed happy about the performances put on by his freshmen players over the series.
“We got a lot of our young kids on the scoresheet this weekend,” he said. “They were given the opportunity and stepped up and did a great job.”
The last goal for the Huskies completed Müller’s first hat trick in the NCAA. In an almost identical moment to her first goal of the game, she put the puck up into the top of the net and in. This time it was Aurard passing her the puck, putting both players at four points each in the game overall.
Flint opted to pull starter Gwyneth Phillips after the 10th goal in favor of Alexa Matses to get the senior some minutes in net. Matses made one solid save after a scramble in net to keep the Sharks off the board. However she just got beat by defender Brie Eid with 3.5 seconds remaining to get LIU their only goal of the game.
Overall today’s game was stronger than yesterday’s contest.
“I thought we played well, start to finish,” Flint said. “It helped when a couple went in early. It helps take the pressure off.”
It’s crazy to think that this was Müller’s first three goal night over her four plus years at Northeastern considering just how dominant she has been over that span. Even her coach was surprised to learn it was her first.
“I find that hard to believe,” Flint said. “She is a pass first player. It still shocks me a little bit.”
The Huskies will play their next series in a home-and-home set against UConn starting Friday in Matthews Arena. Catherine Morrison, Daisy Roberts, and Jack Sinclair have coverage for WRBB when the puck drops at 2 p.m.