CHESTNUT HILL — For the second straight game, Northeastern shut out Boston College, winning 2-0 on Saturday to secure the weekend sweep. The Huskies were powered by their top line once again, with graduate student forward Alina Müller and senior forward Katy Knoll both lighting the lamp.
“It’s always nice to beat them for sure,” said Northeastern associate head coach Nick Carpenito. “They were really hungry to try to avoid a sweep and they played us really physically which we expected, but I thought we rose to the occasion.”
The Eagles played Northeastern tough in the first period and the Huskies were unable to get anything going offensively. BC star forward Hannah Bilka had the best opportunity of the opening stanza when the senior forward whipped a shot off the far post just minutes in. Both teams were held under double digits in shots, and the game entered the second period scoreless.
For the first 15 minutes of the second period, it was more the same for Northeastern. BC graduate student goaltender Abigail Levy made a few sprawling saves, including one off an odd-man rush from Knoll and Müller.
The Huskies were finally able to break through with five minutes left in the second period, when graduate student forward Chloé Aurard sent in a screamer from the point off the rush, and Müller was there to deflect in the mid-air puck for her 11th goal of the season. There was a lengthy review to determine whether Müller batted in the puck with her stick or with her hand, but the goal stood and the Huskies took the lead.
The Eagles were not without opportunities of their own, as sophomore forward Abby Newhook had a chance with a wide open net midway though the second period, but sailed the puck high and wide.
The score remained steady at 1-0 entering the third, where Northeastern really turned up the heat. They outshot BC 14-5 in the final frame, and Knoll struck off the rush to double the lead and increase her Hockey East-leading goal count to 12.
Knoll’s tally was created by junior defender Abbey Marohn, who gained the offensive zone before dishing the puck to Knoll in close. Marohn also blocked three shots in the game, and the entirety of Northeastern’s defense stepped up in the third as well.
“One big highlight of the weekend that I saw was the play of Lily Yovetich, her primary focus was Hannah Bilka,” said Carpenito. She played her physically, stayed with her and limited her opportunities which is what we needed to do.”
With the victory, Northeastern improves to 12-1-1 and Philips gets her fifth shutout of the season. Philips has notched a clean sheet in three of the past four games for Northeastern, and is making her case to be one of the best goaltenders in the country.
Philips’ .964 SV% is second best in the country, but first among goalies with more than 10 starts by 31 percentage points. Her 0.71 GAA is also first in the country among netminders with more than 10 starts.
“She’s getting more and more comfortable in her role every day,” said Carpenito. “We always knew she was a great goaltender… She’s competing hard and making the saves she needed to and making some of the saves she probably shouldn’t be.
Northeastern next travels to Providence for a mid-week conference showdown on Tuesday. WRBB will be live at Schneider Arena with Matty Wasserman, Daisy Roberts, and Zach Lyons on the call. Puck drop is at 6 p.m.