WORCESTER — After Northeastern’s hotly-contested 2-1 victory over Holy Cross on Friday night came down to the wire, they were due for an outburst in Saturday’s rematch. The Huskies delivered a full, 60-minute performance at the Hart Center on Saturday, notching a 5-2 win behind an explosive offense.
The Huskies started off hot with a goal by sophomore forward Skylar Irving, who broke into the zone on the rush and took the shot herself. The rebound went up into the air and she batted it in for the goal 1:40 into the first.
“I think it definitely does dictate the pace of the game,” Irving said, referencing the importance of scoring early.
Holy Cross regained some momentum and had three prime chances in the offensive zone that each would ring off the post and out. Going into the second, Holy Cross had the momentum until sophomore forward Taze Thompson netted the second goal of the night for the Huskies.
“We want to score any way we can,” said assistant coach Lindsay Berman. “We talked in the first period about scoring a dirty goal, and we did that.”
Thompson did just that as she got in front of the net to put the rebounding puck home 1:06 into the second period.
Northeastern’s next chance came on the power play 5:23 into the second period as Holy Cross freshman forward Alexia Moreau was called for a two-minute cross checking minor. The goal came on a nontraditional power-play set up. The Huskies started the rush quickly into the zone on the power play. Graduate student forward Alina Müller sent a quick puck to a breaking senior forward Peyton Anderson to enter the zone. Anderson with speed gained an angle to beat Holy Cross junior goalie Madison Beck five hole.
The Crusaders did not go away as they got their first of the game on the power play. Senior forward Katy Knoll was charged with a five-minute major — the second the Huskies took in as many nights after freshman forward Holly Abela’s Friday — for direct contact to the head 13:23 into the second.
“It’s tough,” Berman said. “You just have to deal the hand that’s dealt.”
On the power play, Holy Cross cycled the puck up high in the zone. With bodies in front of the net, senior defender Kailey Langefels sent a wrister in on net beating a screened senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips over the shoulder.
The momentum didn’t stop there for the Crusaders as junior forward Lilly Feeney broke into the offensive zone one on one with Huskies sophomore defender Tory Mariano. Feeney sent the puck to senior forward Mary Edmonds who gave a quick pass over to unguarded junior forward Bryn Saarela in front of the net. Saarela, with only Philips to beat, put the puck home to make it 3-2 in favor of the Huskies 19:24 into the second period
Going into the third, the Huskies came out with speed and force looking to get some insurance. Northeastern did just that on a power-play opportunity 7:58 into the third. Crusaders senior forward Darci Johal was charged with tripping Müller who was leading a potential 2-on-1 breakaway.
The Huskies cycled the puck up high with traffic out front on the power play. Müller found a lane as she skated in reverse high in the zone and wristed one through bodies into the net giving the Huskies a 4-2 lead 8:57 into the third.
To seal any chance at a comeback graduate student forward Chloé Aurard, on a breakaway, tried sending a pass over to Irving. Crusaders sophomore defender Carmen Elliott tried to break it up on the back check but ended up deflecting the puck into the net leading to the Huskies’ fifth and final goal of the night.
Now, the Huskies prepare for a road trip to Nashville to face off against two non-conference competitors in the Smashville Showcase next week.
“We’re excited,” Berman said. “The message is that these teams are really really good. We’ll enjoy the moment while we’re out there but once we get on the ice and the puck drops, it’s all business for us.”
The win against Holy Cross is a good momentum boost for the team as the team seemed consistent throughout the night. With the return of top-line winger Maureen Murphy after her Senior U.S. Women’s National Team debut, the Huskies look to compete with No. 9 Cornell and No. 11 Princeton.
The Huskies will face Princeton at 4 p.m. Friday for their first game of the Smashville Showcase at the Ford Ice Center Bellevue. Check WRBB Sports’s social media feeds later in the week for updates on Friday’s coverage. Northeastern will then take on Cornell on Saturday, and Mike Puzzanghera and Matty Wasserman will have the call live for WRBB before the 4 p.m. puck drop.