Kayla Shiao/WRBB Sports File

BOSTON — After a month-long break, Northeastern took to the ice at Matthews Arena revived and energized to take on cross-town rival Boston University. 

With the Terriers fresh off a tough loss to Holy Cross at Frozen Fenway and the No. 7 Huskies carrying a six-game win streak into the matchup, the home team was favored to win, but their complete domination of the game was remarkable. The first of four games between the two teams this season, the Huskies skated away with a 6-0 victory and left the Terriers in the dust.

“They really need that break, their bodies need that break,” said Northeastern head coach Dave Flint. “Not just physically, but mentally.”

Northeastern spent the first couple minutes of play gaining their bearings, but got into a rhythm quickly, getting onto the scoreboard just over three minutes into the game. 

Senior defender Megan Carter took control of the puck in the defensive zone and passed it up to graduate student forward Alina Müller. Müller raced the puck through the neutral zone alongside linemate and fellow graduate student Maureen Murphy, the pair closing in on the net of BU graduate student goalie Andrea Brändli, Müller’s Team Switzerland teammate. Müller passed the puck across to Murphy, diverting Brändli’s attention. Murphy then fed the puck back to Müller at the net and she snuck the puck inside the right goalpost before Brändli had time to react. 

Two minutes later, the Terriers took to the power play after a tripping call sent Northeastern senior forward Peyton Anderson to the box. Despite the advantage, BU was unable to generate much opportunity in front of the net, only notching one shot towards Northeastern senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips while the short-handed Huskies tallied three of their own. 

A minute later, the tides turned, as senior forward Jesse DeVito received a tripping penalty, leaving her team to the kill. The Huskies, who have the fourth most effective power-play unit in the nation, drove shot after shot toward Brändli.With all of their attempts coming from outside the crease however, the Ohio State transfer goaltender was able to protect her goal with ease.

BU has had a physical season, tallying 74 penalties in just 21 games, and the first period of their competition with the Huskies was no different. The Terriers only managed to stay out of the box for a few minutes before the whistle was blown on DeVito again, this time for hooking.

Learning from its recent power-play experience, Northeastern capitalized on the opportunity a minute into the 5-on-4 advantage. After a shot from Murphy sent Brändli sprawling in front of the net, graduate student forward Chloé Aurard whipped the puck under the goalie’s outstretched arm to double the Huskies’ lead. Anderson, who picked up Murphy’s rebound for her own attempt in front, and senior forward Katy Knoll were credited with the assists.

“We wanted to have a quick start, and I think we did that,” said sophomore forward Taze Thompson. “And then we just continued to build off of that after the first period.”

Heading into the second period, the Terriers toned down their aggression, but both teams put on the pressure. The beginning of the frame sent the two teams from end to end, both sides sending the puck in deep and testing the skill of the opposing goaltenders. 

The even play came to a screeching halt when Carter was sent to the box with a minor for cross-checking. But just like in BU’s first power play, the Huskies notched three shots to the Terriers’ one, and the momentum Northeastern gained from that carried into even-strength play as the penalty expired. 

After grabbing the puck off the boards, Murphy dropped it to sophomore forward Skylar Irving in the middle of the offensive zone. Irving shot it into the pads of Brändli, driving to the net for the rebound, but Müller was already there to flip the puck into the goal on a swift swipe by. 

Right off the draw, the Huskies were quick to push into the offensive zone. When graduate student defender Maude Poulin-Labelle and junior forward Molly Griffin fed the puck in front of the net, Thompson was ready, slapping the loose disc past Brändli for Northeastern’s fourth goal of the game. 

“If no one’s in front of the net, obviously that’s where you want to be,” Thompson said. “But you see people there, you kind of take open ice. You just want to be where you’re most valuable, where you’re most effective.”

The Huskies’ power didn’t stop there. With 4:49 left in the period, Murphy tucked the puck into the net off her own rebound for the team’s third score in three minutes. Aurard and Müller were credited with the assists, each for their third point of the night.

For the third period, both teams made major line changes. BU swapped Brändli for sophomore Callie Shanahan in net, while Northeastern sent different groupings onto the ice, mixing up combinations of players from various lines. 

Northeastern was able to score once more in the final period of play, but with fresh legs in front of the goal, the Terriers were able to protect their net more effectively than they had throughout the first 40 minutes. 

That sixth goal of the game came off the stick of graduate student forward Mia Brown when a turnover in the Huskies’ offensive zone sent players of both sides tumbling to the ice and Brown was able to come away clean with the puck. 

With 43 shots on goal to the Terriers’ 18 — and the score to show for it — the competition was a show of Huskies domination. The game was the sixth shutout of the season for Philips, whose agility in front of the net deflected a handful of dangerous rebounds that could have easily made it a much tighter game. 

“She’s doing a really good job of finding pucks and tracking pucks and making some difficult saves look easy,” Flint said. 

Diving into 2023, the Huskies looked strong, but they have a busy schedule ahead on the road to the NCAA tournament. 

“We don’t want to look too far ahead,” Thompson said, “We’re just taking things one practice at a time, one lift at a time, one game at a time.”

The Boston College Eagles, another local competitor, flock to Matthews Arena Friday night to take on Northeastern, the top team in Hockey East. Khalin Kapoor and Daisy Roberts will be on the call when the puck drops at 6 p.m.