BOSTON — Chloé Aurard’s empty net, short-handed goal in the third period sealed Northeastern’s 4-1 win over New Hampshire at Matthews Arena on Thursday, and capped off an impressive two-goal showing for the Huskies’ graduate student forward.
“We focused on getting it out of the zone first because obviously it’s a 6-on-4, so we couldn’t think about scoring a goal,” Aurard said. “ I saw Alina [Müller] on my right, so I just passed it. I knew if I put the jets and used my feet, I could have beat her, so I just took the opportunity.”
Boston’s cold weather seemed to be cooling down Matthews, where the Huskies only had nine shots in the first period. All were saved by senior Nicky Harnett, last week’s recipient of Hockey East Goaltender of the Week honors.
“I told them ‘We need to be better,’” said head coach Dave Flint during the first intermission. “‘We need playoff energy.’ … Our D had a lot of space, but they were forcing pucks in the neutral zone. … We weren’t using our speed, we weren’t getting pucks behind the D.”
In the opening minutes of the second period, both teams had penalties. Northeastern’s senior center Katy Knoll was sent to the cage for holding at 1:43, and Wildcats senior forward Tamara Thierus got a penalty for cross checking. With 38 seconds left on the 4-on-4, graduate student forward Maureen Murphy tried to shoot, but was blocked. Senior defender Megan Carter got the open space and scored the opening goal for Huskies, assisted by Murphy and junior defender Lily Yovetich.
At 15:50 of the second period, senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips tried to stop the puck but it slipped over her leg. The Wildcats’ highest scoring player, graduate student forward Emily Pinto, did not pass up the chance to find the back of the net.
The Huskies didn’t give their opponents time to enjoy the tied game for long however. With two minutes and 25 seconds left in the second period, Müller passed the puck to Aurard, and Aurard scored.
“We just find each other and we have so much fun together,” Aurard said. “I think that is what brings our power to do all that.”
The heated second period ended with a penalty on both teams. At 19:37, Müller and senior defender Rae Breton were sent to the box because of roughing.
Huskies did not stop scoring even in the third period. At 13:30, Northeastern had another power play, Harnett kept the Wildcats safe. Just eight seconds later, sophomore forward Taze Thompson, got the assist from fellow sophomore forward Skylar Irving and graduate student forward Mia Brown.
With 1:03 left in the game, the Wildcats played with an empty net and the Huskies took another penalty. That left the teams at 6-on-4, where Aurard got the pass from Müller and scored her third shorthanded goal this season — tied for second in the NCAA.
“We are excited,” Aurard said of the upcoming Beanpot game. “[For the] freshman, it’s their first Beanpot, so we’re going to show them the way and just have fun like we always do. It’s my last Beanpot personally, so I’m going to work hard to go get it.”
The Huskies will take the next skate for the Beanpot semifinals on Tuesday against Boston University at Conte Forum. Emma Sullivan and Catherine Morrison will be on the call when the puck drops at 4 p.m.