BOSTON — Coming off one of their biggest wins of the season against Boston College three days earlier, Northeastern looked to build on their positive momentum against Providence — whom they split their first two matchups of the season with.
They came out on top with a 4-2 dominant win at Matthews Arena, finally beginning to round into the form that head coach Dave Flint has been searching for throughout the team’s rocky first semester.
The first period started with a roar from junior Taze Thompson. A shot attempt from linemate Katy Knoll was easily blocked by Providence’s goaltender Hope Walinski, but Thompson found the back of the net off the rebound to sneak it in. It put the Huskies in the lead at 7:17 into the first period.
“She’s been playing great and played with some confidence,” Flint said “I’ve been telling the team you’ve got to score goals and get to the front of the net. Both her goals were right in front of the net, putting in rebounds so she got rewarded today”
With injuries to top veteran defenders Megan Carter and Lily Yovetich, sophomore Kristina Allard and junior Tory Mariano were the first pairing of Husky defense on the ice. A pair that has worked hard this season, they capitalized on every opportunity and used their physicality to assert their abilities. Their defensive work helped to hold off the Friars, who had half the shots Northeastern had by the end of the first.
“They’re competing hard, they are logging more minutes than they’re used to. Now, there’s more pressure on them and more responsibilities,” Flint said. “They’ve done a great job, they’ve picked up the slack.”
As the second period rolled around, Providence came back with a shock. A 3-on-1 opening gave sophomore forward Reichen Kirchmair a chance to score, tying the score 41 seconds into the period.
Enter Knoll, who responded with confident momentum for a goal to retake the lead. Forward Skylar Irving skated the puck from the neutral zone, passing it to Knoll who sent it in.
“We did a lot of good stuff offensively and created a lot in the offensive zone,” Flint said. “Defensively, we need to tighten things up a little bit.”
With the Friars already at a deficit, a penalty against senior defender Brooke Becker for high sticking would not help their case. Northeastern knew that this power play was a chance to get further ahead. Freshman Allie Lalonde came from the right circle and put her whole body momentum into a successful shot to capitalize on the advantage.
However, when the Huskies were on top, they didn’t stop, even when it seemed like a solid win — instead, it fueled them to greaten the deficit. At 3:49 into the third, Thompson scored on a deadly backhanded shot off a pass from defender Jules Constantinople.
“I don’t think the goals today were anything pretty or highlight reels,” said Thompson. “It was really good passing plays and a really, really good job on the net. If we can keep doing that, I think that’ll put us in a good spot.”
The deal was already sealed with the score at 4-1, but Northeastern was in troubled waters when freshman forward Peyton Compton received a penalty for body-checking halfway through the period, landing in the box for two minutes. They successfully killed the penalty, preventing the Friars from making any moves.
With 1:21 left in the game, junior defender Lily Martinson slid the puck in on a rebound off goalie Gwyneth Philips, but even an empty net giving them an extra skater was not enough for the Friars to make a comeback. The two-point deficit was too far for them to catch up, giving the Huskies a 4-2 win.
“It’s awesome to generate offense from all lines from a bunch of different contributors. It puts us in a really good position moving into our next game against BU,” Thompson said. “We’re in a great spot right now.”
Northeastern wraps up 2023 with a cross-town contest against the BU Terriers on Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. WRBB will have live coverage from Jack Sinclair and Matty Wasserman on WRBB Sports+, starting just before puck drop.