WORCESTER — After Katy Knoll slammed the door on Yale earlier in the week in overtime, Northeastern traveled to Holy Cross Friday with a chance to increase their winning streak to five games and notch their first Hockey East win of 2024.
This time, it wasn’t an individual effort in the face of a dominant opponent that sealed the deal, but a stellar top-to-bottom showing with contributions from across the entire lineup. Mia Langlois scored twice, Peyton Compton notched her first goal since September, and Avery Anderson potted her first NCAA goal to lead Northeastern to a 6-1 victory.
“The depth of scoring that we’re seeing is a big confidence builder for us, that we can look to anybody in our lineup to help us,” said assistant coach Lindsey Berman.
When Northeastern last traveled to the Hart Center to play the Crusaders in October, they were on the heels of their third shutout loss of the month. In those games, the biggest problem was always execution. The Huskies were consistently outshooting their opponents in those losses, but just couldn’t break through.
The constant execution in this dominant win represents a turning point for Northeastern, who are now alone in third place in Hockey East with an 8-6 conference record. The hardships they faced early in the year have made them a stronger team that doesn’t need to rely on just their top line to produce.
“We definitely needed that adversity for our team… it was kind of a wake up call,” Langlois said. “We learned that the hard way but I think that was the best way for us to learn it, we knew every game is going to be a battle and we always have a target on our back.”
Langlois and her fourth line of fellow sophomore Lily Brazis and first-year Ella Blackmore started the scoring for Northeastern on the rush with a perfectly executed 3-on-0. Langlois would go on to score her second of the game in transition again off a feed from Brazis. Both of those goals came from excellent breakouts from the defensive zone.
“Me and Lily [Brazis] were buzzing from the end of the semester up until now… it comes natural with us,” Langlois said. “We knew development was definitely in the d-zone for us and we cleaned that up and got rewarded twice.”
Northeastern outskated the Crusaders up and down the ice the entire game, which culminated in Compton’s transition goal on a 2-on-1 rush which extended the Huskies’ lead to 3-0 in the opening minute of the second period. That speed advantage also led to Holy Cross taking four penalties in the frame, leading to a power play goal by Skylar Irving that gave Northeastern a 4-0 lead.
The Huskies struck on their first power play, but went scoreless on two different 5-on-3 chances that lasted 33 seconds and a full two minutes. Since Northeastern simplified their approach on the power play, they have scored eight such goals in eight games this
“Chemistry is building with that group, and I think the more chemistry they can build the more success that they’ll find,” Berman said. “We also had to move a couple people around especially with Carter going down so the personnel is a little bit different, but we’ll keep plugging away and it’s good to see that anybody can jump in there and fill the role.”
While a win against the cellar-dwelling Crusaders isn’t necessarily a monumental needle mover for Northeastern, it does represent a turning of the page from their disappointing start. After getting shut out five times over seven games within the first half, the Huskies have grown into a team with legitimate scoring threats up-and-down their lineup that can make a run in the second half.
“Coach Flint said it in the room, let’s just keep building and let’s just try to keep knocking teams off one-by-one… this is a confidence boost for us moving forward and we’ve got a big weekend coming up against Maine,” Berman said.
Northeastern next travels to Orono, Maine, for a date with the Black Bears next weekend. WRBB will have written coverage of both games.