Michael Chang/WRBB Sports

BOSTON — For a Northeastern team that had just scratched and clawed to an ugly 3-2 win in OT against BC on Friday, a dominant win was needed Saturday in the series finale. 

And the Huskies delivered, scoring three first period goals and not looking back en route to a commanding 5-1 victory over the fifteenth-ranked Eagles. The win increases their record to 23-9-2, and they have not lost a game in regulation since November.

“Today we played with a lot more passion… our start was really good, we were getting to the net hard,” said associate head coach Nick Carpenito. “We took our foot off the gas a little bit in the third period but overall, three huge points.”

All three of Northeastern’s first period goals were created by distance shots from defenders, showing a commitment to working north-to-south against BC’s defense that had trouble clearing the zone. Megan Carter got the scoring started with a power play goal off a great feed from Katy Knoll for her third tally in as many games. 

“Our philosophy offensively and defensively is that we want to attack with five and defend with five, so we want to get our defense involved in the offense as much as we can,” Carpenito said.

Carter’s goal extended her point streak to nine games (3 goals, 10 assists), and she has started  to find her touch offensively after going the first four months of the season without a goal. She has also totaled 25 blocks in that span, six of which came Saturday against BC.

“To know that we have a forward coming back and a D back, I feel like I can jump in a little bit more and try to contribute offensively,” Carter said. “Obviously it’s coming at a good time to kind of round out my game.”

Skylar Irving scored off a deflection from a Lily Yovetich shot later in the first, and two minutes after that Tory Mariano sent in a missile from the top of the zone to make it 3-0 Northeastern and force BC head coach Katie Crowley to hook starting netminder Grace Campbell from the game. 

Once they were up 3-0, things went smoothly for Northeastern for the rest of the game. Even though they ended up getting outshot 30-14 in the final 40 minutes and faced a 5-on-3 penalty kill in the second, star goaltender Gwyneth Philips continued her run of stellar play to finish things off.

“Things always seem to feel a little bit better when you know you have Philips in between the pipes,” Carpenito said. “She makes every save she’s supposed to make, but she also likes to add in a few that she probably shouldn’t make.”

Philips ended the game with 44 saves, including a perfect 12-for-12 when shorthanded. Her .952 save percentage and 1.22 goals allowed per game is the best in the NCAA among netminders who have started more than 17 games.

Knoll and Allie Lalonde both scored doorstep goals in the second period, sandwiched around a Katie Pyne goal for BC, which made it 5-1 heading into the third. It would stay that way until the end of the game, with the final buzzer signaling one of Northeastern’s most complete offensive efforts of the season. 

Simply put, the Huskies are playing their best hockey at the exact right time. Even while facing some scoring struggles in January, Northeastern is 15-1-2 in their last 18 contests (after going 3-7 in the 10 games before) and have willed themselves back into the national conversation entering the final weekend of the season. 

This stretch of wins, including the sweep against BC, has shown what this team’s identity is. They are not one of the flashy Northeastern teams of old laden with Patty Kazmaier Award hopefuls, but a gritty and resilient squad that wins with tight defense, offensive contributions from their defenders and all forward lines, and the best goaltending in the NCAA.

Jacob Oshinsky/WRBB Sport

Two wins against BC this weekend catapulted the Huskies to second in Hockey East, five points behind UConn after they split their series with Vermont. It would take a miracle for Northeastern to take the regular season trophy, but they did clinch home ice in the tournament with their win on Friday. 

“We’ve put in a lot of work over the course of the season so for it to be coming together is really exciting,” Carter said. “Hopefully we continue a good campaign going into the playoffs.”

Northeastern women’s hockey returns to the ice for their final series of the regular season starting Friday, Feb. 23. Written coverage will be provided after the game on our website.