Ella Bramwell/WRBB Sports

BOSTON – Despite another strong effort, Northeastern’s impressive 18-game point streak came to an end Friday night after a controversy-filled 2-0 contest against Vermont. 

The first period saw both teams locked in a tight battle, with neither able to break through the opposing defense. Despite power play opportunities for each both teams failed to generate any scoring chances and ended the period scoreless.

Vermont was able to control possession of the puck from the start and never let up. This was no surprise, as the Catamounts currently sit atop the Hockey East with an impressive 58.3% face-off success rate. On Friday, Vermont got  a large contribution from junior Evelyne Blais-Savoie, who dominated the circle winning 66.7% of her face-offs.

Despite a Hockey East leading 92.3% penalty kill unit from the Huskies, Vermont was able to draw first blood 6:29 into the second period on the power play via a quick wrist shot from forward Lily Humphrey. 

Just moments prior to Humphrey’s goal, Northeastern found themselves in a temporary five-on-three situation after captain Megan Carter went down after appearing to receive an elbow to the head. The Huskies were looking for a stoppage of play as their captain was down on the ice clutching her head. Extensive review occurred quickly after the goal but to no luck for Northeastern the goal remained on the board.

Vermont received a dominant performance between the pipes from senior Jessie McPherson, who notched her second straight shutout. McPherson remained unphased by Northeastern’s attack, stopping all 29 shots that came her way. 

“She had a great game last week against UConn … She’s playing well at the right time for them so we got to find a way to get pucks by her tomorrow,” said Northeastern head coach Dave Flint. 

Northeastern struggled to capitalize on opportunities throughout the game. Despite putting up 63 total shots, only 29 of those were on target. To add insult to injury, three of Northeastern’s main scoring chances hit off the post.

“We had other opportunities to score, we had power plays we just didn’t capitalize on and we got to do that,” Flint said. However, he remained optimistic as he was pleased with the Huskies puck movement during the power play.

“We’re getting some good looks on the power play, doing all the right things. Overall I think the power play was moving the puck well and creating some good chances.”

Vermont came into Matthews Arena in a must-win situation, sitting in the bottom four in Hockey East standings — meaning they’d play in the  opening round of the Hockey East tournament. Friday’s win earned them a crucial three points, putting them in sixth place with a slim one-point lead over Boston University going into the final game of the regular season. 

Northeastern’s hopes of a sixth straight Hockey East regular season title also came to an end after the Huskies from UConn defeated Boston University 4-0.

The Huskies pulled goaltender Gwyneth Philips with 1:40 left in regulation, aiming to send the game to overtime with more late-game heroics. But Northeastern’s sloppy passing in the offensive zone led to an empty-net goal for Catamount freshman Kaylee Lewis, ending the game at 2-0 in favor of Vermont.

Despite the loss, Flint remained optimistic about the consistent improvement of his squad and their trajectory going into the postseason.

“We played better tonight than we have in the last couple weeks” he said “Tonight we did a lot of really good things, we had a lot of good looks, three posts, some pucks right on the doorstep we just couldn’t get in.”

With the top two spots secured in the Hockey East, Northeastern looks to honor their seniors on Saturday night with Senior Night at Matthews Arena.

“It’s always a special day for them and it’s always a fun day to celebrate with them. They’ve all spent five years here and have done so much for the program,” Coach Flint said.

Ella Bramwell/WRBB Sports

The Huskies look to close out the regular season with a win tomorrow on Senior Night against Vermont. WRBB will have full coverage from Daisy Roberts and Emma Sullivan, with puck-drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m.