The Northeastern University women’s hockey team traveled to Orono, ME to take on the University of Maine this afternoon. This contest was saw two teams headed in opposite directions as the Huskies prevailed 3-0 to boost their record to 5-2 while the loss dropped their Hockey East rival Black Bears to 2-5.
The goalies were the stars of this game as the defending Patty Kazmaier award winner Aerin Frankel was in net for NU and fellow graduate student Loryn Porter manned the pipes for Maine. Frankel was in top form for this matinee matchup. She was at the top of the paint and challenging shooters to improve upon her 0.945% save percentage going in, and securing her 3rd shutout of this young season.
NU controlled the flow and tempo of this game from the opening face. Crisp passing and a swarming fore-check kept Maine hemmed in their own zone for long stretches. The Hockey East rivalry started to heat up almost immediately as both Kate Holmes (cross checking) and Tessa Ward (body checking) were sent to the box handing Maine the first 2 power plays. Maureen Murphy was ferocious on the penalty kill as she was hunting the puck up and down the ice. I would think that the Buffalo native could probably help the Sabres at this point, but I digress. Ani Fitzgerald got away with one in front of her own net when the Black Bears took too many pokes at Frankel when she covered the puck. If you don’t like the lumber, lay off the goalie was how I (and apparently the officials) saw that one and the teams headed into the 1st intermission at zeroes.
The second period was more of the same but Maine blinked first. Grad student Maddie Mills continued her scoring stretch by breaking the ice with a seeing eye backhand over Porter’s glove short side. An unbelievable play from the Cornell transfer with what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Just after midway through the second stanza, Andrea Renner scored her 1st goal of the season to put the Huskies up by a pair. Walking in from the left dot Renner beat Porter over the shoulder on the short side with a bottle rocket, and it was all over except for the clock. Chloe Aurard was lights out on the PK in this period and helped hold the Black Bears without a shot on net during their power play while generating scoring chances at the other end. I’m not a math guy, but does that count as negative shots on the PP?
In the 3rd it was all over. NU dominated play for long stretches with Maine barely getting any zonetime worth mentioning. Murphy was again dominant with the PK doing her best Patrice Bergeron imitation and Mills almost got her 2nd of the game but was denied during a goalmouth scramble with about 7 minutes left. Ward got her first of the year with an empty netter to close out the contest and send the Huskies back to the buses with the W.
The Huskies have a 9 game Hockey East slate coming up and will need to be firing on all cylinders to keep this momentum going. #HowlinHuskies