Never a Doubt: Huskies are better than Terriers

Your Northeastern Huskies welcomed the BU Terriers to historic Matthews Arena this afternoon for a Hockey East tilt between these two neighboring squads. When it was all over the Huskies battled back to secure the W and keep their unbeaten streak alive (now 19 games and counting) as they handed BU a 6-3 defeat. As much as the Huskies love playing at Matthews (9-0-1 this season at home), the Terriers have to hate making the trek down Storrow Drive, as they are winless at Matthews since 2015. 

BU opened the scoring when they scored 2 on Aerin Frankel in the first 68 seconds of game play. Wait, what? No, not a typo, I saw it myself otherwise I wouldn’t have believed it either. Courtney Correria let one go from the LW circle that redirected off Brooke Hobson’s skate out front and Frankel had no chance.  You can see on the replay as the puck just catches the outside of Hobson’s skate and kicks up to go bar down on Frankel. The 2nd goal was generated off an uncharacteristic defensive turnover deep in the NU zone. Julia Nearis uncorked a pointblank clapper from the top of the paint and Frankel made the original save but the rebound bounced off her pads right to Catherine Foulem in front. With an open net in front of her, Foulem put one home past the diving Frankel. HC Dave Flint called a timeout in order to hand out smelling salts (I’d assume), as the Huskies were clearly not awake yet.

Chloé Aurard got one back for the Huskies when she re-directed a Maureen Murphy drive past BU goalie Callie Shanahan during a late power play. With 5 minutes left in the opening frame, Murphy walked down the slot and put a wrister on net that Aurard was able to put a blade on and tipped it past Shanahan. The Huskies were looking like they were right back in this one.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

Until they weren’t. With just over a minute to go in the first, Kaleigh Donnelly beat Frankel from the LW circle to put BU back up by a pair. After yet another defensive turnover, Donnelly circled back at the dot and went far-side far corner over Frankel’s glove. The lead carried over into the 2nd period but ultimately chased Frankel from the net as Gwyneth Phillips took over the cage to open the second period. I was able to speak with Associate Head Coach Nick Carpenito after the game and I asked him what the message was from the coaching staff in the timeout and in between periods. “We kept it pretty simple. It was a reset moment.” Carpenito recalled “We have to treat the team the same if they are up by 5 or down by 5, we needed to overcome the adversity.”

Whatever the coaches said between periods seemed to work as the Huskies came out with jump and dominated play. Hobson put the Huskies back within a goal when she got her 6th of the year just past midway of the period. Hobson snuck down the LW from the point and finished off the Tessa Ward feed with a one-timer as she was getting hooked off her feet. Shades of Bobby Orr with the finish on this one. Ward took it upon herself to change the momentum of this one as she got the attention of the entire BU defensive corp during a net drive earlier in the period. Ward was giving it as much as she was getting it and that surely had to fire up the NU bench. The Huskies had a prolonged 5 on 3 to end the period but BU killed it off and the teams went to the locker rooms with BU holding a one-goal lead.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

In the final frame NU had certainly shaken off whatever was ailing them in the opening minutes as they controlled the pace and had a decided edge in zone-time. Their high cycle game was in full effect as they kept BU bottled up in their own end. When BU was able to work the puck out, the Huskies relentless puck pursuit caused a turnover and sent them back away to the BU end of the ice.

Katy Knoll drew a late penalty on a net drive and Maddie Mills tied the game up on the ensuing power play. Mills walked down the RW to the inside of the circle and beat Shanahan over the blocker to tie the game with less than 6 minutes left to play, and ladies and gents we have a tie game.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

Knoll wasn’t done yet as she scored the GWG with a sweet doorstep redirect off an Aurard feed. As Aurard drove to the LW circle with her back to the net she gathered the puck and in one motion threw it to the crease where Knoll was driving from the weak side. With her stick on the ice and her head up, Knoll tucked it 5-hole and the Huskies had their first lead of the game.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

Murphy finished up with a great hustle play on the near boards and got the ENG with just over a minute left to play as BU was trying desperately to get back in this one. She took it to the outside and out-skated the gassed BU defender to ice the game for the Huskies.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

A late (stupid) penalty by BU put the Huskies back on the PP with a minute left to go and it looked like the Huskies were just going to run out the clock and enjoy their Friday night. That was until Mills tucked home a cookie of a rebound for her 2nd of the afternoon to give the Huskies the 6-3 final. The Huskies battled back from a 3-2 deficit to open the 3rd and if that’s not an indication of a wagon I don’t know what is.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

Aerin Frankel came into this game with 16 wins on the season and a 0.84GAA. She had a tough go of it today (and was put in some bad spots), but still those type of numbers are ridiculous. She also is the Northeastern all time saves leader now with over 3000 saves to her career. When I asked Coach Carpenito about having to pull his all galaxy goalie: “We told her right away after the period, and those goals weren’t all her fault. Her competitive nature is one of her best assests, but once she was out of the game and cooled off; she was supporting her teammates and ready to get back in the net as soon as she can.” I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Phillips who came in cold down by 3 and shut the door on a hungry BU team. Phillips was sharp on her angles and challenging shooters. This game could have easily gone the other way, but she played outstanding in relief. I mean look at this filth, complete robbery.

Originally tweeted by Northeastern Women’s Hockey (@GoNUwhockey) on January 21, 2022.

The Huskies will (temporarily) say good-bye to Olympian Alina Müeller as she heads to Beijing to compete with the Swiss National Team. Something to think about as we all wish her luck in the tourney: Müeller won an Olympic medal AT 15 YEARS OLD, the youngest ever to win a medal in Olympic hockey. Think about what you were doing when you were 15?

I also asked Coach Carp about what the coaching staff had in mind to replace Müeller’s game while she’s in Beijing and he politely demurred noting, “We have a few different ideas in mind.” Don’t play poker with Carp, he’s not showing any cards.

Heading into today’s game, Skylar Fontaine was 1st in Hockey East for assists, and just so you don’t think she’s all about that offense. She was also 2nd in Hockey East in blocks, and that’s hard sledding right there. Trust me, as someone who plays flamingo defense in beer league, blocking shots ‘aint a good time.

The Huskies are off for the week before they host UVM next Friday at 2pm available on NESN.

Author: Brownie

A legacy that was born on the frozen rivers in Northern Saskatchewan then forged on the ponds of New England. Plays with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet; always living by the credo handed down by generations of beer-league beauties that came before him. Skate Hard - Quick Changes - Win the Parking Lot.

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