Your Northeastern Huskies took the ice this afternoon at Alford Arena for the back end of a pair against UMaine. After last night’s physical, high-flying game it was anticipated (at least by this humble blogger/podcaster) for another 60mins of the same. Oh how wrong I was. More proof of why I watched this game from my couch as opposed to behind a bench.
This game was a slog. Clearly the Black Bears learned from their mistakes last night and adjusted the game plan. Clog the lanes, keep tight gaps and stay out of the box. They did all of that and more and hung the first loss of the season on the Huskies, clinging to a 1-0 final score.
An early power play in the first put the momentum squarely in UMaine’s favor as the Huskies were pinned in their own end and couldn’t get the puck out of the zone. The Black Bears were working the puck well on the wall and found Grace Heiting alone at the RW circle for a one-timer that beat Gwyneth Phillips. Heiting found a soft spot in the NU coverage and Phillips had no chance from that distance.
Even though the Huskies controlled most of the flow and game play for the first, the Black Bears came out of the opening frame with the lead. Unfortunately, that score was all they needed as the Huskies were unable to solve UMaine netminder Jorden Mattison.
The middle stanza was a more even period which, let’s face it, was a win for UMaine. Both teams were having trouble sustaining offense and most rushes ended with a shot on net and then back the other way. Somehow in the 2nd period, Chloe Aurard was called for a hand pass to herself? In all my years of playing and watching hockey, that was a first for me. Look, I’m not going to blame this on the officials, as you still have to score in order to win. BUT, the Huskies played all 60 without drawing a whistle? Megan Carter was called for “blowing up” a UMaine player along the boards? (That’s a direct quote from the ESPN+ feed). I’m not a conspiracy type, but these iffy calls combined with a bunch of non-calls definitely tilted the ice towards the Black Bears.
The play in the 3rd was more of the same, NU would get it going only to be stoned by Mattison. The Black Bears played with discipline and composure, and if you’re out to an early lead that makes for an easier game plan. I spoke to Associate Head Coach Nick Carpenito prior to today’s tilt and asked him what they were looking for going into puck drop. “We need a fast start today. It’s something we’ve been harping on the last couple of weeks and we haven’t gotten it yet.” NU did jump out early, but Lily Shannon was robbed early on. At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. Again, not a conspiracy theory type of guy, but we saw numerous replays from the overhead camera today on the ESPN+ feed, but no replay of that
goal shot on net? That clip is stored away in some type of Indiana Jones warehouse of government security never to be seen again. I’m not saying it was a goal, but it would sure be good to take a look at it. I mean outside of the Olympics this is the best woman’s hockey on the planet, maybe a few more camera angles? I really don’t feel as if I’m asking too much.
Up next for the Huskies (besides a long ride home) is a pair against Providence College next week. Right back at it and put this one in the rearview mirror. #HowlinHuskies
- This is the first time the Huskies have been shutout since 10/21 vs. Providence
- Gwyneth Phillips set a new career high for saves
- Statistically I can’t remember a game that was this close in the stat column. SOG were even and UMaine held the edge at the dot.
- Abbey Marohn and Megan Carter were outstanding in this game and Maude Poulin-Labelle is tenacious on the puck. She held the puck in the UMaine zone countless times while the Huskies were changing.
- The Bully Line did everything but score tonight. NU has a truly dominant top 6 forward group and the bottom 6 were wheeling this afternoon.
Signing off as I have to now explain to a 6 year old that the Huskies can’t win ALL their games.
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