Your Northeastern Huskies traveled to beautiful Durham, NH to take on the UNH Wildcats at Whittemore Arena in the first leg of a home and home series. At the end of 60 the Huskies hung a 5 spot on the Kitty Cats and starting netminder Gwyneth Phillips notched her 3rd shutout of this young season.
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Back to the game. UNH came into this game with a reputation for eating pucks and they certainly lived up to the hype. In the first period alone UNH was credited with 14 blocks. Players were putting themselves in harms way and had their sticks clogging the lanes, I mean you might want to you know, shoot the puck on the opposing net too, but being sound defensively is a good foundation to build on. When the NU shots did get through, Ava Boutilier was up to the task as she played great tonight, don’t let the final score fool you.
Late in the first Maureen Murphy got the Huskies on the board with one of the more unusual goals you’ll see. D Marina Alvares went to swing her own net and turn back up ice, but the Hockey Gods gave her stick a little tickle and the puck drifted to the blue paint in front of Boutilier. Both clans arrived together for a meeting at the crease and the puck squirted around the paint until finally it wobbled over the line to give Murphy her 4th of the year. Shoutout to the ref who was positioned properly at the far post as he never lost sight of the puck (I mean if I’m going to point out when they’re awful, I have to point out when they’re competent). I think Stripes and Murphy were the only ones in the arena who knew where the puck was.
Quick stick tap for the top line of Murphy, Chloé Aurard and Alina Müeller. What a trio of absolute beauties. All night they were relentless on the puck, there was one shift midway through the first where they created 5-7 turnovers in the UNH zone during ONE SHIFT. I play on a team that can’t create that many turnovers in 2 games and these 3 are just out there making it look easy all night. It doesn’t matter the situation: Even strength, killing penalties (sick SH bid Murph, I see you) and on the power play; just pure unadulterated filth.
In the second, The Captain got it going on the power play with a snap drag from the RW circle that broke off the glove of Boutilier. Murphy laid the puck across the blue line to Müeller who caught it on her backhand and walked to the top of the circle where she let it fly. So smooth.
In the 3rd The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today decided to call game. Katy Knoll got her first of the night (nice work by the camera crew to catch her parents celebrating in the stands) when she walked out of the LW corner and cycled the zone. Carrying the puck around the perimeter she let a wrister go from the top of the RW circle that beat Boutilier far side under the blocker. I think this is where I’m supposed to say just Katy Knoll doing Katy Knoll things.
Just 3 minutes later Knoll did it again, this time off a steal from Müeller. UNH was trying to work it out of their own end when Müeller just picked the puck up like it was passed to her and dropped a little backhand to Knoll driving the slot. Knoll put it in the same spot as her first goal and it was all over except for the clock. Best part of this play was Müeller just dropping the puck and then skating to the bench like she knew Knoll was going to score. Didn’t even look back after the pass. I guess you don’t need to see it to get the +1.
Mia Brown finished off the scoring when she converted a Skylar (Mayor of Kingston) Irving rebound with a nice put away. Look at Brown’s positioning on this play, taking away the goalie’s eyes, occupying the defense and then getting separation to tuck the loose puck. As the headline says, Mia don’t miss.
The Huskies are back at it tomorrow as they host these same Wildcats at historic Matthews Arena looking to get to 10W on the season. Maybe that will be enough to get them on the sheet at Fenway during the Winter Classic festivities? I mean by all means get teams with losing records (losing records in both NCAA and Hockey East by the way) out there, that’s definitely what the fans want to see I’m sure. Why bother having the 5x Hockey East champs help grow the game? But what do I know.
- Abbey Marohn and Maude Poulin-Labelle were awesome tonight. Both were all over the ice and looked dominant on the back end. Don’t think I forgot about you Megan Carter or your partner Tory Mariano either. Couple of vacuums sucking up loose pucks and UNH souls. Lily Yovetich and Kristina Allard were solid as well and what a gutty performance by Allard after going awkwardly into the end wall to get back out there and give it a go.
- Also Poulin-Labelle is a team leading +19 on the season.
- Gwyneth Phillips came into tonight’s game with a 0.81GAA and a 0.961% save percentage and then she went out and IMPROVED UPON BOTH OF THOSE NUMBERS
- Katy Knoll is now leading the team with 9 goals in 11 games. I mean I’m not going to take any credit away from her, but she’s been on a torrid pace since coming on the podcast. Just saying ladies, if any of you are interested in what we’ve been calling “The Morning Skate Glow Up”, let Delaney know you’d like to come on the pod.
- Skylar Irving and Molly Griffin were both soooooooo close tonight. One off the post and one over the top. Lily Shannon was great making some room out there for that line.
- Taze Thompson was a ridiculous 8 out of 10 at the dot tonight and was buzzing.
- Lily Brazis is a honey badger. That’s the headline. Also Peyton Anderson has an absolute cannon. Great line out there with Mia Brown.
Again, to The Fenway Group: Give the people what they want and get these beauticians out on the sheet during the Winter Classic festivities. Everyone knows Huskies like to play outside.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below and follow him on Twitter @Abrow28