Your Northeastern Huskies welcomed the Boston College Eagles into historic Matthews Arena this afternoon for a matinee with a side of shutout. Talk about 2 programs living on the opposite sides of the same coin. The Huskies came into this one with 3 wins in their last 3GP while the Eagles haven’t fared the same as of late, dropping their last 3 in a row (now 4).
The Huskies did all they could to make this more interesting as Maureen Murphy was out of the lineup (as she’s transforming into Captain America) and Megan Carter was held out for a scheduled maintenance weekend. There was some line juggling up front and on the back end as the Plug and Play Huskies are nothing if not deep. I’m talking Mariana Trench deep, there’s talent for days in that room.
In the first period you could see that BC had a gameplan coming in and they were sticking to it. The Eagles were clogging the middle of the ice and had multiple players respond to every loose puck on the wall. It was an ambitious style of play, but hard to sustain throughout an entire 60 minute game. Could they keep it going? They did for the first as the teams retired for the first intermission knotted at gooses. The SOG told the story as NU only had a slight edge after the period, outshooting BC 10-6 (pay attention, this is what‘s known as foreshadowing).
I want to point out a great play by Lily Yovetich around the 6min mark of the first. While under a heavy forecheck, Yovetich was hauled down (no call by Stripes, shocker) and as she was going to the ice, she leaned on the player’s stick that had her wrapped up (again, no call on the play) and used it as a pivot point to maintain her balance and sweep the puck out of the zone. Just a great play with unbelievable presence of mind by Yovetich. That won’t show up on the stat sheet, but I got you Lily!
The Huskies came out for the 2nd and made the necessary adjustments and tilted the ice towards the BC net., Quick ups to initiate outlets and more North/South through the neutral zone made it too much for BC to handle and it started to show as the Huskies were buzzing.
Alina Müeller got it going when she blew one past Abigail Levy with less than 6 minutes played. Chloé Aurard cycled the puck in the RW corner and put one up the wall to Müeller at the point. With nifty drag off the wall on her backhand, The Captain walked the blueline and let one go from the high slot that Levy still hasn’t seen.
As it happens with the Huskies, their opponents start out playing controlled and within whatever gameplan they’ve devised, thinking that it will somehow stymie the Huskies. And then the Huskies score, and the entire gameplan goes out the window and the opposing team starts taking dumb penalties (even ones that these refs had to call), like it’s going to somehow make it better to put NU on the power play?
After failing to convert on the PP, the Huskies were dominating play and possession and you could feel the wave coming. Who better to ride that wave? The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today: Katy Knoll, that’s who! A great forecheck by Müeller caused a turnover behind the BC net, I mean it’s Müeller vs. 3 Eagles so I guess it was fair? Maybe if there were 4 BC defenders back there it would have been closer? Müeller found Knoll driving the net, cause where else would you find Knoll? And all of a sudden the Huskies are up by a pair. This score held until intermission. Remember I pointed out the SOG after the first? After 2 periods the SOG were almost 3:1 as the Huskies were now outshooting BC 30-11. Consider that ice officially tilted.
To open the third, Yovetich got called for a phantom trip; I mean if you’re standing still and another player runs you and then they fall over cause ice is slippery I guess you’re at fault for being in their way? Good to see the ref that called that “infraction” was about 25 feet away with a number of players in their line of vision. If it was a call at all, it should have been embellishment on the BC player. That’s why it was so surprising to see Knoll draw a call a few minutes later.
On the ensuing PP, the Huskies put this one out of reach when Knoll got her 2nd of the contest. The Huskies were working the puck around the zone on the man-advantage (I mean look at that slick passing), when Aurard threw the puck on net. Levy made the initial save, but the rebound popped to Knoll on the doorstep and she punched it past the sprawling Levy.
The top line got the final cookie of the day when Müeller got her 2nd goal of the afternoon with about 5 minutes to play. Aurard gathered the puck in the neutral zone and drove down the LW drawing a defender while Müeller drove the far post. Aurard laid the puck over to get to the top of the paint just as Müeller arrived and the Olympian re-directed the feed over Levy’s glove with a defender draped all over her.
Even though the Dog Pound was chanting “We Want 5”, the Huskies were good with a 4-0 win in front of the raucous crowd. No rest for the weary however as these teams face off again tomorrow at 2pm over at BC.
- Holly Abela and Molly Griffin were fantastic on the forecheck today. With Lily Shannon at the pivot that line made it’s presence felt all game.
- I have a new stat for this squad. If you score a goal, register an assist and get a penalty it’s a Katy Knoll hat trick. Knoll just missed it today (surprisingly without any PIM), but she wasn’t making many friends out there, so there’s a chance for her to get it tomorrow.
- Maude Poulin-Labelle is so cool. She and Abbey Marohn were paired today and at least 3x (that I noticed) she held the puck in the offensive zone as the entire squad changed. And Marohn had the legs going today. She jumped up in the zone and was first back on the backcheck a number of times.
- Skylar (The Mayor of Kingston) Irving, Taze Thompson and Peyton Anderson looked like they’ve been playing together for years. Great cycles and pressure all over the ice, such a solid game from this line (and I see you Taze with that extra stick work behind the play).
- Kate Holmes led the way at the dot winning 4 of 5 draws.
- I’m not sure, but I think the French word Aurard translates to “sick mitts” in English.
- Mia Langlois was filthy tonight with puck control and on the backcheck. I don’t know if there’s a Selke Trophy in women’s hockey, but she has my vote.
- Gwyneth Phillips notched her 4th shutout of the season to go with her 0.77GAA and a .961% save percentage. Read that again. Those are video game numbers.
- Tory Mariano and Jules Constaninople were shutdown beasts today. I mean that in the most flattering way possible.
- Lastly a huge shout-out to whomever thought to have the players sit after the game for autographs and pics with all the kids in attendance. What a great memory for them.
Here’s the Daughter of Brownie with the parents of The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today. Lots of celebrities at the game today. #HowlinHuskies
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28