Your Northeastern Huskies traveled down below the Mason/Dixon line to take on the Princeton Tigers in the first game of the Smashville Showcase at the Ford Ice Rink outside of Nashville. In a stroke of irony, the powers that be didn’t think the 5x defending Hockey East champs deserved to play at the Bridgestone Arena (aka home of the NHL Predators), instead opting to have the men’s hockey team play there. Unfortunately, The Hockey Gods sometimes get involved off-ice too and due to a water main break early this morning, the ladies get to skate today while the fellas don’t.
Gywneth Phillips not only played tour guide and vlogger on this trip, she also locked up the net for the Huskies this afternoon turning away 26SOG from Princeton on her way to securing the 4-1 win. Strong on her angles all afternoon, Phillips was squared up to shooters and at times was the best penalty killer on the ice. Phillips doesn’t get as much love from the video crew as the scorers, so I’ll share you her “Hat-Cam” video. She doesn’t only play net, ladies and gentlemen… just follow the hat.
Maureen Murphy, fresh off her tour with the US Women’s team (not a big deal), hopped back in with her lineys and let the NCAA know that she hasn’t missed a beat with her 2nd hat trick of the season to pace the Huskies. The game started out choppy with the Huskies having trouble with puck management and getting any sustained attack going in the Princeton end. Phillips had 13 saves in the first alone and kept the Huskies in this one until they got their legs going after the first intermission. The Huskies were making it even harder on Phillips as they were serving up pizzas by the whole pie to the Princeton forwards with sloppy play in their own end.
Early in the 2nd, the Huskies gave up a short-handed bid when a Princeton forward walked in alone on Phillips, who shut the door and kept the score at gooses. You never know what will spark the team on any given day, but it sure seemed that the save by Phillips galvanized the squad. With about 8mins played, Murphy got her first of the afternoon while at full strength. Jules Constantinople dug the puck off the wall at the left point and slid it to Murphy who had cycled back to the blue line. Murphy corralled the puck and let it go towards the Princeton net where it found home to put the Huskies on the scoreboard first.
Later in the period Murphy was at it again but this time shorthanded. Maude Poulin-Labelle sent Murphy out of the Huskies end with a perfect pass on her tape, and Murphy busted out of her own end and drove the neutral zone. With a defender chasing, Murphy kept her head up and the puck off her hip as she drove the slot. With a quick hesitation move, she froze the goalie to go over the glove bar down. 2-0 Huskies and we’re off and running.
Through 2 periods the pace had definitely picked up as had the extra-curriculars. Princeton is a big physical team and the Huskies were doing their best to keep their noses clean in the post whistle meeting of the clans. The Huskies had a much better time working the puck out of their zone in the 2nd and were taking advantage of the large gaps in the Princeton defense.
Issy Wunder got one back for Princeton when she converted a one-timer from Sarah Fillier in the slot early in the third. Another quick stick-tap to Lily Yovetich (which is becoming a weekly thing). I asked Coach Carp this afternoon for any matchups to look out for in today’s game and he commented “16 on 16”. I know I’ve been prone to hyperbole in this space in the past, but when I say that Yovetich handled the Canadian Olympian today, I’m not exaggerating. Put it this way, Yovetich probably is going to be eating light tonight as she ate Fillier’s lunch all afternoon. Good tip by Coach Carp, but since I had to sign up for Twitch (seriously? What strange corner of the interwebs have I gotten myself into?) to see the game today, I’m holding him responsible. So let’s call Coach Carp even on the day.
Later in the 3rd, Peyton Anderson got her cookie on the power play with a drag snap from the bottom of the RW circle. Chloe Aurard had the sweet feed to set up the play. Well, Ms. Anderson, see what happens when you shoot?
See what happens when you shoot,
Late in the 3rd it was Murphy again, but this time on the power play. For those of you scoring at home Murphy had an even strength goal, a shortie that was the game-winner and then a power play just to keep it balanced on the score sheet. Have yourself a Saturday Murph.
The Huskies are back at it tomorrow afternoon vs. Cornell in the matinee. #HowlinHuskies
Lastly, in light of the holiday, I’m thankful for everyone involved with this program. From the coaches, to people behind the scenes to the players and their families, you’ve all been great to me and I appreciate the support.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28