Your Northeastern Huskies welcomed in the Boston University Terriers for a rare Sunday matinee to kick off the new year at Historic Matthews Arena. The Terriers came into today’s game with only 6 wins on the season, (for comparison, that’s a good week and a half for the Huskies) but BU did get a game in since New Year’s (3-2 loss to Holy Cross). This was the squad that the powers that be decided to showcase at Frozen Fenway? Umm, I thought the point was to , you know…grow the game? Sure, don’t let the 5X Hockey East defending champs skate out at Fenway, please tell me again how that makes sense? Sorry for the digression, but sometimes you just gotta vent.
The holiday good vibes lasted for about half the first period as the Huskies were uncharacteristically sloppy with the puck and struggling with their passing accuracy. Hey, you try taking off a month and being sharp out of the gate. I would think that holiday dinners, cheat meals, and couch-time all played a part for the opening 7 minutes or so. In the end it didn’t matter as the Huskies took care of business with a 6-0 shutout to open the 2nd half of their season.
Coach Flint and Co. also rolled out some new lines and pairings for the new year. Up front the top line remained the same with Alina Mueller centering Chloe Aurard and Maureen Murphy but things looked different from there. The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today Katy Knoll shifted to the wing with Lily Shannon at the pivot and Holly Abela on the other side. Taze Thompson centered Skylar “The Mayor of Kingston” and Peyton Anderson with Molly Griffin and Mia Brown on the opposite wings of Kate Holmes. Lily “Nailgun” Brazis was the extra forward for today’s matchup. On the back end Megan Carter was back from her time with Team Canada and was paired with Lily Yovetich. Maude Poulin-Labelle skated with Tory Mariano and Jules Constantinople partnered with Abbey Marohn. In net was the only Husky player who looked dialed in from jump, Gwyneth Phillips.
The Captain, Alina Mueller got the game winner with only 3:17 gone in the first when she finished off a Maureen Murphy cross-crease feed. Mueller carried into the BU zone and fed Murphy driving the RW dot. Murphy carried to the goal mouth, selling shot all the way and then dished to Mueller at the far post for the put away. And that ladies and gentlemen was all the goals the Huskies needed to score today thanks to the stellar play of Gwyneth Phillips in net.
Late in the opening frame, Skylar Irving used her speed to draw a penalty and put the Huskies on their second PP of the game. Katy Knoll put a shot on net from the LW corner and the puck bounced to Peyton Anderson in the slot, Anderson put one on net but was denied by BU goaltender Andrea Brandli. The puck popped to Chloe Aurard at the right post and she corralled the puck with her skate before popping it in the near side. Good things happen when you go to the net.
The teams retired for the first intermission with the 2-0 edge for NU and I’m sure in the BU locker room they were pretty pleased with how things were going. Unfortunately for the Terriers there was another 40mins to go.
The Huskies came out for the middle period with a noticeable jump in their game and the ice was tilting towards the Terriers net dramatically as the period progressed. In the span of 2:51 the Huskies blew this game open. First up was Mueller again as she potted a rebound of Irving’s net drive. Irving shot from the slot and Mueller was walking out of the LW corner and short-side over the blocker and it’s 3-0 good guys.
Next was Taze Thompson as she put one over the blocker off of a great play by Molly Griffin to kick her the puck in the slot. If you haven’t heard it yet, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Taze for an interview before the holidays, you can listen to it here. This wasn’t exactly the “Lazer from Tazer” we’ve been hoping for, but I’m counting this a direct result of the The Morning Skate glow up that she got a Geno today.
Then it was Murphy from the RW dot got her own rebound and put it past Brandli on her backhand for the 5-spot. At this point I think it’s safe to say that the ladies have definitely knocked off the rust.
The teams took the 5 goal deficit into the final frame, and just for once, I wish the officials would ref the game and not the score. I’m not talking exclusively about these refs, from beer league to the NHL the refs put their whistles away once the score gets out of hand. Today was no different, but you know who’s always watching? The Hockey Gods, that’s who. Aurard got tripped, slew-footed, interfered with, tackled low in the BU zone (no call of course) but the Hockey Gods put a kiss on the puck and dropped it on Mia Brown‘s stick above the LW circle. Brown put a wrister above the blocker of Callie Shanahan who had come in for relief in the BU net.
A couple of things I noticed from the press box (not a big deal)
- Gwyneth Phillips notched her 6th shutout of the season and was dialed in all day. Out on top of her crease, squared up to face shooters, just an absolute clinic out there. Plus she had to keep herself dialed in as the BU squad mustered (checks notes) 2SOG in the 3rd.
- I could watch Megan Carter skate all day. She’s so good on her edges and picks up speed and eats up the ice with a stride or two. If you are teaching a youngster to skate, have them watch Carter.
- The entire D squad came to play today. Jumping into the rush, calling for pucks, and just out working the BU attackers, just a great effort by the entire unit.
- Speaking of the D, nice moment by Lily Yovetich as Mueller got upended right in front of the NU bench and no call (shocker). Yovetich came off the bench and stapled the BU player that tripped Mueller to the far boards. Love to see that.
- Chloe Aurard notched her 100th career assist this afternoon.
Up next for the Huskies is a Friday the 13th matchup with BC followed by a Sat tilt with UMaine
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