Your Northeastern Huskies hosted their crosstown rival Boston College Eagles tonight at Historic Matthews Arena. When it was all said and done, 60 minutes wouldn’t cut it as the teams needed extra hockey to get this one in the books. In overtime, with the sides playing 3v3, then 4v4, then back to 3v3, it was the Huskies who finally lit the lamp and got the OTW 1-0 off the stick of Chloé Aurard.
BC came into this game looking for some revenge as the Eagles had won their previous 7 games coming in, (their last loss also came at the hands of the Huskies back on Nov 12), but have been winless against the Huskies this season. This game was a goalie duel featuring 2 of the best goalies in the nation. In the BC net was Abigail Levy who is sporting a 1.75GAA with a .947% save percentage and has been officially been named as “on the watchlist” for Women’s Goalie of the Year. At the other end of the rink? It’s the best goalie in the nation, Gwyneth Phillips. Oh you think I’m over-hyping Phillips? How about we look at her numbers in comparison. Phillips is rocking a GAA of 0.87 (not a typo) to go along with her 20 wins (leads the nation, not a big deal) and .960% save percentage. To put these numbers in perspective, the all time leaders in NCAA hockey history don’t have a .960% season number (actually the cat in the other locker room at Matthews, Devon Levi is tied for 2nd best all time). You can check the numbers for yourself if you don’t believe me. Oh yeah, Phillips is also on that same watchlist. Suffice it to say, if you like fantastic goaltending, then this was the game for you. This one was a nail-biter and as the game progressed it started to have the feel of an elimination game.
The play was fairly even throughout with a number of long stretches without a whistle. Both squads played uptempo and there were chances at both ends. The Eagles got some momentum off a late power play in the first, but the Huskies battled back and were winning puck battles and were quicker to loose pucks as the first period came to close.
The middle stanza was even more balanced as neither team was willing to give up the middle of the ice and kept as much of the play to the outside as possible. When either team did get in close or had a bid on net? Both goalies were strong and composed. Phillips was on top of her crease all night, cutting down angles and she looked very fluid with her side to side movements. The Eagles were working the seam passes trying to beat her lateral movements, but c’mon man, you’re not getting that weak stuff past Phillips.
Live look at Gwyneth Phillips in net
The best chance of the game for the Huskies was probably Lily Yovetich, who walked down the slot at the end the second and just couldn’t beat Levy’s glove. Yovetich is looking for her first and I’m going to call it for tomorrow vs. Maine. No pressure Lily, no one takes my predictions too seriously anyways.
In the final frame the Huskies were pushing the pace, but BC was skating with them. There were no free entries into the BC zone and the Eagles were doing their very best to take away the Huskies space once they were set up. At the end of the game, Maureen Murphy got whistled for a roughing penalty? (checks notes: yep, that’s what the sheet says) when she was punched in the cage by BC defender Sidney Fess. At least it was matching penalties? This is the type of nonsense I’m talking about when the officials are reffing the scoreboard and not the game. No way that should have been matching. Such a spineless call.
The teams headed to extra hockey playing 3v3 (with Murphy and Fess serving their matching penalties) and Phillips was tested early on when Cayla Barnes drove the net looking to end the contest. Phillips held her ground and made the save to keep the OT period going. Scary moment when the penalties expired and both players exited the box, the teams played 4v4 until the next whistle, but it looked as if there was a communication issue on the NU bench as BC had an extra attacker on the ice for a good 15-20 seconds.
With 2:20 left in extra hockey, Alina Müeller lined up for a face-off in the BC end at the LW dot with Aurard on her left and Megan Carter behind her on defense. Müeller froze the draw and Aurard walked in from the wall and dug the puck out of the pile before putting a shot under Levy’s arm and over the blocker short-side. Ball game.
Some standouts in tonight’s game:
- Skylar Irving was all around the puck tonight and absolutely flying.
- Tory Mariano was a stand out on defense tonight.
- The 4th line of Holly Abela, Mia Brown and Kate Holmes were relentless on the walls and were hunting the puck in the BC zone.
- Peyton Anderson deserved a point for her toe drags
The Huskies are back at it tomorrow vs. Maine at Matthews #HowlinHuskies See you there!
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