Your Northeastern Huskies welcomed in the UMaine Black Bears for a late puck drop tonight at Historic Matthews Arena. Both teams were playing their 2nd game in as many nights with the Huskies beating BC in OT, while the Black Bears fell to UNH 5-4 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Border Battle. The last time these 2 teams squared off was a pair in Orono back in October, with the Huskies taking the Friday night game and the Black Bears getting the W in the Saturday matinee. This one wasn’t as close, as the Huskies rolled over the Black Bears, hanging 5 on the visitors.
The Huskies were sporting their red “alternate” sweaters while Maine rocked their traditional blue on blues. For those of you who are into this type of thing, I’d call this the matchup of the best tarps in all of Hockey East.
The Huskies controlled play to open the period, but UMaine goalie Anna LaRose was up to the task denying a few clean breakaways and withstanding a heavy dose of vulcanized rubber as the Huskies outshot the Black Bears 13-4 in the opening twenty. Maine was employing a heavy forecheck with all 3 forwards down below the face-off dots in the NU zone. It was stymying the Huskies’ clean breakouts but I’m not sure if that’s a sustainable plan for the whole 60? As the period progressed the Huskies tilted the ice towards the Maine end but it was still gooses entering the first intermission.
Well guess what? That approach was def not sustainable as the Huskies got on the board with less than a minute played in the middle stanza. After a long possession in the UMaine zone, Captain Canada herself Megan Carter, broke the deadlock when she beat LaRose from the top of the RW circle. Carter corralled a dish from Alina Mueller and dragged it backwards for a stride before letting a rising wrister go. I’ve talked at length about Carter’s skating ability and now she’s going to do her best Ray Bourque impression in the offensive zone? Gotta love it.
After a Maine penalty expired, Mia Brown put the Huskies up by a pair when she swept a rebound 5-hole from the blue paint. Carter put a shot on net from up high and Brown was in her happy place: causing havoc in the blue paint. The puck popped off Brown herself before she tucked it through the wickets.
The Huskies got a little sloppy once they were up by a pair. Some poor puck management and uncharacteristic turnovers kept giving Maine opportunities, but that’s allowed when you have Gwyneth Phillips in net. Phillips “only” faced 9 shots in the 2nd period, but there were no gimme’s in the bunch. All were high quality chances, but they don’t just give out those goalie stats. Phillips continues to earn her video game numbers and she somehow even improves on them.
As time was clicking down in the period, Maureen Murphy circled up the LW wall and curled back to the middle before putting a shot on net. The puck crossed the line and then the horn sounded. That’s how I saw it and that’s how it was called on the ice. After a brief review “we have a good goal” and the teams retired to the rooms with NU up by 3 with 20 to play.
Lily Shannon got her cookie early on in the 3rd when she finished off a Taze Thompson wrap attempt to put the Huskies up by 4 (which might have well been 44 given the way Phillips has been playing). It was the hardworking hat trick for Shannon tonight as she was doing the dirty work all over the ice. Blocking shots in her own end, drawing a penalty and then eating a big check on the end boards to set up her own goal. The Hockey Gods see your hard work Shannon, and they reward your hard work.
After another long possession in the Maine zone, Lily Brazis changed out for Murphy with the Huskies maintaining possession down low in the Maine zone. Murphy walked down the slot and toe-dragged the defender before tucking the puck 5-hole for her 100th career goal (is that good?). Maude Poulin-Labelle got the apple on the play, giving her 100 points on her career.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Maine broke in on a 3:1 against Abbey Marohn as the lone defender back. Marohn closed off the passing lane and left the shooter to Phillips. I mean you know how that worked out right? Phillips kept the door shut and added another shutout to her total. That’s 3 shutouts in a row for Phillips in case you’re keeping score at home.
Lily Brazis made her presence felt as the “spare forward” tonight. That shows what kind of nailgun she is out there. Limited minutes and you can notice her from the pressbox.
Lily Yovetich is building on her string of excellent games with another one tonight. What a pair out there with Megan Carter. And apparently you can take the girl out of Hollywood, but you can’t take the Hollywood out of the girl as Yovetich managed to give a nice wave to the crowd on the Jumbotron during game play.
The line of Katy Knoll, Skylar Irving and Peyton Anderson consistently had the best chances and most offensive zone time tonight. It’s only a matter of time before the trio of The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today, The Mayor of Kingston and The Matrix (that nickname for Anderson is a work in progress) starts scoring in bunches.
Abbey Marohn plays the game the right way. No offensive zone cheating in her game whatsoever. The Black Bears started playing run and gun (as best they could), and were sending a forward away trying to sneak behind the NU defense. Marohn adjusted at the offensive blue line, calling out plays and dropping off the blue line to make sure there were no clean sneakaways for the Black Bears. And her partner Jules Constantinople? Call her the one woman breakout as she carried the puck 1v5 during a NU change and froze it down low so the Huskies could change behind her.
Up next the Huskies take their show on the road with a game Fri @ Merrimack before heading to Vermont to take on the Catamounts. #HowlinHuskies
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28