Your Northeastern Huskies braved the elements and traveled up 495 to Lawler Arena to take on the Merrimack Warriors in a rare Friday matinee. The Huskies battled a tenacious Merrimack team, (and an indifferent officiating crew), to secure the 3-1 victory on the first stop of a 2 game road trip. As the NU account tweeted out, this one was “Gritty Not Pretty”.
Chloé Aurard got the scoring going with just under 3 minutes played in the opening period as she dog-walked the entire Merrimack team before beating Calli Hogarth far side under the glove. This proves without a doubt that there is no way to contain Aurard. This was a 1:5 during a delayed penalty and she still got her cookie. Maybe Aurard is French for “unstopabble”?
The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today, Katy Knoll, got her 16th of the season when she converted a Peyton (The Matrix) Anderson rebound to put the Huskies up by a pair. Maureen Murphy put the puck on net from the top of the zone and the initial rebound popped to Anderson in the high slot. Her bid was denied, but Knoll was at the top of the paint to sweep home the backhand.
Late in the first, Sophie Mellsness was able to sneak one past Gwyneth Phillips to thwart her bid for a 4th straight shutout. This was the first goal that Phillips has let up this calendar year and I’m not pointing fingers here, but you have to clear out the player standing by themselves in the low slot. Phillips had to fight boredom through long stretches in this one as the Huskies kept big chunks of play in the Merrimack end; but when Merrimack was on the attack, Phillips shut the door. I mean look at the clip below. Squared up to the shooter, out on top of her paint and with no net visible behind her from the shooter’s angle: Textbook goaltending. I mean you don’t lead the NCAA in dubs by luck.
The 2-1 score held until the start of the second, and this is where the refs let the wheels fall off. It’s one thing to let some things go, but c’mon Stripes. Multiple body checks that were ignored, a blatant slew foot/trip that somehow wasn’t seen by any of the 4 on-ice officials; not to mention the behind the play stick work and spears. If you’ve seen Letterkenny, you know what it was.
It’s freaking embarrassing!!
The score held until the 3rd as no matter how many shots the Huskies threw at Hogarth, the freshman goalie was up to the task. The edge in shots was 43-12 at the final horn, so maybe the Merrimack coaching staff drew it up this way? Maybe they were confident enough in the ineptness of the officials that they knew they could play dirty and either not get whistled or have their goalie stand on their head? I mean it’s a bold strategy, but when the team you’re playing has as many wins as you have games played, you have to try something right? I would assume that you come to know the refs and become aware of their “shortcomings” throughout the season. Maybe they saw the officials heading into the rink and knew they’d get away with everything?
And this is the type of nonsense I’ve talked about before. You have officials reffing the score, or reffing the situation or reffing the teams playing. The game needs to be called consistently throughout the 60mins regardless of who’s winning or the fact that Merrimack was able to hang with NU this afternoon. At one point Mia Brown got called for a matching roughing penalty when she was punched in the grill with her hands at her side. I was in the stands with a player I coached (shoutout Bryce) who’s played hockey his entire life and he was dumbfounded at the ref’s. I mean this is a D1 game, I would hope you could get better refs then what I see at beer league on a Tuesday night.
I talked to Coach Carpenito post game and asked him his thoughts after securing the W. “It’s always nice to beat a team that’s cheering on the bench after taking liberties with our players”. Hell yeah Carp.
Maude Poulin-Labelle got the ENG to secure the W and the Huskies left with the all important W and the Warriors can go back to their rooms to reflect on their poor life choices that made them behave like they did.
Some random thoughts from the game:
- “The Mayor of Kingston” herself, Skylar Irving is doing everything BUT score. Keep playing like you are Skirv and the Genos are going to come in bunches.
- The offensive zone time for the Huskies was a clinic in the high cycle. I know that the power play didn’t cash in like they would have liked, but the possession and puck battles were all Huskies all day.
- I would like to come up with some type of skating challenge for Alina Müeller and Megan Carter to compete in who has the sickest edge work. Who do you have winning that?
- How does Merrimack have a beer/wine table set up but not concessions? I thought the idea was to grow the game and welcome in the next generation? Not too many kids are stoked about getting flat draft beer and stale Dunks.
- Taze Thompson and Lily Shannon took an awful lot of abuse today without retaliating and that’s a skill set that I don’t possess. Good on you ladies. Also, Thompson was perfect at the dot this afternoon winning all of her draws.
- Someone please help Maureen Murphy with her bag when you all get off the bus. Murph had 9 SOG today so she’s going to be tired.
- Abbey Marohn continues to eat pucks like it’s her jobs and she’s convincing the other D to join in. I see you Tory Mariano.
- Lily “Nailgun” Brazis was buzzing around out there, and was the pre-game pick for a goal tonight by family friend, Mark, who I met before the opening face-off.
- Chloé Aurard got whistled for an unsportsmanlike penalty when she shuffleboarded a Merrimack player’s stick away in the 3rd. On her way to the box, Aurard helped a player adjust her elbow pad that was much appreciated by the fans in the stands.
- Speaking of the fans in the stands, shout out to the players that were sitting up behind me during the third period when they were calling for The Michigan down low in the Merrimack zone. I would have loved to see that happen.
The Huskies head up to the Green Mountain State to take on the UVM Catamounts tomorrow afternoon in a homecoming game for Poulin-Labelle. #HowlinHuskies
You can read more about Brownie in his bio below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28