Your Northeastern Huskies traveled to Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill to take on the Boston University Terriers in the first game of the 44th Women’s Beanpot. Billed as the most exciting 2 Tuesdays in February, this one lived up to the hype as it pitted the 5th ranked Huskies vs. the 24th ranked Terriers. In this beloved tournament, you can toss out everyone’s records as this one is played for bragging rights within the city.
The Terriers came into this one with a record of 3-0-2 in their last 5 while the Huskies have been slightly better as of late, winning their last 13GP. The game started off slow with both squads spending most of their time in the neutral zone. The Huskies landed the first shot on net but it didn’t come until nearly 3 minutes played.
Midway through the opening frame the ice started to tilt towards the BU net as the Huskies started to pressure the Terriers. An aggressive forecheck and strong work along the walls started to pay off for NU in zone time and scoring opportunities. With just over 7mins gone, Maureen Murphy got the Huskies on the scoresheet. Chloe Aurard (player of the month, keep the change) dragged the puck out of the NU zone and worked down the left wing with Murphy driving the net. Aurard held onto the puck until she drew the defenseman and then laid the puck to Murphy in the slot. Murphy corralled the feed and went forehand/backhand top shelf to open the scoring. Up under the bar is where you stash that type of filth.
That score held through the period as both teams knuckled down and showed good defensive layers, making it tough for either team to get set up in the offensive zone. Gwyneth Phillips had a massive save at the 9min mark to keep BU off the sheet. Out on top of her crease and squared up to every shooter, the NU netminder looked fluid and dialed in. On the other end, things were starting to get leaky for Andrea Brandli as the relentless NU attack was starting to tenderize the BU netminder and there were rebounds to be had.
In the 2nd BU tied it up with just over 2 mins played after a goalmouth scramble popped to Brooke Disher in the slot and she stashed one over the sprawled out Phillips. This sequence came on the heels of some hard work by the Terriers. NU couldn’t clear the zone and Phillips made 3 saves in tight before the tie goal, (and she almost made the save from flat on her back).
That lead held for exactly 1:52 (math guy Brownie), before Murphy again put the Huskies in front. Alina Mueller carried the puck down the LW wall and cycled back up the zone and away from the defender before finding Aurard in the slot. Auard dragged the puck through and around the defender before laying a sweet backhand to Murphy parked out front. Murph may not know where her dog is, but she knew what to do with that dish. 2-1 and the Huskies are back out in front.
In the final frame the play was more balanced as the teams traded chances. The game got a bit more wide open as BU desperately tried to claw back into this one. With 6 minutes gone The Captain put it away for the Huskies. Mueller picked the puck clean off a BU defender trying to break out and then walked down Broadway before launching a back foot drag snap over Brandli’s blocker. The missile alarms went off for this one as there was no chance for the BU netminder. 3-1 good dogs.
After BU pulled the goalie with more than 2 minutes left, NU kept most pucks to the perimeter but had that eat pucks mindset as the makeshift line of Taze Thompson, Mia Brown and Lily Shannon rode the clock all the way down before potting the empty netter with 0.7 seconds left before the final horn.
Some observations from WAAAAY above the ice
- Megan Carter is the Ray Bourque of this squad. She’s an absolute weapon out there. Captain Canada broke up multiple odd man rushes and snuffed out an early 2:1 without BU getting a SOG.
- The line of Peyton “The Matrix” Anderson, Katy “The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today” Knoll and The Mayor of Kingston Skylar Irving were crucial in the early going to dictate the play and pace of the game. And quick heads up to Skirve, once they start going in, they will be going in bunches. Keep doing what you’re doing out there.
- I did miss Todd on my LW tonight: if you know you know.
- Tory Mariano was steady-eddy back there all game. Calm with the puck and covering for her partner. Classic stay at home defense.
- Taze Thompson was feeling it all game. Tough on the puck, ferocious on the forecheck and trading chin music with a few BU players in front of their net. A Taze-manian devil out there. The Hockey Gods have seen your hard work and rewarded you with a much deserved ENG. This might have been her best game as a Husky.
- Lily Yovetich is a good kind of nasty. Hard on her stick and not afraid to body a fore-checker (which she did multiple times tonight). I see you dumping that BU player in the net Lily.
- Lily Shannon (National rookie of the year watchlist – not a big deal) was hunting the puck all night. Think this game was just another one on the schedule? Shannon was laying out defensively to deny a BU bid early in the first not to mention late in the game with the BU goalie pulled. And talk about giving it the extra effort: Holly Abela lost a blade after a block and still tried to clear the puck on one leg before going off for equipment repair.
- Anderson had the sickest dangle of the game as she dragged the puck back between her own legs and around the defenseman before putting it over the net late in the first.
- Quick shout out to the 5 NU players who killed off the end of the game with the BU goalie pulled: Mia Brown, Lily Shannon and Thompson up front with Abbey Marohn and Tory Mariano out back. Killed off the last 2 minutes and were absolutely eating pucks out there. Marohn was a one-woman cycle out there tonight to, quick retrieves and out, just like the doctor ordered.
- Nice moments in the post-game press conferences as both Mueller and Brandli acknowledged each other’s skill and how much they care for each other. Good to see the international game represented here in the Hub of Hockey.
Up next the Huskies travel to Storrs, CT to take on the (lesser) Huskies of UConn on Friday before coming back to Chestnut Hill for the Beanpot Finals next Tuesday night.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28