Your Northeastern Huskies welcomed in the Boston College Eagles to Historic Matthews Arena tonight for a quarterfinal matchup in the Hockey East playoffs. This is the 5th meeting this season between the 2 clubs with the last time they squared off being the Beanpot Finals earlier in February (spoiler alert: The Huskies won that one too). The Huskies are now a perfect 5-0 vs. the Eagles this year. I’ve said it before and I hope to say it many many more times, nothing better than beating BC.
The Huskies coaching staff switched things up for the opening face-off having the line of Katy Knoll, Peyton Anderson and Taze Thompson get the opening draw. That slight wrinkle paid off as The Matrix put the Huskies up by a goal a quick 47 seconds into game play. After Thompson kept the puck alive along the wall, it got back to Captain Canada Meg Carter at the left point and she wasted no time putting the puck on net. BC goalie Abigail Levy made the initial save but the puck skittered to the end boards behind the BC net. Anderson swooped on the loose change and put it backhand between her own legs and banked it in off Levy. Just like that, the Huskies were off and running.
BC looked like they were still skating warmies for most of the opening frame as the Huskies had the jump and were pushing the pace up and down the ice. The playoff vibes were alive and well in the old barn, but maybe BC didn’t get the memo? The Eagles didn’t get an offensive setup until nearly 15mins had been played. The Huskies were quicker to loose pucks and dominated possession. If it wasn’t for Levy this one would have been over early as she kept the Huskies off the board for the remaining 19:13 of the first.
In the 2nd the game was a bit more even, as the Eagles tried to employ a 3 player forecheck. Yep, you read that correctly, they were sending 3 players deep to pressure the NU defense. Have you been paying attention BC? That’s a murders row back there on D for the Huskies. You have Maple Leaf Meg (shout out to Delaney for that nickname) paired with Lily Yovetich who was a monster in this game. Then it’s Maude Poulin-Labelle with Tory Mariano who are the queens of the quick outlets and then, once you think it’s safe it’s Abbey Marohn with Jules Constantinople. One eats pucks for fun and giggles and the other has the uncanny ability to get shots through even when there appears to be no lane. So yeah, def ramp up the forecheck; that should work out for you.
NU was getting chances throughout the period (regardless of the forecheck) but couldn’t cash in. After outshooting the Eagles 13-7 in the first, the Huskies opened it up further with a 18-3 SOG margin for the second. Forecheck seems to be working out (I need a sarcasm font). Late in the period, Anderson got her 2nd of the contest when she put in a shot from an impossible angle low on the LW. Marohn worked the puck up and out to Thompson streaking through the neutral zone and she carried into the BC end bumping the puck off the wall to Anderson on the wing. Anderson dropped to below the LW dot and put one in off Levy’s skates for the 2 goal lead. That’s Peyton, Ms. Anderson if you’re nasty.
In the final frame the play was more balanced even if the SOG didn’t reflect it. Gwyneth Phillips was tested a few times and came up huge (per usual), but her best save of the game was at the 10min mark when she exploded off her line to challenge the shooter to keep BC off the board while they were pressing. She’s so quick laterally that she was there ahead of the pass and was able to square up and move up to cut down the angle. I’ll keep posting this pic as long as it’s applicable. I mean 9 shutouts this year, she really is a brick wall back there.
The score remained static as time wound down in this one and you could see the BC bench was looking for the time to pull Levy. With a little over 2mins left, BC pulled her and the extra attacker was on for the Eagles. Did they climb back into this one? Not so much as Alina Mueller potted the ENG for her program leading 250th point. I mean look at this beautician as she puts the puck dead center from behind the red line, meaning that if she misses, it’s an icing the other way. The Captain has ice water running through her veins.
The Huskies will play on Saturday for the Hockey East Championship (at the time of this post, Vermont and Providence are knotted at gooses in the 2nd) here in the friendly confines in Matthews.
Some observations from around the rink:
- Shoutout to The Mayor of Kingston, Skylar Irving who was giving the “got my eyes on you” hand sign to a player during gameplay. Irving swiped the puck completely clean off her stick right after that exchange, so if you’re going to eat her lunch Skirv you can do what you want.
- The Premier Power Forward in Women’s Hockey Today Katy Knoll was big at the dot today and had a huge block late in the game with the Eagles pressing.
- Gotta love the calmness of Paige Taborski, Yovetich and Marohn as they were enjoying the pep band’s rendition of “Stacey’s Mom” in the third.
- I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Chloe Aurard on an all new Northeastern Huskies edition of the podcast. You’ll have to hear me and Coach Carp talk first, but it’s worth the wait to hear Aurard. You can find the podcast here.
You can read more about Brownie in his bio down below or follow him on Twitter @Abrow28