By Bailey Putnam, deputy sports editor
After tying St. Lawrence University in the season-opener in Canton, N.Y. on Saturday night, the Northeastern University women’s hockey team (1-0-1) skated past the Saints, 9-5, in a rematch the following night. Three Huskies earned weekly Women’s Hockey East Association (WHEA) awards for their excellence during opening weekend.
St. Lawrence got the jump in the season-opener on Saturday night, scoring just 3:01 into the game. Senior forward Kendall Coyne answered the call 10 minutes later with a rebound goal. The goal was Coyne’s first of five points on the weekend, a feat that would earn her Warrior Player of the Week honors.
Northeastern took the lead midway through the second period when sophomore forward Shelby Herrington fired a shot off a St. Lawrence defender that found the back of the net.
The Saints answered just over three minutes later to even the score. Despite outshooting their host 37-29, the Huskies could not put away more than two opportunities, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
“It was nice to get the first [game] under our belt,” Coyne said. “But I think we were all a little mad that we tied.”
That anger was all the motivation Coyne and the Huskies needed in their rematch on Sunday night. The Olympian recorded her eighth career hat trick as NU outmuscled the Saints 9-5 at Appleton Arena.
Coyne was the first to strike when she scored an unassisted tally at 4:12. A St. Lawrence equalizer goal four minutes later threatened the possibility of another close game, but the Huskies rattled off four more goals by the end of the frame and pulled away from their opponents.
Sophomore forward Denisa Krizova started the Husky march when she jammed home a rebound just two minutes after the Saints’ strike. Freshman forward Kasidy Anderson helped NU pull away when she decked through three defenders and netted a backhand goal.
Coyne rifled home her second of the night on a power play with less than four minutes left in the frame. After the Saints cut the lead in half with a tally of their own, junior defender Heather Mottau extended the gap to 5-2 with a top-shelf snipe following a tic-tac-toe play with less than a minute to go in the first.
Junior forward Hayley Scamurra was the first to find the back of the net in the second period with an unassisted goal from the slot at 7:40 to put the Huskies up 6-2.
The Saints rallied to cut the NU lead to 6-4 midway through the second, but three more Husky tallies quelled the comeback attempt. Sophomore forward Christina Zalewski, Scamurra and Coyne netted a goal apiece to seal the first win of the season.
Anderson’s goal and two assists in Sunday’s victory earned her the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week award. Senior defender Jordan Krause took home the WHEA Defensive Player of the Week crown after ending the weekend with a plus-five rating and an assist on Coyne’s Saturday night goal.
The Huskies will embark on a seven-game home stretch starting with an exhibition game against the Toronto Leaside Wildcats this Saturday at 2 p.m.
“It’s important for our new players to experience what it’s like to play at Matthews [Arena],” Coyne said of the upcoming exhibition tilt. “It’s awesome to have so many home games in a row, especially because last season we started off with eight away games. Any opportunity to play at Matthews is a special opportunity because it’s such an amazing place.”
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.