By James Duffy, news correspondent
After a disappointing loss to Lindenwood University last week, the Northeastern University (NU) women’s ice hockey team bounced back this weekend to beat the Mercyhurst University Lakers twice at Matthews Arena, improving to 4-1-1 on the season.
On Friday, in the first game of the series, the Huskies found themselves in a hole quickly as junior goalie Sarah Foss allowed three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. After the third goal, freshman Brittany Bugalski came in to relieve Foss, but she allowed a goal by Mercyhurst sophomore forward Sarah Robello that deepened the deficit to 4-0.
Late in the period, senior defenseman Jordan Krause got NU onto the board. Krause wired a shot past Mercyhurst freshman goalie Sarah McDonnell on a power play, and Northeastern had new life in the game.
Still trailing 4-1 early in the second, senior forward Kendall Coyne turned the tide of the game while killing a penalty for NU. She raced down the ice from her own zone, deked around two Lakers and flipped a backhand past the goalie for a highlight-reel goal.
The goal fired up the Huskies and helped deflate Mercyhurst’s power play, shifting the tides in NU’s favor.
Later, Northeastern was able to find the back of the net on a power play of its own when sophomore forward McKenna Brand cut the Mercyhurst lead to one.
With a minute remaining in the period, junior forward Hayley Scamurra tied the game with an assist from Coyne.
Scamurra eventually tallied the game winner for NU in the third period, making the score 5-4, where it remained until the final buzzer.
Brittany Bugalski turned away 14 shots in the second, including a stop on a breakaway to keep her team within a goal of the lead.
The game on Saturday night had a similar feel, as the Huskies trailed 2-0 after the first period but eventually found their way to a 7-3 win.
Coyne started the comeback early in the second period, tallying a power-play goal to cut the Mercyhurst lead in half.
Coyne’s goal was the 100th of her collegiate career, making her the 17th woman ever to score 100 career goals in college hockey. She was named Hockey East’s Warrior Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Junior forward Paige Savage tied the game at two just four minutes after Coyne’s goal, but Mercyhurst senior defenseman J’nai Mahadeo retook the lead for the Lakers on a power play later in the period.
Entering the third period down a goal, the Huskies took over the game on the back of sophomore forward Denisa Krizova.
Krizova scored just 18 seconds into the period, the first of three goals she scored in the third. The hat trick was the first of her career and helped propel NU to a perfect weekend.
“She’s been great, and she’s been a great complement to that [first] line,” Flint said of Krizova in an interview with GoNU.com.
Flint thought the weekend was successful as a whole, especially the late-game efforts by the Huskies.
“It’s a great feeling anytime you can sweep a team like Mercyhurst,” he said in an email to The News. “I didn’t like that we started slow, but we picked it up, and I was proud of our effort.”
The team opens up Hockey East play this weekend, hosting Boston University on Saturday and Providence College on Sunday.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics