By James Duffy, news correspondent
The Northeastern University (NU) women’s ice hockey team defeated Syracuse University on Friday by a score of 5-4 but struggled against Lindenwood University the next night, falling 4-2. The Lindenwood game marked the first loss of the season for the Huskies, who are now 2-1-1.
Senior forward Kendall Coyne and sophomore forward Shelby Herrington led NU over the Orange on Friday afternoon with a pair of goals each.
Although the Huskies maintained the lead for the whole game, Syracuse made it a nail-biter in the last few minutes. The Orange scored with three minutes left and put heavy pressure on junior goaltender Sarah Foss in the closing minutes, but Foss was up to the task and locked in the victory.
Foss made her season debut in net, turning away 33 of the 37 shots that came her way en route to the win. The 33 saves set a career-high for Foss, beating the 28 saves she made against Boston College last year.
Coyne’s two goals came within the first five minutes of the game, and the star player nearly completed the hat trick later in the period. She was stopped on a breakaway, however, by Syracuse senior goalie Jenn Gilligan. Herrington scored a first-period power-play goal followed by another goal with just a few minutes left in the second period.
“Having a year of experience to draw from has made me more comfortable on the ice and has given me a confidence that I was maybe lacking as a freshman,” Herrington said in an email to The News. “I think this, in addition to having a team around me that is more experienced, has helped us out so far this year.”
Sophomore forward Taytum Clairmont added the fifth goal in the third period, the eventual game-winner, when she tipped a shot from sophomore defenseman Lauren Kelly into the back of the net.
Kelly and senior defenseman Jordan Krause each had two assists in the game. Special teams also played a huge role as both teams had a pair of power-play goals.
The next afternoon, the Huskies laced up their skates to face a Lindenwood squad that had been struggling in the early part of the year. The Lady Lions had managed just one win in their first five contests, but fought hard to beat NU, 4-2.
The Huskies dominated in shots on goal and in the faceoff circle, but struggled to score.
NU found itself hurt by penalties as Lindenwood was able to maintain offensive pressure through its power plays.
Coyne and Herrington scored the two goals for Northeastern. Lindenwood was carried by senior forward Shara Jasper, who notched a hat trick, and freshman goalie Jolene deBruyn. DeBruyn made her first career start on the collegiate level with 38 saves against a high-octane Husky offense.
For Coyne, the goal brought her career total to 98, putting her two markers away from becoming the 17th woman to score 100 goals in college hockey history.
Herrington’s goal was her fourth on the season in as many games, giving her more goals and as many points as she had all of last season.
Northeastern Head Coach Dave Flint praised Herrington after the loss to Lindenwood.
“She was one of the few bright spots,” he said.
On the weekend as a whole, Flint was critical of his team, specifically of how it played on defense.
“We had a lot of good things going on offense, but you win games in your own zone,” he said.
Looking ahead, Flint said that the defense would have to be better against a strong team like Mercyhurst, the Huskies’ opponent for the weekend. Herrington added that the team needs to put emphasis on fewer penalties.
“We have to focus on taking less penalties as this hurt us not only on the scoreboard but also in the energy swing of the game,” she said.
Both of this weekend’s games will be at Matthews Arena. Northeastern will host the Mercyhurst University Lakers on Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
Photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics