By James Duffy, news correspondent
With two more dominant performances, the Northeastern University (NU) women’s ice hockey team swept a home-and-home series against Merrimack College, winning 8-3 on Friday and 6-0 on Saturday.
The No. 5 Huskies improved to 10-1-1 on the season with the victories. They sit behind the University of Wisconsin, Boston College (BC), University of Minnesota and Clarkson University in the national rankings. They are in second place in Hockey East with a perfect 6-0 record, their best record since joining the conference in 2002.
On Friday night in North Andover, senior forward Kendall Coyne carried the offense in a rout of the Merrimack Warriors.
Coyne potted three goals for her third hat trick of the season, the 10th in her career. She was one of six Huskies to find the back of the net in an offensive onslaught.
Freshman goalie Brittany Bugalski struggled for the first time in weeks, allowing three goals on just 18 shots, but she was back to form the next afternoon.
In Matthews Arena on Saturday, Bugalski held Merrimack off the scoresheet to earn her second career shutout and ninth win of the season. She made 14 saves, including six stops on Merrimack power plays.
While Coyne was held to a pair of assists in the second game, the offense still fired on all cylinders. Five Huskies combined for six goals, and sophomore forward Denisa Krizova found the back of the net twice in the contest.
The third line led the offense in this win, as sophomore forward Shelby Herrington scored her sixth goal of the season, and freshman forward Kasidy Anderson had a goal and an assist.
Anderson’s goal put NU up by three late in the first period and stifled the surging Warriors. After a shot from Herrington popped up into the air, Anderson swatted it past Merrimack freshman goalie Kate Kowalchuk.
“Shelby tipped it up and I saw it was in the air and the goalie had no clue where it was, so I just hit it in,” said Anderson, who was named Hockey East Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week.
Head Coach Dave Flint cited the penalty kill as a huge part of the team’s success.
“The P.K. was great and killed off some penalties while the game was still close,” he said. “I’ve been pleased with our special teams.”
The Huskies held Merrimack scoreless on seven power plays, including a five-on-three late in the first period.
Looking toward the weekend, Flint said he is excited for the game against BC on Friday. The Eagles are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation and boast a perfect record of 14-0-0.
“Boston College is going to be a huge test,” he said. “We’ll have a good chance to see where we stand…if we play the way we’re capable of for all 60 minutes, we can beat anyone.”
After squaring off against BC on Friday, the Huskies will return home to Matthews to host the University of Vermont on Saturday.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.