By James Duffy, deputy sports editor
Hosting the Maine Black Bears, the Northeastern University (NU) women’s hockey team skated to two victories last weekend, routing Maine 8-1 before a closer 5-2 win on Sunday.
With the two wins, the team extended its winning streak to nine games, breaking its previous season high of eight straight victories in November.
Saturday’s contest was a fun one to watch as the Huskies put on a clinic. Six players combined for eight goals, with sophomore forward Denisa Krizova as the star of the show.
Krizova tallied a natural hat trick, netting three straight goals to lead the Husky offense. It was Krizova’s second-career hatty, and for good measure she added two assists for a career high of five points on the afternoon.
Not to be outdone, senior forward Kendall Coyne nonchalantly racked up five points of her own, all on assists.
Combined with Krizova’s efforts and junior forward Hayley Scamurra’s two-point day, the Huskies’ top line put up 12 points, terrorizing two different Maine goalies.
After Krizova’s first goal, the fifth for NU overall, Maine senior goalie Meghann Treacy was yanked in favor of junior tender Mariah Fujimagari. From that point on, the Huskies were in cruise control.
In the second game of the set, Maine came out fired up, eager to get revenge and pull off the upset.
Coyne had other plans. Just over a minute into the game, she scored a goal from a nearly impossible angle, banking the puck off the leg of an unsuspecting Treacy who was back in net for Maine.
Soon after, Treacy got pulled again for Fujimagari.
However the Bears showed some fight and managed to tie the game late in the first period. Junior goalie Sarah Foss stopped a wrister from the slot but left a rebound for Maine freshman forward Victoria Hummel to bang it home.
“I think they sat back after that first goal,” head coach Dave Flint remarked.
It was that casual attitude that allowed Maine to stay in the game.
In the second period, both teams fought to take control of the game. Until the final minute it wasn’t clear who would take over.
Maine had three power plays with the game still tied up, but instead of the letting Black Bears breaking through, Coyne and Krizova took the opportunity to showcase their incredible stickhandling while killing off every penalty.
On a power play of their own, NU finally broke through as Scamurra rifled one past Fujimagari from the high slot to put her team back in front.
The lead wouldn’t last long, as Maine senior forward Audra Richards brought the game even with a minute to play in the second.
Just as things seemed to be tipping in Maine’s favor, Coyne tipped the scales right back. Just 20 seconds after Maine’s equalizer, Coyne redirected a shot from sophomore blue liner Ainsley MacMillan, leading the puck into the back of the net.
Carrying that 3-2 lead into the third and final period, the Huskies would not let this one slip away.
They played an aggressive, relentless style, similar to the one that helped them light the lamp eight times the day before, pushing them to a 5-2 victory.
Foss, who made 21 saves en route to her seventh–straight win, had high praise for the team.
“We’re really starting to get into the roll of things,” she said. “The defense was really great today which makes my job easier.”
Flint, too, liked what he saw on the weekend, furthering the sentiment that this team is getting hot at the right time.
“Everything is coming together for us; things are clicking,” Flint said after the win on Sunday.
The team will look to continue their win streak when they take on the Huskies of The University of Connecticut in a home-and-home series this weekend.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.