By James Duffy, deputy sports editor
After licking their wounds and icing their bruises from a tough loss on Tuesday, the Northeastern University (NU) women’s hockey team got back on the saddle Friday afternoon, looking to get revenge in Chestnut Hill.
Taking on the Boston College (BC) Eagles in a rematch of the Beanpot Final – which ended in a 7-0 blowout – the Huskies held their own on the road but fell 5-3.
“I liked how we responded after a real poor showing on Tuesday in the Beanpot,” head coach Dave Flint said following the loss. “We competed, we came back and we played hard.”
The Huskies, hurt from the Beanpot loss, came out firing early in the first period. They ripped five shots on net in the opening four minutes of the contest, and the fifth found the back of the net.
Just three seconds into an NU power play, sophomore forward Denisa Krizova tickled the twine for her 17th goal of the season. After being shut out by BC sophomore goalie Katie Burt earlier in the week, the Huskies were determined to not suffer the same fate.
The first period ended tied at one all after the Eagles notched a power play tally of their own.
In the second period, the game broke open as the two teams combined to light the lamp five times in the final 12 minutes of the frame.
Senior forward Kendall Coyne potted her 40th and 41st goals of the season in the second, and she currently leads the nation in both goals and points.
However, the work of Coyne alone was not enough for the Huskies, who gave up three goals in the period.
Freshman forward Makenna Newkirk matched Coyne’s two goals, and sophomore forward Kenzie Kent raised her one when she scored on a power play with just two seconds left in the period.
It was the third time in the game the Eagles took advantage of an NU penalty, and Flint was not pleased with his team’s penalty-killing unit.
“We’ll need to work on the penalty kill. The last few weeks we haven’t been as good on it [as we were early in the year],” he said. “Special teams are so important.”
The Huskies pushed hard to tie it up in the third, but Burt stopped everything that came her way in the final 20 minutes. With 30 seconds left, BC senior forward Alex Carpenter sealed the deal with an empty netter, cementing a 5-3 loss for NU.
Freshman goalie Brittany Bugalski bounced back well after getting lit up by this Eagles team just three days earlier, kicking aside 39 shots in the contest.
“She was solid. She made some big saves,” said Flint, who vowed to stick with her as the starting netminder in the final series of the regular season.
That series, which Flint is calling “the two biggest games of the year,” comes next weekend against Boston University (BU).
The Huskies have already beaten BU twice this season and are looking to end their regular season on a high note before the pivotal Hockey East playoffs.
Despite the importance Flint placed on this series, these two games will have no impact on the standings. NU is already locked in as the second seed in Hockey East, and BU will finish in third.
What matters most is the Huskies regaining their confidence after matching their longest losing streak of the season, Flint said.
They’ll look to exercise their Beanpot demons at Walter Brown Arena – where the tournament was held – on Friday, Feb. 19 before returning home for senior day on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.