by James Duffy, deputy sports editor
After a tense, back-and-forth game between the Northeastern University (NU) Huskies and the Boston University (BU) Terriers, the buzzer finally sounded, signifying the conclusion of the 38th annual Women’s Beanpot Semifinals.
The Huskies bench erupted, and the players poured onto the ice. They had just won the chance to take on Boston College (BC) in the Beanpot Final.
NU has the most women’s titles between the four Beanpot schools and will look to raise trophy for the first time since 2013.
Across the ice, the home team players hung their heads. The Terriers had come so close at a chance to win their first Beanpot, but came just a goal short.
The final three minutes of the game highlighted hockey at its best, as the Terriers scrambled to try to overcome the 3-1 deficit they had dug for themselves.
After Husky sophomore forwards Shelby Herrington and Denisa Krizova each took penalties just 45 seconds apart, BU sophomore goalie Erin O’Neil sprinted to the bench to give her team a three-skater advantage with two and a half minutes to play.
BU capitalized soon after, cutting the lead to 3-2 with just over two minutes to play, and maintained a six on four advantage of skaters. The Terriers made a final push to force the game to overtime, but senior forward Kendall Coyne was able to clear the puck down the ice and run out the clock.
Celebration ensued on the ice of Walter Brown Arena.
The game as a whole was a hard-fought contest, which opened with BU controlling the game.
“What I liked about the game was that it wasn’t pretty, but we gutted it out,” head coach Dave Flint said in an interview with GoNU after the win.
Senior forward Rebecca Russo opened up the scoring in the game, getting the puck by freshman goalie Brittany Bugalski about halfway through the opening period.
Flint didn’t love what he saw after a period but was able to make the necessary adjustments between periods to get the team back on track.
“On our forecheck, we we’re getting caught three low, giving up odd-man rushes; our [defense was] making bad pinches, so we had to clean all that stuff up,” he said.
In the second, the Huskies came out firing, racking up 19 shots on the period.
Coyne got the Huskies on the board early in the period, potting her 37th goal of the season, and sophomore defenseman Lauren Kelly gave NU the lead. It was the fourth goal in Kelly’s last three games, and the score stayed 2-1 into the final period.
Captain Coyne ended up slotting the game-winner in the 3-2 semifinal victory.
Bugalski was brilliant in the game, stopping 30 shots and slamming the door on the Terriers when they nearly stole the game in the third period.
This Beanpot win came after a 5-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on Friday, Jan. 29 in the annual Skating Strides game.
The Skating Strides game serves to help raise money and awareness to combat breast cancer, and accordingly, the Huskies donned pink accessories like laces and stick tape.
Sophomore forward McKenna Brand potted two goals to ensure another Husky victory.
Riding a 13-game winning streak into the weekend, the Huskies will travel down to Providence for a game against the Friars on Saturday, Feb. 6 before taking on the BC Eagles in the Beanpot Final.
The Eagles are undefeated on the season, and two of those wins came against NU earlier in the year.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.