Women’s hockey defeats UNH 3-1, extends unbeaten stretch in Hockey East to four games

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Women’s hockey defeats UNH 3-1, extends unbeaten stretch in Hockey East to four games

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By Caroline Ingram, news staff

After defeating the University of Maine 3-0 on Friday afternoon, the Northeastern University women’s hockey team traveled north to go head-to-head with the University of New Hampshire. The Huskies’ balanced offensive attack and strong defensive play led them to a 3-1 win, their fourth straight win against Hockey East opponents.

In the first period of play, the Huskies started strong with their legs and fired off an impressive 15 shots to UNH’s two. Even with the overload of scoring opportunities, it was not until the end of the period that they were able to put one on the board. Second-year defenseman Skylar Fontaine fired a pass over to first-year forward Alina Mueller, who was perfectly positioned at the top of the circles to blast home a one-timer.

After the game, head coach Dave Flint spoke about how Mueller, a Swiss native and two-time Olympian, enjoyed the chance to play on Olympic-sized ice at UNH’s Whittemore Center.

“With her [Mueller’s] speed, being on that big sheet is where she wants to be. She took advantage of the open ice today — had a nice goal there and some good opportunities,” Flint said.

In the second period, Fontaine added her second point of the afternoon as she beat UNH goalie Kyra Smith with a quick transition shot moving from her backhand to her forehand with a slick move at a little over two minutes to go in the frame.

Fourth-year goalie Brittany Bugalski put up another strong performance between the pipes after posting a 39-save gem against Colgate. Her shutout was intact midway through the third period. With about six minutes to go in the game, UNH got on the board after forward Taylor Wenczkowski beat Bugalski with a low shot.

“Our defensemen did a great job this weekend of holding the blue line and not falling back away from the play. I thought they were aggressive on the puck, taking away time and space, which is something we’ve been preaching to them. And then they’ve been doing the little things right- like blocking shots and getting sticks in the lane,” Flint said.

The Huskies sealed the 3-1 victory with time expiring in the game, as second-year forward Veronika Pettey put away an empty-net goal.

“Anytime we can get four points on a weekend, especially in our tough league is something to be happy about. I thought we were better defensively this weekend. I thought we could have been a bit more opportunistic offensively, but overall I like where we’re at right now and it’s good to see that we’ve been improving every game,” Flint said.

Next up, the Huskies will face Providence Friday night back at home.

“We’ll enjoy a day off tomorrow before a tough stretch that is ahead of us with four games in seven days. After a little bit of rest we’ll certainly be ready to go,” Flint said.