Women’s hockey win sixth straight, off to best start in program history

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Women’s hockey win sixth straight, off to best start in program history

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By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The Northeastern women’s hockey team, ranked eighth best in the country, traveled north to Burlington, Vermont to face off with the Catamounts, (1-4-2). They are now off to their strongest start ever after their 4-1 win on Tuesday night which extended their win streak to six games.

In the first period of action, the Huskies jumped out to a strong start, firing off the first five shots of the game. The Huskies found the scoreboard first a little under seven minutes into the frame after second-year forward Katie Cipra scored her first collegiate goal. Third-year forward Matti Hartman controlled the puck in the corner and sent a saucer backhand pass over to Cipra in the high slot, who gloved the puck, dropped it to the ice and fired home a low shot.

After the game, head coach Dave Flint spoke about Cipra’s ability to capitalize on her scoring opportunities.

“Katie was great; she was close against BU and we thought she had her first goal in that game, but she’s been playing well overall. We’ve been spotting her on different lines and I think right before her goal I had told the forwards to find some space in the high slot because it was wide open- she did that and buried it,” he said.

The Huskies, who own a 6-0-0 record when scoring first this season, continued their aggressive play and stretched the lead to two goals with about 6 minutes to go in the period. Fourth-year forward Kasidy Anderson picked up the puck in the neutral zone and entered the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with first-year forward Alina Mueller to her left. Anderson slid the puck over to Mueller, whose top-shelf shot beat Vermont goalie Melissa Black. Mueller’s goal extended her point streak to eight games.

The Huskies were not finished with the period, adding a third goal after first-year forward Chloe Aurard poked in a rebound goal to make it 3-0. The goal capped off an impressive period for the Huskies, who fired off 10 shots on goal to Vermont’s three. It was all the more impressive knowing that it was the Huskies’ third game in five days. Coach Flint mentioned that although the team did not show it, their legs were certainly feeling it.

“The resiliency and the heart that this team plays with really showed out there. I know they were tired today, coming in here after having two games in three days and then traveling up here. Vermont is never an easy place to play and I thought we gave a great effort today,” he said.

In the second period, Vermont stepped up their play and replaced Black in favor of backup goalie Blanka Skodova. Despite the goalie change and adjusted defense for the Catamounts, the Huskies still held a commanding shot advantage at 11 shots to Vermont’s five.

Before the end of the second period, Vermont cut into the deficit as forward Val Caldwell beat second-year NU goalie Aerin Frankel with a backhand shot.

The Huskies were able to kill off two penalties late in the period to keep their two-goal lead intact. They were the 29th and 30th consecutive successful penalty kill by NU, a mark ranked as second best in the country.

Such strong defensive play was a major takeaway for Flint, who spoke highly of the team’s efforts in their own zone.

“The [defense] was great tonight-they put up a real gutsy effort. They are playing smart with the puck, blocking shots, picking up sticks down low – doing all the things we ask them to do,” he said.

In the third period, the Huskies and Catamounts remained even throughout the majority of the 20 minutes. Then, with two minutes to go in the game, the Huskies suddenly found themselves down two men with Vermont’s Skodova pulled and Huskies third-year defenseman Paige Capistran in the box for a tripping call.

The Huskies’ defense was up to the task yet again. Fourth-year forward Tori Sullivan notched a shorthanded empty netter to cement the 4-1 NU win.

The Huskies will get some much needed rest before facing off with the College of Holy Cross Friday, November 2.