Women’s hockey extends win streak to seven games, runs away from Holy Cross 6-1

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Women’s hockey extends win streak to seven games, runs away from Holy Cross 6-1

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By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The Northeastern women’s hockey team is getting used to seeing lots of goals on the game sheet and marks in the W column. The team traveled west to Worcester to take on the undefeated Holy Cross Crusaders. Despite a sluggish start, the Huskies blew the game wide open in the third, scoring four goals to earn a 6-1 victory.

In the first period, the Huskies came out slow with their legs but were able to generate lots of shots on goal. At 7:47 of the first period, third-year forward Matti Hartman put NU ahead 1-0. After a scramble in front of Holy Cross’s goalie Julia Pelletier, fourth-year forward Andrea Renner was able to get three hacks at a loose puck in the crease before Hartman finally jammed it home for the score.

With time dwindling down in the first, Holy Cross was able to even up the score as forward Carlie Magier beat NU goalie fourth-year Brittany Bugalski with a rebound goal. By the end of the period the Huskies had already fired 19 shots on goal to Holy Cross’s five, despite the 1-1 tie on the scoreboard.

After the game, head coach Dave Flint spoke about  the Huskies’ slow start and the Crusaders’ strong opening play.

“They came out hard, they had a good game plan – they kept us to the outside and they were able to limit our odd-man rushes,” Flint said. “We were throwing a lot of pucks to the net, but they were pushing us to the perimeter and getting rebounds out of there. I think we were starting to get a little frustrated. Credit to Holy Cross because they were playing hard and their goalie was playing amazing.”

In the second period, the Huskies killed off an early penalty on second-year defenseman Brooke Hobson for interference, increasing their penalty kill streak to 34 successful kills. Moments later first-year forward Chloe Aurard had a great chance to double the Huskies’ lead. Aurard entered the offensive zone and picked up the puck along the boards before dangling around a defender and deking Pelletier, who made an incredible save on the play.

With about five minutes to go in the period fourth-year forward Andrea Renner pounded home a rebound after second-year forward Veronika Pettey ripped a high shot, deflecting  off of Pelletier. At the end of the second, NU held a commanding 36-6 shot advantage.

The score remained tight until midway through the third period when second-year forward Tessa Ward found the back of the net. Second-year defenseman Skylar Fontaine fired a shot from the point which was redirected by Ward, who was able to get a stick on it while screening Pelletier.

Coach Flint reflected on the magnitude of Ward’s goal and its pivotal importance in the game.

“Ward’s goal was huge because it was still only 2-1, it was tight, midway through the third. That got us going,” Flint said. “You expect maybe one of your top line kids to come up with that goal, but for Tessa, you know third line, that’s great to see. She was working hard all game and she got rewarded for those efforts.”

Just 13 seconds after Ward’s goal, first-year forward Alina Mueller slammed one home to make this game the ninth straight  in which she has recorded a point. Fourth-year forward Kasidy Anderson picked up the puck in the corner and found Mueller in the slot for a one-time shot that went bar-down on Pelletier.

Flint noted the impressive start to the season for Mueller, who was recently named as the National Rookie of the Month by the Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association.

“Mueller was great tonight. I think her whole line was trying to be a bit too cute with the puck in the first period there before they really got it going. She is getting better game-by-game,” he said.

Not long after the two quick goals by Ward and Mueller, Aurard blasted one past Pelletier on the powerplay to extend the lead to four goals. Mueller received a pass from Hobson along the blue line and faked out the defenders with a great shot fake before passing it cross-ice to Aurard at the far post, who quickly fired off a high shot.

Coach Flint spoke to the importance of having a multitude of players find the scoresheet and contribute to the team’s efforts.

“We’ve been getting goals from a whole range of players, which is great to see. I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been successful up to this point,” Flint said. “We’re going to continue to need that having kids step up so that we don’t have to be over-reliant on just one line.”

The Huskies weren’t done yet with their third period offensive explosion. The trio of Fontaine, first-year forward Miceala Sindoris and Anderson executed a perfect sequence of passing around the perimeter of the offensive zone before Anderson beat Pelletier through the five-hole to make it 6-1.

“We were lucky to get four in the third. I think they just ran out of gas a little bit. Luckily for us we were able to capitalize,” Flint said.

Looking ahead, the Huskies will enjoy some much needed down time before taking on the University of New Hampshire next Friday, Nov. 9.

“We have to just keep playing consistent, from the goal line out. We have to keep working hard and when we have little setbacks we just gotta grind through them. UNH is not going to be any easy task next week,” Flint said.