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Women’s Hockey Picks up eighth and ninth straight wins in weekend sweep of UNH

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Women’s Hockey Picks up eighth and ninth straight wins in weekend sweep of UNH

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By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The NU women’s hockey team traveled up to Durham on Friday to face off against the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. Second-year goalie Aerin Frankel was the starter in net for the Huskies, looking to post another impressive performance in between the pipes. The Huskies were successful in extending their win streak to a league-leading eight games, taking the two game series by scores of 3-0 and 5-3.

The first period was scoreless, despite NU having a two-man advantage toward the end of the frame.

In the second, the Huskies were short handed early after a checking penalty to second-year defenseman Brooke Hobson. With NU down a player, first-year forward Alina Mueller was able to put the Huskies ahead after taking advantage of a bobbled puck by UNH goalie Kyra Smith. The puck was sent into the UNH end and Smith left her crease to try and push it away from the slot but Mueller was right there, intercepting the puck and tucking it into the empty net.

Frankel was up to the task in net, keeping the game scoreless with a flurry of saves midway through the second frame. Third-year defenseman Paige Capistran noted after the game how critical the strong play of both Frankel and fourth-year goalie Brittany Bugalski has been to their team’s confidence.

“Both of our goalies have been awesome this year which is great to see, and that gives us defenseman so much confidence,” she said. “Their strong play allows us to have the mindset that it doesn’t really matter who we’re playing, we just hop on the ice and work hard and we know that they’re behind us to help us out.”

With a little over five minutes to go in the second period, Hobson doubled NU’s lead with a low wrist shot from inside the blue line. First-year forward Chloe Aurard battled for the puck along the boards before sending a pass over to Hobson, who was trailing on the play.

The Huskies entered the third with a 2-0 lead and a 30-20 shot advantage. Just over three minutes into the final period, Aurard put one away to extend the Huskies lead to three.

Frankel closed out the game with six saves in the third to cement the Huskies’ win and earn her fourth shutout of the season. Frankel added to her already-impressive start to the season, with the nation’s leading .974 save percentage and 0.67 goals against average.

 

Saturday 11/10

On Saturday, the two teams met again at Matthews Arena. The Huskies got off to a strong start yet again, with Mueller putting NU ahead a little over five minutes into the opening period. As UNH was trying to break out of their own end, Aurard lifted the stick of a UNH defender and stole the puck from her. She then sent a backhand pass over to Mueller, who deked Smith and lifted a backhander over her left shoulder.

Not long after the Huskies’ goal, UNH was able to tie up the game with a goal by junior forward Carlee Turner after a shot was deflected past Bugalski in net.

The opening period continued to go back-and-forth as both teams added a goal. First it was the Wildcats who took the 2-1 lead on a goal by sophomore defenseman Maddie Truax. Not longer after, the Huskies were able to pull the score even as Capistran’s shot from the right wall got a favorable bounce off a UNH defender.

“I wasn’t even sure that I was the one who had scored, because I just threw it towards the net and thought Renner had maybe tipped it in,” Capistran said.

In the second period, UNH pulled ahead 3-2 with an early goal by junior forward Meghara McManus on the power play as Anderson was in the box for a slashing call.

Capistran later spoke about the positive mindset of the team as a unit proved beneficial for everyone.

“In the locker room we’ve just been trying to stay positive and on the bench we’re really focusing on keeping the energy up. We had the confidence to know that even when we were down we could turn things around and get the win,” she said.

Heading into the third period, the Huskies faced an uphill battle, down 3-2. The Huskies started the period firing the first six shots, but their early efforts were to no avail and the score remained 3-2 in favor of UNH with eight minutes remaining.

The Huskies then had a monstrous power play opportunity as UNH’s Abby Chapman was called for interference. On the man advantage, Anderson tied the game after redirecting a shot from Mueller.

After the goal by Anderson, the game’s momentum swung largely in NU’s favor, as Capistran scored her second goal of the game with two and a half minutes to go in the game. The comeback victory was sealed moments later with an empty net goal by second-year forward Tessa Ward.

With the two wins on the weekend, the Huskies move to a stellar 10-1-1 overall record and remain undefeated in Hockey East (9-0-1). The Huskies have a week of practice ahead of them before facing the University of Maine next weekend.

“We have to stay confident but not cocky and just keep doing what we’ve been doing since obviously it’s been working really well,” Capistran said.

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