Women’s hockey splits home-and-home with Boston College


Sophomore goalkeeper Aerin Frankel makes a save during a prior game against Holy Cross. / File photo courtesy of Brian Bae, the Red and Black.

Mike Puzzanghera, sports editor

Starting off strong with a three-goal first period, the third-ranked Northeastern women’s hockey team rode that momentum all the way on Friday against No. 10 Boston College, taking down their fellow Bostonians 4-1.

But the Huskies could not keep their winning run going on Saturday, when they were bested by the Eagles in a 12-goal thriller on the road, 7-5.

The Huskies (15-3-3, 13-2-2 Hockey East) took on their local rival Eagles (14-9, 11-7) at Matthews Arena Friday night. It took the Huskies less than four minutes to get on the board. Senior forward Tori Sullivan latched onto a loose puck and took a close-range shot that crept over the line at 3:21 of the first despite BC goalkeeper Maddy McArthur’s best efforts.

Northeastern doubled its lead at 14:26, as a poor line change by the Eagles gave the puck to freshman forward Chloe Aurard at center ice. Aurard raced in on net and with only one BC defender to beat, fired her shot past McArthur inside the right pipe for her 10th goal of the campaign.

But the Huskies were not done yet, and added another before the first break. A phenomenal pass from junior forward Matti Hartman out on the right wing played fellow junior forward Andrea Renner on net. Renner one-timed her shot, lifting it up and over McArthur and in at the left pipe as she went sliding past the goal, making the score 3-0 at the end of the first period.

“It was a really good pass from Matti,” Renner said. “We were down on a 2-on-1 and I was just screaming for the puck, and she made the perfect pass, right underneath [the defender’s] stick, and all I had to do was tap it in.”

The Eagles struck back early in the second, as forward Makenna Newkirk fired a pass to Daryl Watts. Watts beat her defender and was able to round sophomore goalkeeper Aerin Frankel and slip her shot home to make it 3-1.

And with only six seconds left in the game, senior forward Kasidy Anderson finished off the Eagles. She took the puck on the left wing with an empty net to aim for, but gave a BC defender a trip through the spin cycle before rifling a shot into the bottom right corner.

“From the goal line out, we had a consistent effort throughout the first,” Renner said. “We kind of let up in the second, but I think in the third we stayed composed, it was relaxed, and we ended on a really high note.”

Frankel finished the game with 29 saves, as the Huskies managed to hold a BC offense averaging 2.95 goals per game coming in (ninth in the country) to just a single goal.

“Teams, when they have confidence in their goaltending, play different,” said head coach Dave Flint. “And the team has a lot of confidence in [Frankel], and she’s been great, and she gives us a chance every night, and the team knows that, and they feed off of it.”

On Saturday, the Eagles reversed the first-period magic on the Huskies, matching Northeastern’s opening period from Friday with three goals of their own.

With seven minutes off the clock, Boston College found an opening, with defender Megan Keller slotting home a rebound on the left side of the net.

Five minutes later, BC made it 2-0. Keller scored her second of the game with a finish off an assist from Watts.

The Huskies did manage to strike back early, as Renner scored a power-play goal to make it 2-1. Her one-time shot flew past McArthur off the assist from junior defender Codie Cross.

Before the Huskies could escape to the locker room, however, BC added one more. It was Watts on the scoring end this time for the Eagles, beating a defender and firing in across the keeper for her team-leading 14th goal of the season.

Though the Huskies started the second period strong, it was the Eagles who struck yet again. Defender Kali Flanagan finished off a 2-on-1 break after a pass from forward Delaney Belinskas.

Anderson hit back with the Huskies’ second of the game near the end of the second. She took the puck down the boards on the left, cut back inside and flicked her shot high into the net past McArthur.

With merely 27 seconds left in the second, the Eagles got goal number five. After a block by Cross when her stick sent the puck into no-mans-land, forward Kelly Browne latched onto the loose puck and was able to fire home.

The Huskies went into the third with a purpose, striking early to bring the score to 5-3. At 2:14, freshman forward Alina Mueller led the team up the ice and fed the puck to sophomore defender Brooke Hobson to her left. Hobson beat one BC defender before ripping a shot bar-down.

Senior defender Maddie Hartman brought the Huskies within one a few minutes later, lasering a shot from the point through a crowd of players and past McArthur.

The Eagles shot right back, with Belinskas taking the puck down the right wing and hitting her shot low past senior goalkeeper Brittany Bugalski, who had come  in the third period to replace Frankel.

Northeastern hit for goal number five at 16:29, as junior defender Paige Capistran gave the Huskies one last fighting chance. Renner saw her shot saved by McArthur, but the rebound fell kindly for Capistran, who was able to slot it in at the left pipe.

Boston College quelled the Husky comeback hopes with a killing blow, a second goal from Belinskas. She latched onto a loose puck in front of Bugalski and was able to poke a shot between the keeper’s legs and in for goal number seven.

Despite the loss, the Huskies put five past a strong defense. Mueller saw her point streak extend to 20 games with an assist on both nights. Meanwhile, Anderson scored in her fifth consecutive game.

The Huskies will look to move on from the defeat when they face the University of Connecticut at Matthews Arena on Friday for the first of a home-and-home with their Husky counterparts.