Pettey’s hat trick gives women’s hockey fourth straight win


Dylan Shen

Sophomore forward Veronika Pettey scores her second of three goals Saturday against Vermont.

Mike Puzzanghera, sports editor

Backed by a hat trick from sophomore forward Veronika Pettey, Northeastern won its fourth straight game Saturday afternoon, 5-1 over Vermont, completing the season sweep over the Catamounts in the process.

The Huskies (19-3-3, 17-2-2 Hockey East) met the Catamounts (7-16-4, 5-13-2 Hockey East) for the second day in a row at Matthews Arena, following the Huskies’ dramatic 2-1 comeback win in overtime Friday night.

Unlike last night, it was the Huskies who struck first with a wraparound goal from junior forward Andrea Renner. Renner found a pass from Matti Hartman on the left side of the net and took it around back, flicking her shot past Vermont goalkeeper Melissa Black from the tightest of angles at the right pipe to give NU the lead at 8:31 of the first period.

“We were kind of going on a two-on-one or a two-on-two, and I was actually looking to pass to [Matti], but the defense did a good job covering the passing lane so I was just trying to get the puck on net as soon as possible, so I just did an old-school wraparound,” Renner said.

The Huskies had a huge chance to make it 2-0 at the start of the second. Playing shorthanded after a misconduct penalty by Tori Sullivan, freshman forward Alina Mueller took off on a break after a slip by a Vermont defender. She ripped her shot off the frame of the goal, before freshman forward Chloe Aurard was stopped by Black on the rebound.

Vermont leveled things up at 8:31 of the second, when a pass from the right wing by forward Abby Cleary was brilliantly redirected past NU goalkeeper Aerin Frankel by defender Taylor Flaherty.

Northeastern responded shortly after, taking the lead back with a second by Renner. After a shot from sophomore defender Skylar Fontaine hit off the back boards, Renner was the first to react as the puck rebounded toward the right pipe. She took a touch to set her shot up before sliding it past Black at the far pipe.

“I didn’t even know it went in until I saw Matti put her hands up,” Renner said. “It was just a scrum in front of the net and I saw the puck so I just shot it and it happened to go in.”

A few minutes later, the Huskies scored a third goal, this time through Pettey. Matti Hartman created the chance, finding Pettey in front of the goal with a centering pass, but the sophomore still had work to do. She ripped her first-time shot top-shelf, giving NU a 3-1 lead.

“I just went up to the slot, and I saw Matti passing it to me, and I just knew that the goalie was going to be on the other side, so I tried to shoot far side, and it ended up going in,” Pettey said.

With under a minute remaining in the period, Pettey made it a three-goal lead with her second of the afternoon. After receiving the puck high on the wing on the break from Fontaine, Pettey took her time to aim her shot, slipping it between the legs of Black and in for her 11th goal of the year.

“It kind of was like a two-on-one,” Pettey said. “I was going to pass and then saw it wasn’t open so shot it and it just went past a couple people and went in.”

Pettey completed her hat trick at 16:15 in the third, firing a loose puck into an empty net. Sophomore defender Brooke Hobson took aim with a shot that was saved by Black, but the puck passed by Black and sat in front of the net. Pettey was the quickest to react, tapping the puck in and finishing off a remarkable performance from herself and the Huskies.

“Basically, Brooke just shot it and then it snuck through the goalie somehow, and I just saw it sitting on the goalline, so I just took advantage and slapped it in,” Pettey said.

After leaving the win until OT in the last game, Northeastern raced out in front early on and kept consistent pressure on the Catamounts Saturday. It was a complete win from the team.

“Our first line was struggling the last two days a little bit, and we had other lines step up,” head coach Dave Flint said. “Today it was actually a line we didn’t start with. When we lost Tori [Sullivan] for the game, we put Renner, Hartman, and Pettey together. They had a great game, and they stepped up big.”

It was Pettey’s first collegiate hat trick, and she brought her season tally up to 12 in the win. She now sits on 26 points for the season.

“She was awesome,” Flint said. “She was right spot, right time, working hard, and credit to her linemates for giving her the puck in good areas.”

The Huskies have one final game before the Beanpot, facing Connecticut on Feb. 1. They then move into the Beanpot, facing Boston University in the first round on Feb. 5 at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center.

“This is the time of year when you’ve got to win and you’ve got to keep winning,” Flint said. “It’s about how we’re playing right now, and we’ve got to keep it going, and we can’t look past UConn on Friday to look at the Beanpot, we’ve got to take it one game at a time.”