File photo by Dylan Shen
Northeastern’s special teams thrived during their 6-3 defeat of Syracuse Saturday afternoon, picking up four power-play goals and holding the Orange to just one goal on six power-play opportunities.
Yesterday, it took over two periods for the scoring to begin. Today, it took just three and a half minutes. By the end of the first period, the Huskies (3-0) had already bettered their scoring total from the night before.
Syracuse (0-5) senior forward Anonda Hoppner intercepted a pass from junior goalie Aerin Frankel, who was trying to get the puck of her zone as the Orange generated a strong forecheck early. Kelli Rowswell scooped up a rebound from Hoppner’s shot and whipped around the net where she was shutdown by a remarkable diving save from Frankel. Unfortunately for NU, Rowswell was able to get the puck back and put it past the helpless Frankel to open the scoring.
NU answered back shortly after, when freshman forward Kate Holmes was able to barely keep a skittering puck in the attacking zone, she gave sophomore forward Alina Mueller the chance to send a puck on net. While her shot didn’t connect, Holmes and Veronika Pettey worked together to corale the rebound and Holmes beat ‘Cuse goalie Allison Small to even the game at one goal apiece. The goal was the first of Holmes’ NCAA career.
The Huskies took the lead shortly after, as Skylar Fontaine forced her way into the zone during a power-play chance with blazing speed along the boards. Small again turned away a shot but failed to collect the rebound, giving freshman forward Katy Knoll a chance to earn her first Division I goal to hand NU a 2-1 lead.
The Orange fired back again in the eleventh minute, as redshirt-senior blueliner Lindsay Eastwood beat Frankel to tie the game up. In just 11 minutes, the Orange had doubled the goal total they posted the night before.
NU’s penalty kill unit was strong again, keeping the game even through a long five-on-three chance for the Orange after holding them 0-4 on the man-advantage the night before.
Mia Brown, showing an early knack for the late period goal, gave the visitors a 3-2 lead as Northeastern’s special teams shined again. Mueller gave the Huskies another scoring chance as she challenged Small to stop a screened shot. Small was up to the task, but Brown capitalized on the chaos in front to give the Huskies another power-play score in the 18th minute of the first stanza.
The Huskies’ lead didn’t last long in the second, as just 50 seconds in Syracuse struck again. The Orange started the second period on the powerplay after Northeastern was whistled for a protocol violation. The killers couldn’t recreate their early success, as sophomore forward Lauren Bellefontaine picked up the goal to tie the game yet again. Abby Moloughnty was credited with an assist on the goal.
Mueller added to her points total again in the fourth minute of the second period, giving the Huskies another one goal advantage. NU’s power play was magical Saturday as Mueller had her hands in another powerplay score. Blueliner Brooke Hobson dished the puck to Mueller, who handled the pass and hesitated just a moment before sending a laser shot to beat a screened Small.
NU’s power-play unit still wasn’t done, as they cashed in again for their fourth goal of the afternoon. In the second minute of the third period, Chloe Aurard was assisted by Brown as the Huskies moved ahead and took their first two-goal lead of the game.
The Huskies padded their lead again in the eighth minute of the third period when senior forward Matti Hartman finished a cross-crease pass from Fontaine on a breakaway chance for her second goal of the young season and her 50th career point.
NU stays undefeated with their road victory, getting off to a strong 3-0 start. The Huskies’ special teams will look to recreate their magic Friday vs Maine (2-1-1) as they open their Hockey East slate on the road.