No. 3 women’s hockey wins goaltending battle 1-0 against Maine


Jordan Baron

Northeastern comeback to their season in 2021 with a strong weekend win against University of Maine.

George Barker, news staff

In another game featuring excellent goaltending from both sides, the No. 3 Northeastern women’s hockey team defeated the Maine Black Bears 1-0 again on the back of an overwhelming shot total and strong play in net as the Huskies outshot their opponent 41-21. 

Both Northeastern (3-1-0, 3-1-0 HEA) senior netminder Aerin Frankel and Maine (4-4-0, 4-4-0 HEA) senior goaltender Lauren Porter were on their games, piling up 21 and 40 saves respectively. Frankel managed to keep her opponent blanked throughout, securing her second clean sheet in a row against the Black Bears. 

“I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’m seeing pucks well. Our [defenders] are doing a really good job helping me out in front of our own net, which is always very helpful,” Frankel said. “I think just having the opportunity to play this weekend was just an amazing thing for all of us.”

Frankel now has 21 career shutouts at NU, setting a school record for total clean sheets. With plenty of time left at NU, she will have a chance to build a very impressive record for herself. 

“I just want to make sure I congratulate Aerin on an incredible accomplishment. She is a phenomenal person, phenomenal leader, just a great character person, and she obviously works hard,” said associate head coach Nick Carpenito, who was filling in for head coach Dave Flint, who was out for both games this series due to personal reasons. “[Frankel] deserves [every bit of this honor] just because of the type of person and the type of player she is.”

Eventually, the dam constructed by Porter’s goaltending and strong play around the goal by the Black Bears finally broke when junior winger Chloé Aurard managed a third period tie-breaking goal which would stand as the only tally of the contest. 

Aurard had an opportunity for a shorthanded goal earlier in the contest but was turned away by an impressive kicksave by Porter. But when fellow first-linemate Ani FitzGerald worked the puck behind the net just two minutes into the last stanza and found Aurard with a strong feed in front, Porter couldn’t find the puck in time. Aurard managed to kick the puck to her stick and beat Porter from just a couple feet away, giving her her first goal of the season and FitzGerald her first career assist just 24 hours after the freshman secured her first career goal. 

Porter’s performance certainly matched Frankel’s, outside of her lone mistake, but like yesterday’s contest, the Huskies simply peppered her with too many shots to handle, including a few gems that few goaltenders in the country could have stopped. Porter stood up in the second once the Huskies got going, turning away all 22 of the Husky shots generated during the second 20 minutes of the contest. 

“[Porter] was awesome. She was really strong the whole weekend, and it really frustrated some of our forwards,” Frankel said. “She did an awesome job seeing shots and credit to her for that. It feels good to come out on top, but that doesn’t take away from anything she did. She had a really good two games this weekend.”

Frankel notched seven saves in the first period as the Husky skaters needed some time to get their legs under them and take control of the game. She didn’t have a particularly busy second period with the Huskies buzzing after the first intermission, but was able to stay ready for a more challenging third period in which she had to protect the Huskies’ slim one-goal advantage for the last 18 minutes. 

The Husky defense was strong again this evening, picking up 15 blocks and limiting the effectiveness of the Maine forecheck, rarely allowing the Black Bears to put together an extended shift in the Husky zone. The Huskies also managed four penalty kills, but their power play unit was shut down on three chances. The power play unit has yet to score a goal this season. It has generated more than a few dangerous chances, but has been met by some strong goaltending in both of the two series the Huskies have had this season. 

“I think we had some great chances. Again, it’s just going back to capitalizing on those opportunities that we have. I think that the toughest part about scoring a goal is putting yourself in a position to do it, and we’re doing that. We just need to bear down and execute those things,” Carpenito said. “I still think that we need to clean up our simple plays. We’re forcing stuff a little bit too much. We just need to keep it simple and execute what we work on every day.”

NU’s next game will again be at Matthews Arena, where they will face UNH (3-7-0, 3-7-0 HEA) at 4:30 p.m. Friday and look to move up the Hockey East standings, where they sit outside the top seven due to only playing four games so far this season.