No. 4 women’s hockey defeats first-place No. 7 Providence by score of 4-1


Riley Robinson

The Huskies defeat Providence for a second time this season Friday evening, 4-1.

George Barker, news staff

For the second time this season, the No. 4 women’s hockey team defeated the visiting first-place No. 7 Providence Friars, hanging up four goals on them again to pick up a 4-1 win after shutting them out 10 days ago. By virtue of the Friars and No. 9 Boston College having played more games than Northeastern this season, the Huskies sit in third place behind two teams they have a slight edge on win percentage wise. 

“You always want to be at the top of the standings board, and I don’t think our players let that bother them… We want to be the best team in the conference, and in order to get there we have to make up some games,” said associate head coach Nick Carpenito. “But at the end of the day, if we have a games played disadvantage, it’s not something that we can necessarily control… It’s bulletin board material for us more than anything.”

NU (7-1-1, 7-1-1 HEA) really looks to have rounded into midseason form by now, and for stretches of this game it would’ve been very hard for a spectator to tell that Providence (9-3-0, 9-3-0 HEA) is the seventh ranked team in the country with the Huskies putting together stretches of over a minute in the offensive zone at times in an extremely physical contest. NU got goals from four different skaters while senior goalie Aerin Frankel notched 25 saves on 26 shots in her return to the net. The second forward line combination of senior Veronika Pettey, redshirt senior Andrea Renner and sophomore center Katy Knoll were dominant tonight, with the trio picking up two points each.

“We put them together a couple weeks ago, and we knew it would take a little bit to click just because [Pettey] was coming back from injury and Katy and Andrea were getting a little bit used to each other,” said Carpenito, who highlighted the combination of Pettey’s playmaking ability with Renner and Knoll’s heavy shots. “I think one of the best parts about our team is that if one line is not going, … we’ve got three other lines that are more than capable of doing that, and I think tonight was proof of that.”

Junior forwards Chloé Aurard and Alina Mueller tag-teamed for a shorthanded goal just three minutes into the game to give the Huskies an early lead to work with. While on the kill, Mueller got a neutral zone pass to Aurard who traveled to the left faceoff circle of Providence’s zone, where she lost the puck after pressure from the Friar captain and senior defenseman Chloe Gonsalves. Gonsalves couldn’t secure the puck though, giving a persistent Aurard the chance to backhand the loose puck through Friar junior netminder Sandra Abstreiter’s five-hole. The Huskies never trailed in the game and always held at least a one-goal lead, thanks in no small part to the two-man game of Aurard and Mueller on the penalty kill. 

The Huskies were held scoreless for the rest of the first, which was the most back and forth period of the contest with lots of chances for the Friars in transition and limited sustained zone time by NU. The Huskies came into the second with a vengeance though, taking just 94 seconds to get back on the scoresheet after Renner laced a pass from the left corner of Providence’s zone to Knoll through traffic, where Knoll could easily pot the backdoor chance to give NU a 2-0 lead. Pettey earned the secondary assist on the goal. 

The period experienced a damper near the midway point, as freshman winger Ani FitzGerald and senior defenseman Skylar Fontaine collided deep in Providence’s zone following a great scoring chance put together by the duo. FitzGerald hit the ice hard, and the whole Huskies bench and staff looked concerned for her. FitzGerald was helped off the ice by her teammates and aided through the tunnel by the training staff with an apparent injury as she did not put any weight on her right leg.

The Friars closed the gap to one goal in the waning seconds of the middle period though, as a laser shot from Providence freshman blueliner Claire Tyo beat Frankel bar down on a quick shot chance that manifested from a loose puck while the Huskies were on the kill. Tyo didn’t hesitate a moment, and her quickness proved fruitful to bring the game within reach with just six seconds to go before the final intermission. 

The Huskies were not discouraged though, and completely dominated the third period. They outshot Providence 16-3 in the final 20 minutes and picked up two additional goals, one coming from Pettey off a beautiful backhand shot with her back to Abstreiter and the other coming from freshman left wing Molly Griffin on an empty net to ice the game. The goals each represented firsts for the forwards, as it was Pettey’s first goal of the season after working her way back from an injury and Griffin’s first collegiate score. 

“I thought we got better as the game went on,” Carpenito said. “I think we were just moving our feet more.  I think we got used to their physicality a little bit, and we stepped up and matched it and at times exceeded it. When we started moving our feet and we started matching that intensity, we were able to be successful.”

The Huskies and Friars each will have a very quick turnaround to contend with as the two squads will face off again at noon tomorrow, this time in Providence.