Northeastern faces a devastating loss to UVM for first time in four years


Kayla Shiao

Captain Brooke Hobson playing for Northeastern against UVM.

Julia Yohe, news staff

Tensions ran high on the ice as Northeastern University women’s hockey (21-3-1, 16-3-1 HE) faced off against University of Vermont (16-9-2, 13-6-1 HE) for the third time this season. 

Earlier this season, on Nov. 12 and 13, the Huskies beat the Catamounts twice in back-to-back games, scoring six goals total to UVM’s singular goal. However, in their matchup Friday, the Catamounts won with a 2-1 score against the Huskies, ending Northeastern’s 20-game undefeated streak. 

Northeastern won nine out of 11 faceoffs in the first period but struggled to maintain control of the puck. While UVM made 12 shots on goal, Northeastern only made nine. UVM graduate student forward Kristina Shanahan scored the first goal of the game with eight minutes left in the first period. Four minutes later, the pressure turned up again for Northeastern as junior defenseman Megan Carter stepped into the penalty box for a two-minute minor for tripping. Fortunately, UVM’s advantage on the ice ended quickly with no change in the score.

Although the beginning of the second period saw more aggression and grit from the Huskies, the first half of the period was uneventful — no penalties or goals on either side. The latter half of the period saw both Northeastern junior forward Katy Knoll and senior forward Chloé Aurard receive two-minute minor penalties for body checking and roughing, respectively.

Northeastern scored its only goal 13 minutes into the second period. Senior forward Maureen Murphy, assisted by graduate student forward Maddie Mills and freshman forward Skylar Irving, broke through UVM sophomore goalie Jessie McPherson’s defensive wall, shooting the puck into the top corner of the net, tying the score 1-1. The second period ended with two minor UVM penalties for body checking and tripping, giving Northeastern a 5-3 edge on UVM for the first 30 seconds of the third period. Their momentum, however, did not last.

Both teams lost two players to minor tripping penalties throughout the third period, forcing Northeastern’s Skylar Fontaine and Lauren MacInnis, both graduate students and defensemen, off the ice. Fontaine’s penalty, which came just under five minutes into the period, gave the Catamounts a reprieve, allowing them to score the game-winning goal. MacInnis received her penalty just 14 seconds after Fontaine’s ended, putting the Huskies at a disadvantage yet again. Equal strength play resumed when UVM senior defenseman Ellice Murphy was sent to the penalty box one minute into MacInnis’ penalty. UVM’s second penalty, at 16 minutes into the final period, allowed Northeastern to make five shots on goal, none of which were successful.

The Huskies, desperate to tie the game, sacrificed graduate student goaltender Aerin Frankel for an extra skater with 1:19 left in the final period. Six shots on goal were made in the last 43 seconds of the game, but to no avail. Fontaine made one final attempt with seven seconds left. The puck was blocked by UVM senior defenseman Ellice Murphy and sent hurtling towards the empty Northeastern net. With no one there to stop it, the puck skidded freely down the ice. Due to Frankel’s absence, the puck went in the empty net, seconds after the buzzer declared the end of the game. The game ended with a 2-1 UVM win.

This is the first time Northeastern has lost to UVM since January 2018. The Northeastern women’s hockey team will play Boston College in the 2022 Beanpot Semifinals 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1 in Matthews Arena.