Eagles hold Huskies to OT, Aurard goal seals game


Mika Podila

Graduate student forward Chloé Aurard scores the game-winning goal in a Friday the 13th matchup against Boston College. The overtime goal added an eight victory to the Huskies’ winning streak.

Amelia Ballingall, deputy sports editor

The Boston College Eagles (13-8-1, 11-6-0 HE) flocked to Matthews Arena Friday night to face Northeastern (20-2-1, 16-2-1 HE) in a cross-town rivalry game, the second for the home team that week. With both teams riding a seven-game win streak into the matchup, Huskies and Eagles alike took to the ice with confidence, making it a question of who would break first.

Neither team was willing to give up the fight in regulation, and after running down all 60 minutes without a score on the board, play switched to 3-on-3 and Northeastern was able to slip through the cracks of the Eagles’ formation to notch a 1-0 overtime victory in its belt.

“Games are not always going to go our way,” said graduate student forward Chloé Aurard. “We just need to keep pushing because this is what championship games are going to be.”

Showing off a set of new lines, the Huskies immediately broke into the offensive zone. They passed cleanly down the ice, maintaining control of the puck each time Boston College attempted a turnover. 

The first advantage of the game came for the Huskies 6:40 in when BC junior forward Olivia O’Brien was sent to the box with a minor for hooking. Despite the leg up, Northeastern only managed to get a couple of shots through to graduate student goalie Abigail Levy and the penalty was easily killed off. 

With 4:26 left in the period, the Huskies went down a player after senior forward Katy Knoll was called for interference. The BC power play unit was dangerous for the Huskies, especially with the puck on the stick of senior defender Cayla Barnes. Barnes was responsible for three of the team’s five shots in those two minutes, resulting in a series of rebound opportunities that left senior goalie Gwyneth Philips leaping across the net. 

Though the Huskies started off the game outshooting the Eagles by more than twice as much, the advantage put momentum into their opponents’ play, jumping up to nearly match the Huskies’ 13-shot tally with 12 of their own by the time the whistle blew to end the period.

Although both teams got plenty of opportunities within those first 20 minutes, scoring against two of the best goaltenders in the nation is no easy feat. While the Huskies took shots from the perimeter in their offensive zone and attempted to thwart the efforts of their rivals in the defensive zone, it was the dexterity and skill of the opposing netminders that shut out the skaters, sending them into the second set scoreless.

“In the first period, we weren’t doing a very good job getting in front of the net,” said associate head coach Nick Carpenito. “We corrected that.”

Squaring up on the ice after a quick sojourn in the locker rooms, the teams were evenly matched once again. Between physical play and player errors, bodies hit the ice throughout the period, allowing the puck to switch sides numerous times.

Some of the Huskies’ best opportunities came from the newly assembled second line of Knoll, sophomore forward Skylar Irving and senior forward Peyton Anderson. While the trio closed in on the net time and time again, they were continually denied by Levy.

Graduate student forward Alina Mueller battles for the puck. Mueller assisted on the game’s sole goal to put the Huskies over the top. (Mika Podila)

Northeastern got another power play opportunity 13:33 into the period, but the Eagles were quick to clear it, sending the puck down ice to wind down the clock. 

In a foreshadowing strike, a shot from Aurard dinged off the near pipe, but the rebound was swept away before the nearby Anderson could get a stick on it.

With less than two minutes remaining in the period, the difference between a 0-0 and a 1-0 game was a mere second. BC junior defender Sydney Fess slid the puck into the pads of Philips, grabbing her own rebound to dump it into the back of the net, but the whistle had already been blown. With Philips never getting a firm grasp on the puck and Fess eager and ready at the net, the call was a stroke of luck for the Huskies, and the teams remained locked at 0-0.

“We felt like their legs were starting to burn a little bit at the end of the second period, “ Carpenito said. “I think our players saw it a little bit.”

A bench minor assessed against the Eagles put Northeastern up a player at the start of the third, giving the Huskies a chance to take the lead. Although no goal came out of that 5-on-4, it was the first of many in the period, showing early that everyone had to be on their toes for the remaining 20 minutes.

With 1:16 left on the clock, graduate student forward Maureen Murphy closed in on the net of Levy. Levy covered up the puck, but with Murphy still chopping at it, Fess pushed her to the ice and the pair took matching roughing minors, putting each team down to four players for the remainder of the game.

With time ticking away, each team was desperate to score, working fast and fierce toward the opposing net, but it was not meant to be. The rivals were sent into overtime.

The Huskies far outpaced the Eagles in the third, tallying 16 shots on goal to their opponents’ five.

“We were confident, we kept intensity up [for] three periods,” Aurard said. “We kept shooting, we kept working hard.”

Boston College won the faceoff and raced toward Philips, who made a sprawling save to keep the game nil-nil. Although the Eagles controlled the majority of overtime play, it was the Huskies who were finally able to end the game. 

In a faceoff at the right circle near the BC net, graduate student forward Alina Müller won the draw. The puck ricocheted off the skate of BC junior forward Gaby Roy before being swept up by Aurard. Levy came out of the net to face off against the oncoming skater, but Aurard flipped the puck up under her arm, launching it into the middle of the net. 

“[In] 3-on-3, we always try to do takeovers because takeovers work,” Aurard said. “Alina just wanted to face off and then I just went behind her. I went one way, shot the other way, and then it went in.”

With the goal contributing a point apiece to the totals of Müller and Aurard, the pair continues to climb higher on the Hockey East career points list. After breaking into the top five with her Hockey East Player of the Week performance against Boston University Sunday where she earned a remarkable four points, Aurard now sits only four points away from fourth place. Meanwhile, Müller has a mere two points to go before she breaks the Hockey East scoring record.

The victory was Northeastern’s third win over Boston College this season, all shutouts. 

The Huskies then hosted the University of Maine Black Bears Saturday night. After a disappointing 1-0 loss for Northeastern at the pair’s last matchup, the Huskies rallied back to an astonishing 5-0 win. Philips now sits at the top of the NCAA shutout list with eight so far this season.

“She’s consistent in practices, consistent in games. She’s very nice and relaxed out there, which calms our team down,” Carpentino said. 

Now on a nine-game win streak, the Huskies travel to North Andover, Massachusetts Friday afternoon to take on the Merrimack College Warriors. The puck will drop at 2:00 p.m at Lawler Rink.