Murphy’s three-point night sends Huskies to Beanpot final


Ali Caudle

Graduate student forward Maureen Murphy rejoices after a goal. Murphy scored three points, including two goals, Tuesday night to defeat Boston University in the Beanpot semifinal.

Amelia Ballingall, deputy sports editor

Tuesday night’s women’s Beanpot semifinals looked quite similar to the men’s competition the night prior — Northeastern took a 1-0 lead in the first period, the opposing Boston University Terriers snuck a puck through to get on the board and an empty-netter in the waning seconds of regulation clinched the game for the Huskies. 

But the one difference was that while the men’s game was a total upset, the 4-1 victory was just another notch in the belt of Hockey East’s most dominant team. After a tough loss to Boston College in the first round of last year’s Beanpot, the win was exactly what Northeastern’s women’s hockey team needed to redeem itself.

Although the Huskies dominated the scoreboard, the Terriers were not without their opportunities.

Off the puck drop, BU pumped up the pressure, forcing Huskies to fight their way out of their defensive zone. Neither side could put a shot on goal for nearly two minutes of play, but once the Huskies got their first under their belt, it was only a matter of time until they scored.

After losing a defensive zone draw, the Huskies were quick to turn over possession, and graduate student forwards Maureen Murphy and Chloé Aurard raced side by side down the ice, puck in tow. The pair outpaced the Terrier defenders, picking them off one by one until graduate student goalie Andrea Brändli was left alone to face the incoming Murphy. Aurard tangled up a defender at the left faceoff circle, sniping the puck across to her wide-open teammate, who completed the play with an easy backhand shot to give Northeastern the first point of the game with 12:28 left in the frame.

“When [Murphy, Aurard and Müller] are on the ice, you better get next to somebody fast, then stay with them, and you can’t take a millisecond off because you’re not going to catch them if you give them a lead,” said Boston University head coach Brian Durocher. 

Just a few minutes later, BU got a dangerous opportunity when Northeastern senior goalie Gwyneth Philips slid out of the net to stop a shot and lost track of the puck. Senior forward Peyton Anderson cleared the puck behind the empty net, rendering the Terriers unable to finish on the rebound and leaving Northeastern in control of the game. 

Anderson and the rest of the second line — senior forward Katy Knoll and sophomore forward Skylar Irving — set up chances of their own at net, but Brändli continued to deny them, along with the rest of the Husky’s onslaught of offense. 

Two minutes into the second period, BU tied the game. From afar, freshman defender Brooke Disher fired a shot in. Phililps attempted to grab the puck, but it slipped out of her glove. Junior forward Clare O’Leary’s rebound ricocheted off Philips’ pad and skidded up ice, where senior forward Julia Nearis nudged it past the Huskies as they attempted to clear. Mid-fall, Disher slapped the puck straight into the net above the out-of-place Philips to even the score.

But the Huskies were not about to take that lying down. Less than two minutes later, Murphy put Northeastern on top again. 

The Terriers grabbed the puck in the neutral zone to set up for their next rush, but it was picked off by graduate student forward Alina Müller.  From the boards, Müller passed to Aurard in the center of the zone. Aurard advanced toward Brändli, drawing the netminder toward her and opening the back door for Murphy’s one-timer. 

“[It] was just a great heads-up play by Alina to have that patience to wait and hit Chloe,” Murphy said. “And then I have no idea how Chloe knew I was there, so that’s really just a testament to them.”

From there, the opportunities ramped up, but so did the physicality. 

With five minutes left in the second period, BU graduate student defender Alex Allan was sent to the box for cross-checking. However, Northeastern struggled to gain traction during its sole opportunity of the night, unable to notch a single shot until the clock had nearly expired, and the Terriers easily killed off the two-minute minor.

“We couldn’t really get anything going,” said head coach Dave Flint. “We’re going to need to be better on our power play moving forward. It’s been good in stretches this year and then we’ve had some lulls, right now I think we’re in a little bit of a lull, but I’m confident they’ll figure it out”

When the third period started, Northeastern took firm control of the ice, pummeling Brändli with shots. 

With 14:12 left in the frame, one finally snuck past the Swiss goaltender off the stick of Müller, Brändli’s former national teammate. At the blue line, Murphy rifled a pass over to Müller. With a sniper of a shot, Müller tucked the puck under the crossbar to make it a two-goal game.

Now that the Huskies were leading by two, the Terriers knew they had to turn on the jets to have a chance to make it to the Beanpot championship. They tried all the tricks in the book, but none could fool Philips or her wall of defenders. 

Halfway through the period, sophomore forward Skylar Irving took a penalty for slashing, putting Northeastern down a player for the first time that night. 

The Huskies made the kill look easy, clearing the puck out of their defensive zone time and time again and only allowing BU to notch a single shot on goal. 

“We like that we can help the team with scoring goals, but we also want to take pride in playing defensively and not getting scored on,” Müller said. “That’s our number one goal.”

Senior forward Katy Knoll faces off during the Beanpot semifinal. Northeastern claimed a 4-1 victory in the game to move on to the final round on Valentine’s Day. (Ali Caudle)

In a last-ditch effort to extend their six-game winning streak, the Terriers pulled Brändli with just over two minutes left in the game. 

The extra skater gave BU the fire it needed to attack Philips, dominating play throughout their six-on-five advantage, but the January Hockey East goaltender of the month was not going to stop until the clock struck zero. 

At the Terriers’ last line change, they lost their grip on the Huskies’ zone, allowing sophomore forward Taze Thompson to slip through the cracks of their formation to seal the game in the empty net with a mere 0.7 seconds left in regulation.

“The team played really well, especially that last six-on-five,” Flint said. “We always talk about grit with our team and that was a really gritty performance.”

The 4-1 victory propelled Northeastern to its first Beanpot final since 2020. The Huskies will take to the ice Tuesday for a Valentine’s Day date with the Boston College Eagles, the only team to force the Huskies into overtime since their 14-game winning streak began back in November. 

Head to the Boston College Conte Forum for the finals to see if the Huskies can secure an 18th Pot of Beans when the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.