Despite Frozen Four loss, women’s hockey shone through record-breaking season


Mika Podila

Freshman forward Lily Shannon knocks the puck past Yale’s Pia Dukaric in the NCAA Quarterfinals match. In her first season as a Husky, Shannon tallied 15 points and was honored as a Hockey East Rookie of the Week and a member of the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team.

Amelia Ballingall, deputy sports editor

The 2022-23 season was one of the most successful on record for the Northeastern women’s hockey team (34-3-1, 24-2-1 HE). Between individual and group accolades, the team racked up an impressive collection of honors.

With multiple Coach of the Year awards, the team’s driving force was head coach Dave Flint. After being inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame in October, the 15-year Huskies head coach reached 400 career coaching wins (now 409) and 300 wins at Northeastern (now 321). His efforts guided the Huskies to success throughout the 2022-23 season, and Flint was named Coach of the Year locally — by both Hockey East and the New England Hockey Writers Association — and nationally — by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

Behind his efforts, the Northeastern women’s hockey team reclaimed the women’s Beanpot, secured its fourth consecutive Hockey East Regular Season title and won its sixth consecutive Hockey East Championship. After first winning the tournament in 2018, the Huskies now own more championships than any other team since the series’ 2003 instatement. 

The Huskies celebrate together after a goal in a 10-1 defeat of Long Island University. Graduate student forward Alina Müller scored her first career hat trick — and her first of three this season — against the Sharks Oct. 1. (Val O’Neill)

The Huskies hit the ice running when the season kicked off in October and never stopped, driving themselves to many long-term accolades as the season came to a close.

At the culmination of the Hockey East Tournament, five Huskies received all-tournament honors — senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips, senior defenseman and assistant captain Megan Carter, senior forward Peyton Anderson, graduate student forward and assistant captain Maureen Murphy and captain and graduate student forward Alina Müller, the tournament’s MVP. 

Many of these players went on to gain season-long accolades; Northeastern had a record eight athletes named to Hockey East All-Star Teams. The division designated Müller, Carter and Philips as first team, Murphy and graduate student forward Chloé Aurard as second and graduate student forward Maude Poulin-Labelle, junior defenseman Abbey Marohn and senior forward Katy Knoll as third. Five players also received New England D1 All-Star accolades: Philips, Carter, Aurard, Murphy and Müller. Northeastern had the most honorees out of the 19 selected from the region. On top of that, Müller and Philips were both tabbed Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Ltd./American Hockey Coaches Association First Team All-Americans and named to United States College Hockey Online’s first and third teams, respectively. 

After the regular season, Northeastern, ranked fifth nationally, then traveled to New Haven, Connecticut, for the NCAA quarterfinal, where it upset No. 4 Yale to punch its third-straight ticket to the Frozen Four. These victories were part of a program history record 34 season wins, the most in the NCAA for 2022-23. 

In their 38 games this season, the Huskies only allowed 35 goals, 14 less than any other D1 team. In fact, Northeastern won more than 90% of the games they played in, putting them at the top of the NCAA in that respect. Special teams also performed highly, with the country’s second-ranked penalty kill (.918), sixth-ranked power play (.241), and second-most short-handed goals (nine). 

Many athletes hit milestones and broke program records this season, carving their name in Northeastern history. 

Leading the way was the top line of Müller, Aurard and Murphy. In their final collegiate year, the trio commanded the ice, becoming known as “the most experienced scoring line in women’s ice hockey,” likely the best line in college hockey and one that no team in the nation can match

Captain Müller set the tone for the season with a Hockey East record in October. In Northeastern’s seventh game of the year, the Switzerland native notched her 85th career assist to put her at the top of the conference in that category. She later became Hockey East’s all-time points leader with 168 division tallies and Northeastern’s all-time points leader with 250, surpassing Huskies legacy Kendall Coyne. The Olympic star also broke the Huskies’ game-winning goal record with 21; she now sits at 28, including nine this winter. 

Müller’s Hockey East February Player of the Month nod snowballed into the league’s Player of the Year designation after she was marked Hockey East All-Tournament MVP, with five goals and three assists in just three games, and Hockey East Scoring Champion, with 40 points in 27 division games. The New England Hockey Writers Association also named her as MVP, but the honors didn’t stop there; Müller was tabbed a top 3 Patty Kazmaier Award finalist for the second time in her career after receiving her fifth-straight top-10 nomination. This selection was bolstered by her 27-33-60 record this season, including her first collegiate hat trick (and two more to boot). Northeastern was 30-0-0 when Müller recorded a point.

Graduate student forward Chloé Aurard notches a goal against Providence College Oct. 29. Aurard tallied a career-high 54 points in her final season as a Husky. (Marta Hill)

Müller was only the third Husky in history to reach 200 points, and she was closely followed by linemates Murphy (now 211) and Aurard (now 204). All three sat within the top 10 in points per game in the NCAA; Murphy was third with 1.67, Müller fourth with 1.58, and Aurard 10th with 1.42.

Murphy hit both the 100 career assists and 100 career goals marks this season, as well as 100 points as a Husky in just 68 games since transferring from Providence College in her junior year. Her strong performance throughout the year, including a career-high 55 points (20 goals, 35 assists), gave her a spot among the top athletes in the nation, and Murphy was named a Top-10 Patty Kazmaier award finalist for the first time in her career. She was also voted Beanpot MVP after tallying three goals during the tournament, including the game-winning goal in both games.

On Müller’s other flank, the queen of short-handed goals, Aurard, notched four of those penalty kill marks this season en route to a career-high 54 points (20-34). The France native scored 10 points in six January games to earn Hockey East Player of the Month, marking her 100th career assist during that stretch. Aurard’s seven power-play goals led the team, and additionally, she contributed six game-winning goals, including an overtime tally and the score that sent Northeastern to the Frozen Four. 

Right behind the power three, senior forward Katy Knoll claimed her 100th career point through a career-high 34 this season. Knoll will be returning in the fall for her graduate year.

Freshman forward Lily Shannon represented the newest class of Huskies well. A member of the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team, Shannon was put on the National Rookie of the Year watch list for her six goals and nine assists, even scoring the Huskies’ first goal against Yale in the NCAA quarterfinal.

Carter highlighted the defensive end, scoring a career-high 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) during the 2022-23 season, and consequently tabbed Hockey East Co-Defender of the Year alongside University of Vermont’s graduate student Sini Karjalainen. Furthermore, both at Northeastern and in the NCAA, the Canadian skater was recognized for both athletic and academic prowess, with the Huntington 100 and Elite 90 awards, respectively. 

Joining her on the blue line, graduate student defenseman Maude Poulin-Labelle joined the Huskies for her last year of eligibility after spending the past four seasons at UVM. The Canadian reached her 100-career-point mark while at Northeastern. 

Abbey Marohn also had a career start to the season, with nine points in 10 games to earn her the October edition of Hockey East Defender of the Month. Marohn scored her first goal mid-October while on a seven-game point streak 

Often described as the “backbone” of the team, senior goaltender Gwyneth Philips struck hard and fast in her first starting season. Her 34 wins, .87 GAA and .960 save percentage led the nation, and the latter two marks along with her 10 shutouts all ranked second in Northeastern history. The Ohioan set single-season program records in minutes played (2,272), games played (38) and goalie wins (34). Kicking off the season with immediate success, Philips was dubbed Hockey Commissioners Association Co-Goaltender of the Month for September and October, and Hockey East Goaltender of the Month in both October and November. She collected the conference honor again in January, alongside a National Goaltender of the Month recognition. Philips stayed at the top of many organizations’ radars for the whole season, receiving Goaltender of the Year awards from both Hockey East and the NCAA. Joining Müller and Murphy, the netminder earned a spot in the Patty Kazmaier Top-10.

Additionally, the team took home a collective 18 weekly Hockey East titles. Player of the Week was awarded five times to Müller, twice to Murphy and once to Aurard. Shannon and fellow freshman forward Holly Abela each earned a Rookie of the Week designation. Defender of the Week went twice to Carter, once to Poulin-Labelle and once to Marohn. Philips grabbed four Goaltender of the Week titles.

The Huskies huddle around senior net minder Gwyneth Philips before a game. Philips backstopped Northeastern to an NCAA-leading 34 wins this season. (Val O’Neill)

Northeastern’s women’s hockey players aren’t just at the top of their collegiate classes — they’re also high performers in their respective countries. Murphy and Carter were slotted on opposite sides, and in different months, of the 2022-23 USA-Canada Rivalry Series; Murphy represented the USA in November, while Carter skated for Canada in December. Already a leader of her former college team, Huskies assistant coach Lindsay Berman took her talents global, making her international coaching debut in the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship as an assistant coach with the United States.

The 2022-23 season was a dominant one for the entire Northeastern squad, and the dozens of accolades are just a snapshot of the hard work and dedication of the athletes and staff combined. It was one of the best years on record for the team, but as the Huskies have shown in the past — even when they’ve reached your highest expectations, they won’t stop there.