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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Peyton Compton steps up in collegiate debut to secure season opener win over Penn State

Ethan Valery
Freshman forward Peyton Compton skates down the ice in her first game as a Husky. She scored the game-winning goal in her debut.

Fast. Fierce. Formidable. When the Northeastern women’s hockey team (1-0-0, 0-0-0 HE) hosted the Penn State Nittany Lions (0-1-0, 0-0-0 CHA) Saturday afternoon for the first game of the season (and the pair’s first meeting in program history), the clash was electric. With the DogHouse full and the crowd roaring at every physical play and scoring opportunity, the Huskies funneled that energy into their game, taking the season opener 1-0.

“I love having the DogHouse, that’s very new for me,” said freshman forward Peyton Compton. “It’s nice being able to see faces of fans and just people that are excited to be there and excited to watch [women’s] hockey.”

A new season means a new lineup, and the Huskies showed theirs off in style, debuting four freshmen en route to the victory. Notably, forward Alexandra Lalonde took left wing on the first line, shooting to the front of the pack in her collegiate kickoff, and Compton took the same position three lines back, where she notched the game-winner early in the matchup.

The first period favored the Huskies. Within 30 seconds, they had already broken through to the net, blasting it with shots. The Nittany Lions reacted explosively, earning the first of six penalties when Penn State senior forward Alyssa Machado was sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct. 

Graduate student forward and captain Megan Carter faces Penn State’s captain. She was tied for Northeastern’s highest shot count in the season opener with three. (Ethan Valery)

“They’re a big, strong team and it was physical,” said Northeastern head coach Dave Flint. “We need to get a little more jam in our game. I feel like we let them push us around a little bit.”

The Nittany Lions’ penalty kill was strong, holding Northeastern to just one shot throughout the two-minute advantage. But they weren’t so lucky a few minutes later when Penn State star sophomore forward Tessa Janecke took a minor penalty for roughing. 

After winning back the faceoff, junior forward Skylar Irving passed to senior defender Abbey Marohn and rushed towards the net. Marohn returned the favor, but, surrounded by Nittany Lions, Irving flipped the puck back to Compton’s awaiting stick. With Penn State senior goaltender Josie Bothun out of place, Compton scooped a shot over the netminder’s outstretched leg to put the Huskies on the board. The goal was the first of her collegiate career. 

It didn’t take long for Penn State to earn another penalty, and junior defender Karley Garcia was sent off the ice with a two-minute minor for cross-checking at 10:41. This time, however, Northeastern was assigned one of its own mid-penalty. Forty-three seconds into Northeastern’s advantage, senior defender Lily Yovetich was called for body-checking. 

Four-on-four play looked better for the Nittany Lions, firing off numerous shots at fifth-year netminder Gwyneth Philips. Philips made it look easy, though, stretching for pad saves and snatching pucks out of the air.

Northeastern finished off the period with a testament to its strength, holding tight around the perimeter of the offensive zone and chipping in shot after shot. 

When the two teams skated back on the ice for the second frame, Penn State looked dominant. 

The Nittany Lions were briefly halted by a penalty, but when they came back, they came back roaring. A combination of luck and defense kept Northeastern alive. Every Husky pitched in on the defensive end, blocking shots and steering away oncoming skaters, and while Penn State had a couple pucks come cross-crease, the Nittany Lions missed their opportunities and Northeastern remained unscathed. 

“I think it’s just really awesome for us to be exposed to bigger and stronger players that we don’t usually see weekend to weekend,” Yovetich said. “It’s a great first challenge for us to just build off of.”

The tension that had been bubbling up throughout the game began to boil over, and sophomore defender Jules Constantinople took a minor for roughing in one of the small scuffles that threatened to arise.

Despite the ferocity of the Nittany Lions’ attack, Philips kept her composure in net. In a dangerous play, Penn State tried to go top shelf, but with lightning-fast reflexes, Philips punched the puck away with the shaft of her stick. 

With a minute to go, Northeastern was sent to a penalty kill that would end the second frame and start the third. 

The Northeastern women’s hockey team huddles before a game against Penn State. They defeated the visiting Nittany Lions 1-0 Saturday. (Ethan Valery)

The break mid-penalty didn’t faze the Huskies, and they didn’t let a single shot through to Philips, with fifth-year forward Katy Knoll even advancing toward Bothun shorthanded.

Neither team was on full-strength for long, back-to-back interference penalties overlapping and keeping the majority of the deficits at an even matchup.

Penn State may have found its groove in the second period, outshooting Northeastern 12 to five, but the Huskies tempered that momentum after their locker room sojourn.

The Huskies were heavy on Penn State’s net in the waning minutes of the game, but once the Nittany Lions could clear the puck, Bothun headed to the bench for the extra skater. However, with just seven seconds left, they lost their final chance when a team penalty was called for too many skaters on the ice. 

With one last save, Philips ended the game for the Huskies, cementing their 1-0 lead for the team’s first win of the season. 

Only three of the team’s 34 wins last season were decided with a one-point margin, so the win ushers in a new era for Northeastern. 

“We’re in search of offense and I knew that going in,” Flint said. “We just need some players to step up and I think that might take a little time.”

Although it was a different look on the ice than they left off with back in March, the Huskies had a whole new wave of energy that kept the crowd noisy and excited through the entire 60 minutes. Many players, new and old, stepped up for the team, showing that Northeastern’s fifth-place preseason ranking was much deserved, and they’re still the same Huskies at their core.

“It’s a good test for us, playing a good team, and that’s going to prepare us for league play,” Flint said. “Last year [the Nittany Lions] won their conference, so it was a good test for us today and it will be another good test tomorrow.”

Northeastern will face Penn State again Sunday afternoon in Matthews Arena to round off the home series. The puck will drop at 2 p.m. for another top-15 faceoff.

About the Contributor
Amelia Ballingall
Amelia Ballingall, Sports Editor
Amelia Ballingall is a third-year speech language pathology and audiology major. She is sports editor for The News and previously served as deputy sports editor and deputy design editor. She is also vice president of membership development for Delta Phi Epsilon, the social media manager for Speech and Hearing Club and a Student Success Guide on campus. Amelia is looking forward to another great semester with The News!
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