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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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Women’s hockey falls flat with shutout loss in Husky vs. Husky battle

Sofia Sawchuk
A UConn skater pressures freshman forward Allie Lalonde. Lalonde tied for most shots on goal in Saturdays game with four.

Consistency is key, and the Northeastern women’s hockey team (7-5-0, 3-3-0 HE) has not found consistency yet this season. They’ve gone back and forth, splitting series and trying to find the right scoring combinations. Two months into the season it’s still a struggle, and with Hockey East points on the line, this inconsistency is a major problem for Northeastern.

Friday night, Northeastern hosted the University of Connecticut (4-3-1, 3-3-0 HE) in the first game of a home-and-home Husky vs. Husky series. Northeastern came into the game with a 17-game winning streak over UConn, having not lost a game to them since 2018, but the Connecticut Huskies stomped that out with a shutout, forcing the home team to a 3-0 loss. 

“Frustrated is the word that comes to mind,” said Northeastern head coach Dave Flint. “We did some good things, we had some chances. They’re a really good team that doesn’t give you a lot of grade-A chances, but I felt like we created opportunities. It’s been our story all year: We’re not scoring goals. Our best players need to be scoring goals for us, or we’re not going to be successful.”

Northeastern started off with control of the puck but was unable to find any shooting lanes. Although the UConn Huskies initially struggled to clear it from their zone, they forced the Boston Huskies to dump the puck again and again and finally gained some momentum after a lengthy opening in their own zone. 

Six-and-a-half minutes into the game, UConn senior forward Jada Habisch broke past Northeastern’s defense, carrying the puck on her stick, and came slicing through the crease. She jammed the puck through the pads of Northeastern fifth-year goaltender Gwyneth Philips to give Connecticut the first mark on the board, 1-0.

Halfway through the opening frame, UConn received the first penalty of the game — a holding call against freshman defender Julia Stephen. Connecticut’s penalty kill unit was strong; they made three big clears, always keeping fresh skates on the ice, and didn’t allow Northeastern a single shot on goal through the two minutes. 

With three minutes left in the period, UConn junior forward Riley Grimley was sent to the box for body checking. Northeastern found some opportunity at the tail end of the power play, but it was too late to capitalize on the advantage, and the final few minutes of the first period wound down without a tally from Northeastern.

When the middle frame kicked off, Northeastern once again started off with possession, but the UConn Huskies’ lead gave them noticeable momentum, and they equaled their three shots on goal from the first period within the first five minutes of the second. The two Husky teams continued to go back and forth, swapping chances on goal, but Northeastern’s first penalty of the night gave UConn an edge.

Northeastern graduate student forward Megan Carter has earned the most penalties of any of the Boston Huskies so far this season, and Friday night was no different — the captain headed to the box for tripping, and Northeastern lost a key member of its penalty kill. 

Northeastern captain Megan Carter brings the puck along the boards in a game against the University of Connecticut. Northeastern lost two straight games to the other Hockey East Huskies over the weekend. (Sofia Sawchuk)

Northeastern fought for shorthanded possession, but they were pressured back into their own zone. UConn cycled the puck around the perimeter, seeking the perfect opportunity, and junior forward Brianna Ware found it. She fired a shot from a distance, and it dinged off the crossbar and ricocheted behind Philips. 

Northeastern had plenty of quality opportunities of its own but just couldn’t seal the deal. Halfway through the second period, sophomore forward Holly Abela got a breakaway from the neutral zone, but Connecticut junior goaltender Megan Warrener slid back to block the attempt and kept Northeastern from getting on the board.  

The home Huskies found many more chances in the third period; they had perfect openings but couldn’t quite make them. Junior forward Taze Thompson flicked a shot in right at the net but it flew just outside the post, graduate student forward Peyton Anderson shot wide on a loose puck in the crease and sophomore forward Lily Shannon was just out of place as the puck slid through the crease with an open back door. Those three players are Northeastern’s top scorers so far this season, yet none of them were able to put the puck in the net in these prime opportunities. 

With two and a half minutes left, Philips left the net and Northeastern brought on an extra skater. A commotion broke out in front of UConn’s goal, and the home team was frenzied in its attempt  to close the gap on the scoreboard. Every shot went just wide, and eventually, the puck flew down to the Boston Huskies’ zone.  

UConn captain and graduate student forward Coryn Tormala grabbed the puck behind the net and flicked it back toward Northeastern’s crease. Her linemate, sophomore forward Brooke Campbell, was there to tap in the pass, and the visiting Huskies sealed the game 3-0 with just 2.8 seconds left. 

Northeastern outshot UConn 23-17 and put up a solid defensive effort, but struggled on offense. Passes weren’t connecting, leaving players to chase the puck, and many of the team’s shots came from the point and were easily blocked. Friday’s loss was the fourth shutout loss Northeastern’s been handed this season, so stepping up on the offense, especially when it comes to goal-scoring, is a huge point of emphasis for the team. 

“We’ve been doing the same systems forever here, and you can give any team any systems and be successful — it’s the execution,” Flint said. “Our execution is inconsistent, and then on top of that, we’re not taking advantage of our opportunities. So I can throw any system at them, but if you can’t put the puck on the net, it’s tough to win a game.”

The Huskies travelled to Storrs, Connecticut Saturday, but were defeated in yet another shutout, albeit closer, 1-0.

Next weekend, they take on Providence, one of their biggest rivals in recent years. The first game kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday night in Matthews Arena. 

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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