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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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Huskies dominate in shutout victory over Maine

The+Northeastern+womens+hockey+team+congratulates+Skylar+Irving+after+her+goal.+Northeastern+defeated+Maine+4-0+Saturday+afternoon.
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The Northeastern women’s hockey team congratulates Skylar Irving after her goal. Northeastern defeated Maine 4-0 Saturday afternoon.

Everything seems to be clicking for the Huskies. They’re scoring goals, there’s depth in the lines and the team hasn’t lost a game in a month. 

That last defeat was to the University of Maine, Jan. 12 — the first of a weekend series in which Northeastern took home a loss and a tie. So Saturday night, when the Huskies faced the Black Bears for the third time this season, it was their last chance to claim a win over the Orono team. And they did so in style, earning a 4-0 victory backed by fifth-year goaltender Gwyneth Philips’ sixth shutout of the season and graduate student defender Megan Carter’s first goal of the season.

“We’ve been striving to play a full 60 [minutes] this whole season,” Carter said. “I think that’s probably one of the few that we finally kinda strung together. But it just shows how we’re really coming together as a team and building momentum going into the playoffs.”

Northeastern immediately controlled the puck, dominating the first period. Although Maine held the home team to the defensive zone for the first few minutes of play, the Huskies drew a penalty against the Black Bears three minutes into the game and took to the offense. With Maine fifth-year forward Ida Kuoppala in the box for tripping, the Huskies were fierce on the power play. After pounding the net with shots and taking every rebound opportunity, one finally snuck through. 

With 20 seconds remaining on the skater-advantage, sophomore defender Jules Constantinople sent in a slapshot, which bounced off Maine freshman goaltender Julia Bachetti. Graduate student forward Peyton Anderson poked the puck into the crease and fifth-year forward Katy Knoll drove it home to put the Huskies up 1-0 early in the game.

“We’re happy to get a power-play goal tonight, we’ve been a little bit needing that,” said assistant coach Lindsay Berman.

Every line looked strong for the Huskies, so Maine hardly stood a chance. The Black Bears struggled to gain possession of the puck, and when they did, Northeastern would quickly force a turnover. 

With a few minutes left in the first period, Maine started to gain some opportunities, but the Huskies quickly shut them down, turning around the puck and doubling their lead.

From the left faceoff circle, junior forward Skylar Irving used the stick of the defender in front of her to send her shot arcing over and behind Bachetti and into the back of the net. 

“They came out flying, we were moving the puck really well,” Berman said. “We were just getting pucks on net. … Everything was right in front of the net and we were hungry.”

The second period started just the way the first had ended — Maine came out strong, but the Huskies finished on top. After being outshot 17-7 in the first period, the Black Bears started out the second on offense, but all their rebound opportunities were swept away by the Huskies, and three minutes into the period, Irving scored again. 

Unassisted, Irving stole the puck off the boards, intercepting a Maine pass, and skated into the high slot. She whipped a shot past Bachetti glove-side, extending Northeastern’s lead to three.

After the less-than-stellar performance from Bachetti, Maine decided to swap her out for senior goalie Jorden Mattison, who played both of Maine’s January games against the Huskies and held them to just one goal through those two nights. 

With the new goalie came a noticeable change in the game, as the pace quickly picked up. Backed by the veteran netminder, Maine upped the pressure, notching some opportunities of their own, but Philips kept them out of the net. 

Between increased pressure from the Black Bears and some stumbles in passing execution from the Huskies, Northeastern was limited in its zone time. However, they weren’t without their opportunities. The Huskies kept pouring on the rebounds, testing Mattison. Despite a loose puck on the goal line and a power-play post shot from Constantinople, both near misses for the Huskies, the Black Bears kept themselves afloat. 

A few minutes after killing off a Northeastern power play in the second half of the third period, Maine took to the advantage for the first and only time that night off an elbowing call on sophomore forward Avery Anderson. The Black Bears pulled Mattison to skate 6-on-4, but with a couple of pucks ringing off the post, they missed out on closing in on Northeastern by just inches.

With two minutes left in the game and the Northeastern penalty expired, Carter found the empty net. It was Carter’s first goal of the season, adding to her 16-assist point total.

Even though they had a four-goal lead with a shutout, the Huskies played to the very end. Sophomore forward Lily Shannon nearly got a breakaway, and Northeastern was still fighting for the puck in Maine’s crease when the game-ending buzzer sounded.

“It’s a great time to be getting that outcome, and it’s something we’ve been building towards the entire year, so to see it coming together now and [with] a couple big weekends coming up to finish out the season is really important to us,” Carter said.

With a 4-0 victory, the Huskies redeemed themselves over Maine, claiming a much-needed three points in the Hockey East standings. There’s only two weekends left in the regular season, so every win is crucial. Next weekend, Northeastern takes on Boston College, second in Hockey East, in a home-and-home series. The competition begins at Conte Forum Friday at 2 p.m.

About the Contributor
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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