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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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Blue line blasts past BC as Philips backstops Northeastern to crucial conference victory

Sofia Sawchuk
Gwyneth Philips looks down the ice. The fifth-year netminder and assistant captain put up 45 saves against Boston College Saturday afternoon.

With the end of the regular season quickly approaching, every game is important and every point counts. So Saturday afternoon, in its third game of the season against No. 15 Boston College (14-11-7, 13-7-5 HE), the No. 13 Northeastern women’s hockey team came out swinging, telling a much different tale than Friday’s 3-2 overtime win. The Huskies broke open the scoring early and never let up, earning a 5-1 victory at home. 

“I thought today we played with a lot more passion,” said associate head coach Nick Carpenito. “We played like we were playing against Boston College. Yesterday [Feb. 16], I didn’t think we were very tough around the net — offensively, defensively … but today I thought our start was really good.”

When the puck dropped, the two teams immediately started getting heated. The Eagles took a penalty just five minutes into the game when junior defender Kiley Erickson tripped up Northeastern sophomore forward Mia Langlois in the neutral zone. 

On the power play, captain and graduate student forward Megan Carter put up the first tally for the Huskies, marking her third goal of the season, having scored in the past three games. 

Senior forward Katy Knoll regained Northeastern’s possession of the puck behind the net of BC sophomore goaltender Grace Campbell and fed it back to an open Carter at the left faceoff circle. Carter’s snipe brushed Campbell’s glove, but was just inches too high for the netminder to make the save, and Northeastern gained an early lead.

“It’s coming at a good time to round out my game, but it doesn’t happen without the help of everyone else on the ice,” Carter said. “I think a lot of other players are also finding their game so that obviously helps.”

Although BC outshot the Huskies 15-12 in the period — and 45-26 in the game — the home team made its opportunities count. 

Northeastern notched two more goals in the opening frame, also sent in by defenders. Senior defender Lily Yovetich’s shot deflected off the stick of junior forward Skylar Irving and skipped into the back of the net 12 minutes into the period. 

Two minutes later, junior defender Tory Mariano’s high-slot swing slipped under the crossbar.

“Our philosophy offensively and defensively [is] we want to attack with five and defend with five,” Carpenito said. “We want to get our defenseman really involved in the offense as much as we can and the easiest way to create space for yourself in the offensive zone is to move it east to west or north to south, so we were doing that today early on and I thought our execution was good.”

After Cambell let in three goals on just 10 shots, BC swapped her out for freshman Bailey Callaway, who had only played in two other games this season.  

Although the Huskies held a solid lead, they couldn’t keep their play clean, taking five penalties in the game. But with fifth-year goaltender Gwyneth Philips making some point-blank saves and the Eagles taking a number of penalties of their own, Northeastern kept a spotless record on its penalty kill.

Early into the second period, 4-on-4 play began with penalties assessed to Langlois and BC freshman defender Molly Jordan, and it culminated in a Northeastern goal. With plenty of open ice, Knoll and Irving developed a 2-on-1 heading toward Callaway. The freshman netminder made the initial stop, but couldn’t cover up the puck. Knoll grabbed the loose puck next to a sprawled-out Callaway in the crease and tucked it into the open corner to put Northeastern up 4-0.

Eight minutes into the period, the Eagles earned a quick goal in transition, narrowing the Huskies’ lead. At the top of the zone, Eagles senior defender Sidney Fess made a cross-ice pass to junior forward Katie Pyne. In the crease, Pyne put on a forehand-backhand sequence, using some pretty stick work to get past Philips and get BC on the board.

The goal put the pep back in the Eagles’ step, and soon, the Huskies found themselves battling in 5-on-3 play. With just a minute separating minor penalties on Carter and sophomore defender Jules Constantinople, the Huskies went down two skaters. The Eagles kept a tight formation, looking dangerous on the power play, but they missed some crucial shots and Philips made some point-blank saves, denying BC’s chances to make it a two-goal game. 

“[It was] a little scary at times for sure, but these things always seem to feel a little bit better when we have Philips in between the pipes,” Carpenito said. “She’s someone that makes every save she’s supposed to make but she also likes to add in a few that she probably shouldn’t make, so that’s why any time [Philips] is in net for us, we always have a chance.”

With a minute left in the period, the Huskies put the cap on their scoring with a goal from freshman forward Allie Lalonde. After a long shot from Yovetich bounced off Callaway’s pads, Lalonde picked up the loose puck and wrapped it around the goaltender as she went falling to the ice.

With a 5-1 lead heading into the final period of play, the Huskies had the game in the bag. Although they continued to be outshot by the Eagles, the Huskies kept up a great backcheck to deny the visitors any high-danger shots. 

BC had done well at intercepting passes, but Northeastern kept up the pressure, forcing turnovers to keep the ice tilted in its favor. Frustrations were evident from the Eagles’ bench to their skaters as they headed to their worst loss since October, and seven minutes into the final frame, junior defender Annaka Mettler took a major penalty for slew-footing and was ejected from the game. It was a dirty hit on Langlois, and although the sophomore headed to the tunnel, she was able to return just moments later. 

Despite a full five minutes of 5-on-4, Northeastern could not find a way through. BC kept with the pace, fighting like it was even strength, and both teams notched a couple shots on the extended power play. 

However, by the end of the game, the Eagles couldn’t hold the zone and the Huskies easily maintained their massive lead until the final buzzer. 

Philips ended the game just one save away from tying her season-high with 45 saves against the Eagles. 

Having already clinched a home-ice slot in the Hockey East quarterfinals, the Huskies have one more series left in the regular season. Friday at 6 p.m., they kick off the weekend of senior celebrations with the first of two home games against the University of Vermont (12-16-4, 10-12-3 HE).

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a really good spot,” Carter said. “We’ve built a lot of momentum here. It’s going to be a very emotional weekend being the last couple regular season home games of our Northeastern careers here, but [I’m] really looking forward to it and just spending it with the current team.”

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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