The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

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 stomp out UNH en route to eighth-straight championship appearance

The+Northeastern+womens+hockey+team+celebrates+a+victory+on+home+ice.+Northeastern+defeated+UNH+Wednesday+night+in+the+Hockey+East+semifinals.+
Kayla Shiao
The Northeastern women’s hockey team celebrates a victory on home ice. Northeastern defeated UNH Wednesday night in the Hockey East semifinals.

When the Northeastern Huskies and the University of New Hampshire Wildcats faced off for the Hockey East semifinals Wednesday night in Matthews Arena, it was exactly the kind of matchup expected from the two: a fierce, tight game marked by stalwart defending and stellar goaltending. The two teams had already met three times this season, twice in overtime, and nearly met the same fate in the conference tournament. Despite losing the lead late in the game, the Huskies exploded to a three-goal win in the final two minutes thanks to sophomore forward Lily Shannon. 

Even with a nearly even shot tally on the night, Northeastern leading a slim 32-29, the Huskies earned the majority of zone time. They were winning board battles up and down the ice, generating grade-A chances that were repeatedly shut down by UNH freshman star netminder Sedona Blair and her steadfast defense. 

With play moving end to end and few whistles on the ice, players frustratedly skated to the conclusion of a scoreless first period, and the Wildcats took a penalty with just 11.1 seconds left in the frame. 

However, just like in 5-on-5, the Wildcats kept steady traffic in the slot and pressured the Huskies, denying Northeastern a chance to capitalize on their zone time. UNH put up 19 blocked shots against the home team, the majority of which came in those first two periods. 

Despite great defense, wide shots and chest saves from Blair and Northeastern fifth-year goaltender Gwyneth Philips made for plenty of rebounds available on both ends of the ice. That proved to be dangerous when UNH nearly scored in a commotion in the crease at the tail end of the second period. 

With 1.8 seconds left before the intermission, a Wildcat skater kicked in the puck in an attempt to gain the lead, but it was quickly overturned after a challenge from Northeastern, keeping the score knotted at 0 heading into the final frame. 

The overturned goal lit a fire under the Huskies, and they responded quickly. Northeastern took the lead a minute and a half into the third. 

Forced behind the goal line by UNH junior defender Marina Alvarez, Northeastern graduate student forward Peyton Anderson pivoted, drawing Blair to the opposite side of the net. With an open corner glove-side, Anderson wrapped the puck around the post to put the Huskies on the board 1-0.

Immediately after the goal, the Huskies found themselves on their heels with more than six consecutive minutes of penalty killing time. 

Sophomore defender Tory Mariano headed to the box for boarding, and a minute later, graduate student defender Megan Carter joined her on a major penalty for high sticking that would’ve gone uncalled if not for a post-whistle review. 

The extended power play, including some 5-on-3 time, was the ideal opportunity for the Wildcats to even the score, but with four blocks and eight saves, the Huskies came up big with much-needed overlapping kills.

However, that wasn’t the last opportunity UNH had in the game. With 6:33 to go, the Wildcats brought the game to a temporary draw. 

Northeastern had been struggling to connect on passes throughout the period, and when the puck bounced off a Husky skate exiting Northeastern’s defensive zone, it landed right on UNH’s sticks.

At the top of the right faceoff circle, senior forward Chavonne Truter turned and took a long shot toward Northeastern’s goal. The puck took an odd bounce off the glove of Philips and into the back of the net.

With an even match heading toward the end of the period, it seemed as though it would be another OT finale between the Huskies and Wildcats. However, a late hooking penalty against Alvarez turned the tides in favor of the home team. 

UNH undoubtedly dominated the penalty kill, but as the power play expired and Shannon shoveled a loose rebound past Blair’s diving arm, none of that mattered. Freshman forward Peyton Compton took the initial shot from the left faceoff circle, and Blair couldn’t cover up the puck in time. In a commotion in the crease, Shannon knocked the puck into the back of the net to give Northeastern a 2-1 lead.

Once the Wildcats regained possession, they pulled Blair for the 6-on-5 chance, but Northeastern didn’t let up on their offensive pressure and poke checks. Keeping with the aggression, the Huskies earned not one, but two empty-netters, off the sticks of junior forward Skylar Irving and Shannon.

The 4-1 victory punched Northeastern’s ticket to an impressive eighth-straight Hockey East championship appearance. The Huskies will travel to Storrs, Connecticut on Saturday to take on their rival top-seeded Huskies at the Toscano Family Forum. The final battle for the trophy begins at noon.

About the Contributors
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!
Kayla Shiao, Design Editor
Kayla Shiao (she/her) is a first-year Doctor of Pharmacy student and Design Editor. Prior to becoming Design Editor, she worked for The News as a designer, copy editor, photographer and occasional writer. She is an avid sports photographer with a love for detail and page layout.
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