The No. 8 Boston University women’s hockey team dropped a nail-biter to No. 3 Northeastern University Tuesday night at Matthews Arena.
The Terriers (17-6-3, 12-6-3 Hockey East) squandered a five-minute major penalty called on the Huskies (22-3-1, 19-2-0 Hockey East) in the final six minutes to fall to their cross-town rival, 2-1.
BU Head Coach Brian Durocher gave praise to Northeastern for its ability to hold onto the lead late in the game.
“It comes down to a couple opportunities for our team to maybe tie it,” Durocher said in the postgame press conference. “Credit to Northeastern they kept us at bay, and I think did a real nice job late in the game.”
Current National Women’s Hockey League Boston Pride members and BU hockey alumni Kaleigh Fratkin, Victoria Hanson and Karilyn Pilch dropped the puck as Northeastern was celebrating Women in Sports Night.
The Huskies are known for dominating in the opening period; their 42 goals in the first period lead the NCAA.
However, that statistic proved fruitless Tuesday night despite the Huskies putting up 15 shots on net with no goals. They were left off the scoreboard and ultimately ended up trailing the Terriers, who took a 1-0 lead 7:54 into the first stanza.
Senior forward Deziray De Sousa picked up a puck that line-mate junior forward Kristina Schuler lost in front of Northeastern junior goaltender Aerin Frankel. De Sousa then spun around and shot it over the glove-side of Frankel just under the crossbar to put the Terriers up 1-0.
Durocher said the goal wasn’t a crowd-pleaser, but it was efficient.
“It was a good quick turn-around shot that sometimes would catch goalies,” Durocher said. “Everybody likes to see those big slap-shots or a good wrist-shot. Men’s hockey, women’s hockey, it doesn’t matter. It can be a scoring threat.”
The Huskies then saw two opportunities to tie the game, as sophomore forward Courtney Correia and junior forward Nara Elia were both whistled for minor penalties after De Sousa’s goal. However, Northeastern was unable to capitalize and ended the period down a goal.
But the script was flipped in the second period. The Huskies seemed to be on the advantage despite being on the penalty-kill and the Terriers being on power play.
With two power-play opportunities, the Terriers let up two short-handed goals. The first one came 5:07 into the middle period. Huskie sophomore forward Mia Brown picked up a rebound in the defensive end and passed it to a breaking sophomore forward Alina Mueller, who was skating to exit the zone. Mueller then skated the length of the rink and shot one past junior goaltender Corinne Schroeder to tie the game at one.
Less than six minutes later, junior defenseman Skylar Fontaine scored the Huskies’ second short-handed goal after picking a rebound that went straight to her after the puck deflected off Schroeder.
Durocher said bad luck played into the first short-handed goal, but the second one was more on the Terriers.
“We had enough bodies back there [defensively], but we let one go off a back-door play, and it got back to the left defenseman who was closing in and ricocheted one off the shin-pad and in the net,” Durocher said. “We probably get a little more credit for the second one, but the first one was a part of the game sometimes.”
The Huskies playing well on the penalty-kill is not a surprise, as Northeastern have the best penalty-kill in the nation. The Huskies have killed 82 of 87 penalties with a 94.3 percent success rate. Tonight, the Huskies went five for five when down a player.
Late into the third period, the Terriers had an extensive opportunity to tie the game and possibly force overtime. Approximately 14 minutes into the third, Northeastern freshman forward Katy Knoll hit senior defenseman Breanna Scarpaci from behind and into the end-boards, earning Knoll a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct.
Despite pulling Schroeder a few times to force a six-on-four matchup, the Terriers were unable to find the equalizer and fell to the Huskies, 2-1.
The Terriers are back in action this Friday when the University of Vermont (9-12-6, 6-10-4 Hockey East) comes to Walter Brown Arena for a 7 p.m. start.
Durocher said the team will have to put the game behind them and prep for Friday’s game versus Vermont.
“We’ve got to be pros and take care of business,” Durocher said.