Northeastern women’s hockey wins first Hockey East title in program history with 2-1 win over UConn

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Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Joe Barbito

BOSTON – For the first time in program history, the Northeastern women’s ice hockey team has won the Hockey East Championship with a 2-1 win over seventh-seeded Connecticut.

The game opened with Denisa Krizova creating a two-on-one up ice as she forced the puck off Emily Ried’s stick, sliding a pass across the slot to McKenna Brand, who then lifted a back hander over the shoulder of Annie Belanger. With her assist on that goal, Krizova earned her 24th career Hockey East playoff point, tying Marie-Philip Poulin of Boston University for most in conference history.

Not even a minute later, Natalie Snodgrass went to work in the Northeastern (19-16-3) end of the ice. She battled off Maddie Hartman below the goal line and ripped a pass to Morgan Wabick, who then rifled it past Aerin Frankel at the 1:20 mark of the first period. That would end up being the only goal Frankel allowed as she tallied 30 total saves in the game.

With two minutes left to go in the first period, Tori Sullivan won an offensive zone draw for Northeastern and slipped the puck back into open ice. McKenna Brand skated up to it and sniped a shot past Belanger for her second of the game. It would prove to be the game-winning goal as neither team would score in the following two periods.

Northeastern became the second four-seed ever to win the Hockey East Tournament, and will advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history, and the first since 2016.

In addition to taking home the Bertagna Trophy, four Huskies were named to the All-Tournament Team: goaltender Aerin Frankel, defenseman Lauren Kelly, and forwards McKenna Brand and Denisa Krizova. Defenseman Kayla Mee and forward Natalie Snodgrass were UConn’s representatives on the All-Tournament Team.

Aerin Frankel won Tournament MVP honors. Against Maine, she mad 24 total saves including 15 in the third period alone. The freshman had 30 against the Huskies today. Frankel is the first freshman to win MVP honors since 2006.

Northeastern will learn where they are headed for the NCAA tournament at 9 p.m. tonight.

 

Northeastern women’s hockey punches ticket to Hockey East title game with 2-1 win over No. 10 Maine

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Joe Barbito

BOSTON – The Northeastern women’s ice hockey team punched its ticket to the Hockey East Finals with a 2-1 victory over the No. 10 Maine Black Bears on Saturday at Matthews Arena.

Scoring opened just over three minutes into the game, when Tereza Vanisova dangled past Sky Fontaine – whose stick broke in the process – and created a two-on-one with linemate Daria Tereshkina. Vanisova dished a pass through the slot to Tereshkina who was able to tap it home past Aerin Frankel (24 saves).

The rest of the first period was pretty stagnant, with both teams trading penalties in the second half of the first frame.

After a late penalty kill for the Huskies (18-16-5), Veronika Pettey was sprung from the box and found the puck in the neutral zone. She sped past a Maine defender and was able to get a quick shot on goal, beating Carly Jackson for her tenth of the season.

The second period featured four power plays, including three for the Black Bears, but neither team was able to capitalize through the middle 20 minutes. A few chances were traded, including a few pucks off posts and crossbars, but neither team was able to find the back of the net.

It took five minutes into the third period for Northeastern to score the game winning goal. Denisa Krizova and McKenna Brand skated hard into the Maine zone, and Brand was able to put a shot off of Jackson’s pads. Hartman swooped in and found the loose puck to the left of Jackson and buried it home.

Maine played a ferocious third period, generating a total of 15 shots on goal, and nearly tied the game several times. Hartman ended up spending the final minute and 39 seconds in the penalty box for slashing, but Aerin Frankel was up to the task.

After today’s 2-1 victory, the Huskies have earned the right to play UConn tomorrow in the Hockey East Championship game. WRBB will have complete coverage, with puck drop set for 1:30 p.m.

Northeastern women’s hockey sweeps New Hampshire to advance to Hockey East semifinals

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By: Christian Skroce

BOSTON – Despite a rough end to the regular season, the Northeastern women’s hockey team came up big when it mattered most to reach the Hockey East semifinals for the eighth year in a row.

Coming into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, Northeastern (17-16-3) played host to the fifth-seeded New Hampshire (14-15-7) in a best-of-3 series in the quarterfinal round.

Game 1 of the series didn’t exactly start the way the Huskies had hoped. Although it was Northeastern with most of the chances early on, UNH was able to get on the board first 8:23 into the game on Carlee Toew’s fourth goal of the season. However, the Huskies responded in a big way with three straight goals to close out the first period. Denisa Krizova scored the first of the three just 53 seconds after New Hampshire’s goal. Lauren Kelly and Skylar Fontaine then added a goal each to give Northeastern a 3-1 lead at the first intermission.

UNH cut into the deficit in the second period after a strike from Taylor Wenczkowski. But it was the Northeastern defense that came up big in the end as the team held the Wildcats to just five shots in the third period to give the Huskies the 1-0 series lead.

In the second game of the series, it was redshirt junior Tori Sullivan who got the scoring started for the Huskies with a goal midway through the opening frame. UNH responded quickly, though, as Nicole Dunbar knotted the game at one less than a minute later. The score remained tied until 71 seconds into the second period, when Sullivan put Northeastern back on top after firing home a rebound off a shot from McKenna Brand.

Sullivan’s second goal of the day proved to be the difference, as the Northeastern defense took over to limit UNH to just 12 shots in the final 40 minutes of the game, allowing the Huskies to come away with a 2-1 lead and a series sweep.

Northeastern returns to Matthews Arena on Saturday for the Hockey East semifinals, where they will battle 3rd seeded Maine. The winner will move on to play the either UConn or Boston College in the Hockey East championship at Matthews Arena on Sunday at 1:30 PM.

Picking overtime goal leads No. 12 Northeastern past Vermont

By: Josh Brown

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Friday night had all the makings of a trap game for the No. 12 Northeastern men’s hockey team. Just days removed from their first Beanpot championship in 30 years, the Huskies had a long trip up to Burlington to face the streaking Vermont Catamounts.

It did not matter.

Although Northeastern blew a 3-1 third period lead, John Picking scored at the 1:57 mark of overtime and the Huskies picked up their first win in Hockey East play since January 20.

Cayden Primeau got the start in net for Northeastern (18-8-5, 12-6-3), making 32 saves on the evening. Sophomore netminder Stefanos Lekkas stopped 22 shots for the Catamounts (9-10-6, 6-10-5).

Despite the victory, the Huskies remain in third place in Hockey East due to Providence’s come-from-behind 5-2 victory over UMass Lowell.

As they have done all season, Northeastern used special teams to its advantage to take a 2-0 lead in the game’s first five minutes. Zach Solow scored a shorthanded goal at the 2:56 mark of the first period and Dylan Sikura answered with a power play strike at 4:58.

Vermont cut the deficit to one less than five minutes later when Bryce Misley fed Anthony Petruzzelli a pass in open ice that the senior roofed over Primeau.

Northeastern pushed its lead back to two goals on Adam Gaudette’s 32nd career power play goal midway through the second. The junior received a pass from Dylan Sikura in the slot and sent a shot past Lekkas. The tally broke the school record for career power play goals.

The Catamounts fought back in the third period, receiving a pair of power play goals from Ross Colton and Petruzzelli. Petruzzelli’s strike came with just 29 seconds remaining on a feed from Liam Coughlin behind the net.

Despite the Catamounts carrying the momentum heading into the extra frame, Picking scored the overtime winner after Patrick Schule sent a pass into the slot from below the net.

Northeastern and Vermont will play game two of the series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 6:45 p.m.

 

UConn completes season sweep of No. 11 Northeastern with 4-2 win

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON – Connecticut entered this season 0-10-0 all time against Northeastern. But after defeating Northeastern 4-1 at the XL Center in late November, the Huskies from down south cut into that record a little bit more on Friday night.

UConn scored the game’s first three goals and were able to stave off a late Northeastern rally, winning 4-2 in front of 1,955 fans at Matthews Arena.

The win extends UConn’s (14-16-2, 10-11-1) win streak to six games and moves them into a tie for fifth place in Hockey East. For Northeastern (16-8-5, 11-6-3), the loss was made even more devastating by the fact that Boston College and Providence earned wins on Friday night. Northeastern now sits in third in Hockey East.

Tanner Creel continued his hot stretch in net for UConn, making 34 saves on the evening. Freshman goalie Cayden Primeau stopped 30 shots for Northeastern.

UConn scored two goals just 18 seconds apart beginning at the 4:52 mark of the second period. Spencer Naas extended his point streak to six games with a shot that beat Primeau five-hole and Benjamin Freeman deflected a Miles Gendron bid into the back of the net to give UConn a 2-0 lead.

The lead swelled to three when Maxim Letunox scored his 10th goal of the season at the 1:46 mark of the third period. With chaos ensuing in the Northeastern offensive zone, the junior calmly finished off an odd-man rush with a shot that sailed over Primeau’s shoulder.

Northeastern battled back midway through the third, scoring two goals just 4:31 apart. Nolan Stevens struck first, tapping in a Jeremy Davies shot that produced a rebound in front of the net. Adam Gaudette cut the deficit to one with 6:59 remaining in regulation, scoring on a weak-side feed from Nolan Stevens in transition.

Although Northeastern had an abundance of opportunities in the game’s final minutes, Corey Ronan sealed the deal with an empty net goal with two seconds remaining.

Northeastern will be back in action on Monday night when they take on Boston University in the championship game of the 66th Beanpot Tournament. Josh Brown, Joe Barbito and Christian Skroce will be on the call, with pregame coverage beginning at 7:15 p.m.

 

Primeau shutout leads No. 11 Northeastern past No. 18 Boston College in Beanpot semifinals

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Photo courtesy of NHL.com

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON – In Cayden Primeau’s first Beanpot start, he accomplished a feat so rare that it has not been seen since 1988. He shutout Boston College on one of the first two Mondays in February.

The freshman goalie was sensational, making 37 saves in the Huskies’ 3-0 semifinals victory over Boston College on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. The win sends No. 11 Northeastern to the Beanpot championship game next Monday, where they will take on Boston University. It is the fourth time in the last six years that Northeastern will appear in the title game.

On the offensive end, it was three familiar faces who paced the Huskies (16-7-5, 11-5-3). After Dylan Sikura and Nolan Stevens scored in the first and second period respectively to put Northeastern out in front, Adam Gaudette put the exclamation point on the victory with his 20th goal of the season with 4:39 remaining in regulation.

The win gives the Huskies three straight Beanpot wins against Boston College for the first time in program history.

Sikura got the scoring going on the power play midway through the first period. Despite being challenged by a couple of BC defenders at the right circle, the senior fired a shot that deflected off the stick of BC defender Casey Fitzgerald and beat goalie Joe Woll (29 saves). The tally, which was assisted by Gaudette and Jeremy Davies, was the 50th of Sikura’s career.

Nolan Stevens gave the Huskies a two goal lead at the 15:34 mark of the second period on his 18th goal of the season. After Dylan Sikura fired a shot from the blue line that was saved by Woll, Stevens collected the rebound in front of the net and jammed it home.

The Eagles came out firing in the third period, throwing 15 shots on Primeau. Despite this, the game’s final goal came when Gaudette cleaned up a Stevens shot from the left dot.

Northeastern will be back in action on Friday night at Matthews Arena when they take on Connecticut. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 6:45 p.m.

 

Tirone saves 40 shots as No. 11 Northeastern skates to 1-1 tie against UNH

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON – Despite firing 41 shots on New Hampshire goalie Danny Tirone, the No. 11 Northeastern men’s hockey team skated to a 1-1 tie against the Wildcats on Friday night at Matthews Arena.

The Huskies (15-7-5, 11-5-3) had more than their fair share of opportunities all night long, but besides a Nolan Stevens goal early in the second period, the Wildcats’ senior goalie made one acrobatic save after another to keep his team in the game.

The setback particularly stings for Northeastern, as a win would have launched them into a tie for first place in Hockey East with BC’s loss to UConn on Friday night. Instead, the Huskies sit one point behind the Eagles entering their Beanpot matchup on Monday night.

Freshman Cayden Primeau got the start in net for the Huskies, making 18 saves on the evening.

New Hampshire (9-13-5, 4-9-4) drew first blood at the 16:59 mark of the first period on a power play strike from freshman defenseman Max Gildon.

The Huskies responded quickly after intermission, as Nolan Stevens potted his 17th goal of the season just 55 seconds into the second period. After receiving the puck from Dylan Sikura at the top of the left circle, Stevens stickhandled through a pair of defenders and beat Tirone glove side to knot the score up at one.

Despite a flurry of opportunities for Northeastern in the third period and overtime, they could not crack Tirone. Adding to that frustration, Biagio Lerario was assessed a game-misconduct at the 13:04 mark of the third after throwing his helmet off the boards in protest of a blatant hit to the head that was not called.

The Huskies will be back in action on Monday night at 5 p.m. for the semifinals of the 66th Beanpot Tournament. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 4:45 p.m.