Women’s Hockey: Biggest comeback in NU history

Women’s Hockey: Biggest comeback in NU history

By Jewel Della Valle

Giving up goals early and battling back the rest of the game only to lose has been a familiar setting this season for the women’s hockey team. Two games against Providence this week were no exception, but the Huskies managed to break the cycle against Maine Sunday.

The Huskies battled back from an early second period 5-1 deficit to stun the Maine Black Bears, scoring five unanswered goals for a 6-5 victory, their first of the season. It marked the largest deficit a Northeastern women’s hockey team has ever overcome to win.

“We were just sick of [losing after giving up goals],” said sophomore forward Missy Elumba, who scored the game-tying goal. “We weren’t going to take any more of it. We were just really lifting each other up.”

In Wednesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Providence Friars, the Huskies gave up three goals in six minutes in the first period and struggled for the rest of the night. Sophomore forward Ali Bielawski saved Northeastern from a shutout when she took a pass from Annie Hogan in the third period, and put it in the net for Northeastern’s only score.

Saturday’s game at home against the Friars followed the same painful pattern. The Huskies gave up four goals in the first, one in the second and scored one of their own in the third courtesy of freshman forward Chelsey Jones.

Despite the losses, head coach Laura Schuler was pleased with the way her players’ steely nerves.

“I’m just so proud of how they came back in the second and third period, and I think there’s a bunch of positive momentum there to carry forward into tomorrow,” Schuler said.

And carry forward it did. The Black Bears scored after a minute of play, but Northeastern came back with a goal from sophomore defender Erin Reil to tie the score at one.

The tie remained until four minutes left in the period, when Maine scored three goals in three and a half minutes, leaving the Huskies looking at the possibility of another lopsided defeat.

Maine came out strong again in the second period, scoring another goal at 3:39 to make it a 5-1 game.

Freshman defender Katy Applin got the comeback started with her first collegiate goal at 8:38 in the second. After Jones’ breakaway shot was deflected, Applin, positioned in front of the net, slapped it in to make it 5-2.

Almost two minutes later, after taking the deflection from Applin’s breakaway shot, senior forward Jessica Coppney scored a shorthanded goal, which Schuler said energized the team.

With 51 seconds left in the period, sophomore forward Cassie Sperry made it 5-4 with an unassisted goal.

At 7:05 in the third, with Northeastern at a 5-3 advantage, Elumba tied the score at 5-5 with assists from sophomore forward Colleen Sanborn and Reil. Two minutes later Sanborn gave the Huskies the lead for good with a goal following a scramble in front of the net.

“It was just great being at the right place at the right time,” Elumba said. “Our whole thing is crash the net because the first shot’s not going to go in. Everyone was just going hard for the rebounds.”

With 45 seconds left in the game, freshman forward Lindsay Berman got a penalty for tripping. The Black Bears pulled their goalie and sent another player out on the ice, giving themselves a 6-4 advantage. But the Huskies and sophomore goalie Sarah Belliveau, who had 27 saves, didn’t buckle under the pressure and held on for the win.

Schuler said more aggressive play, giving the defense “the green light” to be more involved with the offense and the ability to take advantage of power plays resulted in the win.

“I know that I have a bunch of kids with a bunch of heart and they’ve shown it,” Schuler said. “As far as being down in the past by three or more goals, and not giving up and coming back with a lot of intensity and a lot of heart.”

Leave a Reply