Women’s hockey off to slow start

Women’s hockey off to slow start

By Jewel Della Valle

The women’s hockey team was unable to overcome an early deficit in Saturday’s game against Quinnipiac. Freshman forward Chelsey Jones provided for the Husky offense by scoring her first two collegiate goals, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 5-2 loss to the Bobcats.

The Bobcats showed their teeth early in the game when forward Ashley Jaffray scored two short-handed goals within 18 seconds of each other. Jaffray’s goals came at 2:43 and 3:01 in the first period, putting the Huskies in a hole they were unable to dig themselves out of.

“They came out and scored two quick goals on our power play,” senior captain Amy Goodney said. “That just kind of knocks the wind right out of you. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it just happened, and from there you’re battling back the whole game.”

Head coach Laura Schuler said the reason for the two quick goals was the Huskies didn’t come out ready to play.

“[We] just weren’t focused and ready right off the bat,” Schuler said. “I think it pulled down our momentum a little bit. However, the girls did battle back.”

Northeastern cut Quinnipiac’s lead in half on a power play at 14:45. Goodney took a shot on goal, which was deflected by Bobcat goalie Laura Brennan. Freshman defender Ginny Berg passed the deflection to Jones, who ripped the puck past Brennan’s shoulder for the score. Goodney and Berg were credited with the assists.

The Huskies went into the second period looking to keep the game close, but Quinnipiac managed to score two more goals to make it 4-1, keeping any hopes of a Northeastern comeback at bay.

Quinnipiac forward Breana Burton scored her first collegiate goal at 4:20, and forward Antoinette Maldonado scored on a Quinnipiac power play at 12:01. The Huskies have shown weakness in the second period, Goodney said.

The Bobcats scored on another power play goal in the third period when sophomore forward Hayley McMeekin put a shot past sophomore goalie Sarah Belliveau to make it 5-1.

Northeastern has had early troubles with the penalty kill, with McMeekin’s goal tallying the seventh power play goal the Huskies have given away in three games this season.

Jones scored the final goal of the game at 15:40 when she broke away from Quinnipiac defenders and bore down on Brennan, shooting the puck around her for the score.

“[Jones is] going to be a huge asset to this team,” Goodney said. “She has a lot of fire, she has a great shot, she’s a tremendous hockey player and we’re excited to have her here.”

Goodney and senior forward Nikki Petrich said one of the positives of the day’s loss was how the team played in the third period.

“We definitely played like we can in the third period, but we need to do that every single shift of every single period,” Petrich said.

Northeastern is still looking to fill the hole at goalie. Belliveau saw her first ice time of the season, stopping 28 Quinnipiac shots and letting in five.

“Our goalie played well, but I think it could be a combination of nerves as far as it being one of her first collegiate games,” Schuler said. “We’re going through all of our goalies right now and getting them some time but it’s all of their first games.”

Schuler said instead of focusing on mechanics this week, her team will try to get back to why they play hockey.

“This week we’re going to really focus on just having fun and thinking more offensively because we’ve been doing a lot of X’s and O’s and focusing defensively,” Schuler said. “For the theme of this week it’s just to kind of have the girls remember why they love the game and think of themselves as being out on the pond and just playing pick-up hockey and having a good time. I think that way it’ll help … jumpstart our offense.”

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