Women’s Hockey: Huskies sweep Vermont

Women’s Hockey: Huskies sweep Vermont

By Jewel Della Valle

The women’s hockey team achieved something this weekend it had been searching for all season: back-to-back wins.

The Huskies (5-25-2, 4-13-2 Hockey East) overtook last-place Vermont (3-25-2, 1-17-1 HE) twice last weekend, winning 4-1 Saturday and 2-1 Sunday, and took their first wins in two and a half months. The last NU victory came Dec. 2 in a 6-2 win over Maine.

“[Saturday’s win] felt phenomonal,” said freshman goalie Sydney Arbelbide. “It’s pretty much like winning [the] Beanpot or something for us, it just felt so good.”

It may have been Senior Weekend, but it was a few younger players who notched career firsts. Arbelbide recorded her first collegiate win, and freshman and sophomore defenders Ginny Berg and Brenna Frost scored their first collegiate goals, both the game-winners in each respective match-up.

“[The consecutive wins] came at a good time because our seniors have been through a lot, so we kind of owed it to them,” Frost said.

Northeastern dominated the first period of Saturday night’s game at Matthews Arena, outshooting UVM 17-2, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Huskies took a scoreless tie into the second and gave up the game’s only goal at 4:25 when Vermont forward Kristi Anderson put her team up 1-0 on a power play.

“I didn’t want the balloon to deflate because I thought that we were the better team – we were playing our game,” said head coach Laura Schuler. “I said let’s keep playing our game, let’s keep doing the little things, let’s keep control of the game. I just kept reminding them that we’re the better team and they seemed to remember, ‘OK, yeah, this is our game,’ and they took to it.”

Senior assistant captain Crystal Rochon made sure the Catamounts didn’t pull too far ahead, and tied the score at one apiece a minute and a half later. Senior captain Amy Goodney circled the net and passed the puck off to Rochon, who snuck it past Vermont goaltender Shivan Siegl while crashing the net.

It was Rochon’s fourth score of the season and Goodney’s team-leading 12th assist. Junior forward Nikki Petrich also tallied her eighth assist of the year on the play.

The Huskies continued to pull away, taking the lead at 9:27 when Berg found the back of the net to put the Huskies up for good.

Freshman forward Chelsey Jones, who leads the team with 15 goals, assisted the play and scored for the first time since Jan. 13 at 2:16 in the third period, giving the Huskies all the insurance they needed.

The Huskies outshot UVM 23-10 in the second and third periods, but UVM became much more aggressive.

“The one thing that we tried to keep focusing on was just continuing to beat them to the puck, make sure we were first to the puck and outmuscling them,” Schuler said. “[We were trying] to be stronger, be the better athletes. That’s what we focused on and it helped us stay on top, but [Vermont] did come back strong.”

The Catamounts pulled their goalie with 41 seconds left in the game, and at 19:46, sophomore forward Missy Elumba notched her third goal of the season with a shot from center ice that sailed into Vermont’s empty net to end the game at 4-1. NU outshot the Catamounts 40-12 on the night.

The Huskies left nothing to chance Sunday, as Jones put the team up 1-0 just 3:53 into the game after intercepting a Vermont pass and beating Vermont goalie Jenilee Roy high for the unassisted shorthanded score.

Vermont went into Sunday’s game with more fire than Saturday, but Northeastern managed to keep them in check, outshooting the Catamounts 16-7 in the first period. In the second, senior forward Ashley Bielawski took a breakaway up the boards, skated around a defender and backhanded it into a sea of UVM defenders. Frost’s shot bounced off the right goal post and trickled over the goal line to make it 2-0. Senior assistant captain Marie Desrosier also recorded an assist on the play, her fourth of the year.

Vermont got a point back at 8:42 in the third period when UVM forward Stephanie Tewksbury slipped the puck between Arbelbide’s legs for her second goal of the season. The Catamounts pulled Roy with 40 seconds left in favor of an extra attacker, but Arbelbide preserved the win by stopping several close shots. She made 20 saves on the day.

“It was really nice to see our girls finally control the play and have some fun out there,” Schuler said. “Carrying into next year, carrying into our next game coming up, for us is huge.”

Goodney, Desrosier, Rochon, Bielawski and forward Jessica Coppney were honored as outgoing players as a part of Senior Weekend. They will play in their last game as Huskies Saturday at 3 p.m. at Boston University.

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