Women’s Hockey: Losing streak hits four

By Jared Sugerman, News Staff

On Jan. 11, the’ women’s hockey team completed a two-game sweep of Niagara to extend their winning streak to three games, matching a season high.
Two weeks later, after going down against No. 6 Boston College (15-5-3, 9-3-1), No. 7 New Hampshire (13-5-5, 8-2-3) and losing twice to No. 8 Connecticut (17-7-2, 9-4-0) this weekend, Northeastern (10-12-2, 5-8-0) has equaled its longest skid of the 2008-09 campaign.
‘Those are the best three [teams in the league], and those are the only teams that we have losses to so far. We’re getting there. We’re competing with them and we’ve just got to keep plugging away,’ said head coach Dave Flint, after Saturday’s 1-0 loss against Connecticut at Matthews Arena.
That came on the heels of Connecticut’s 4-0 victory at’ its home Friday, a game Flint called ‘probably our worst effort of the year.’ Sophomore goalie Leah Sulyma faced 38 shots in Storrs, while Northeastern fired 20 shots at Connecticut’s Brittany Wilson.
Connecticut’s leading scorer, forward Dominique Thibault, notched her team’s first three goals of the game Friday. Her linemate, fellow’ forward Amy Hollstein, capped the scoring when she registered Connecticut’s final tally at 4:20 of the third period.
‘They have that first line that makes them go. That first line has most of their goals this year and that’s what you need. You need that impact line that’s going to carry the load for you,’ Flint said.
Prior to Saturday’s rematch, Northeastern held a team meeting, where the players talked about their new role in Hockey East as playoff contenders. They also discussed the need for a consistent effort from every player on the roster, one that becomes more pressing as injuries to key contributors continue to mount.
Northeastern played both games against Connecticut without sophomore forward and leading scorer, Kristi Kehoe, who is still recovering from a head injury she suffered in a Jan. 20 loss against UNH.
The Huskies were also without sophomore forward Autumn Prouty for the duration of the weekend, and they began Saturday’s game without junior defender Kasey Cedorchuk, who had played Friday. After sophomore blueliner Julia Marty went down with a shoulder injury midway through the contest Saturday, Flint worked with 12 skaters for the remainder of the afternoon.
Nonetheless, Saturday’s tilt remained scoreless until 17:29 of the third period, when Thibault scored her league-leading 23rd goal of the season by picking up a loose puck in front of the net and slipping it past Northeastern freshman goaltender Florence Schelling. Schelling made 29 saves in the final battle of the Huskies this year, but Wilson blanked Northeastern again by stopping 22 shots, helping her team take the season series, 2-1.
‘I’m thinking that, from here on out, we’ll play as a new team,’ said senior forward and co-captain Colleen Sanborn.
She said she believes her squad is struggling to play for a postseason bid after a number of sub-par seasons. ‘This year it’s totally different for us, and I think we needed a reality check to realize that, and that we have to put everything forth to finish off the season strong and head into the playoffs,’ she said.
Northeastern is now seven points behind fourth-place Providence (13-10-2, 8-3-1), with the two teams set to face off in a home-and-home series, beginning Feb. 6 and ending Feb. 7.
Northeastern will travel to Orono this weekend, where they will play Maine (4-19-2, 1-11-1) Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m.

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