Women’s hockey battles back from two down, ties rival BU 3-3

Women’s hockey battles back from two down, ties rival BU 3-3
Fourth-year forward Denisa Krizova skates toward the action. / Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics

By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The Northeastern women’s hockey team welcomed their cross-city rivals from Boston University to Matthews Arena Tuesday night for the 81st all-time meeting between the teams. The 3-3 draw was the teams’ first faceoff in 2018; the Huskies took the previous two contests earlier in the season by scores of 3-2 (OT) and 6-3.

The Huskies came in to the game confidently after playing two great evenly-matched games with the second-ranked Boston College Eagles over the weekend, coming away with a win and an overtime loss. NU looked solid to start the game off, generating great scoring chances for second-year defenseman Codie Cross early into the game.

After the game, head coach Dave Flint said the Terriers are a tough opponent for the Huskies whenever the two teams face off.

“They’re a big rival, just right down the street,” Flint said. “These games are always tough. They’re a good team, and although their record doesn’t necessarily reflect that, they have two of the best players in the country,” he continued, referring to fourth-year forwards Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie.

After the teams exchanged penalties midway through the first period, it was BU that pulled ahead with a goal from Bach. Leslie brought the puck down the right side of the ice and fired a pass over to Bach, who slammed a one-timer past first-year Northeastern goalie Aerin Frankel.

The game was aired live on NESN and as a result, play was halted a number of times throughout the game for periodic TV breaks. Coach Flint said he saw the breaks as more of a benefit than a disruption.

“It allows you time to rest your players,” Flint said, “but in this game I thought it was more of a benefit to [BU]. They depend on their first line so heavily that they got lots of breaks to rest that line.”

The teams headed to the locker rooms with BU holding a 1-0 edge. In the second period, the Terriers came out with more energy, dominating the first half of the period with a plethora of scoring chances. BU extended its lead to two a little over seven minutes into the period with an unassisted goal from Bach, who picked off a pass between the NU defenders and beat Frankel one-on-one with a high shot.

A few minutes later, the Huskies answered back with a goal of their own. Third-year forward Kasidy Anderson skated the puck into the BU zone down the left side on a two-on-one with fourth-year forward McKenna Brand crashing the net. Anderson elected to take the shot and beat first-year BU goalie Corinne Schroeder low on the blocker side.

In the third period, NU tied the game at 2-2 with less than twelve minutes left in the game. First-year forward Veronika Pettey blasted a one-timer with assists going to second-year forwards Matti Hartman and Andrea Renner.

Coach Flint was satisfied by his team’s efforts to rebound from a two-goal hole to pull ahead of BU in the third period.

“I liked the way we battled back, being down 2-0 and coming back to take the lead,” Flint said. “It shows a lot of resiliency by the team and they had a lot of fight in them tonight to rebound from a two goal deficit late in the game.”

Less than five minutes after the game-tying goal by Pettey, NU found itself on the penalty kill after a hooking call against first-year defenseman Skylar Fontaine. In the defensive zone, Brand won a faceoff to fourth-year forward Denisa Krizova, flying by the flat-footed BU defensemen for a breakaway. Krizova decked Schroeder and beat her five-hole to put the Huskies ahead.

Following the pull-ahead goal by Krizova, the Huskies looked to play smart and hold off the Terriers for the remaining seven minutes of the game.

“Game management was key for us in those last seven minutes,” Flint said.“We wanted to keep pucks deep [in their zone], play smart and not give up odd man rushes.”

In the final minutes, the team was able to keep BU pinned in their zone for the majority of the time. However, the final two minutes were tilted heavily in BU’s favor, with Schroeder pulled and the extra skater on the ice for the Terriers.

Frankel came up with some huge saves for NU, but after a scramble in front of the net in the final 10 seconds, she was unable to locate the puck and BU jammed it home. It was a heartbreaking let-up by the Huskies, who came within 3.3 seconds of escaping with the win and securing their first-ever season sweep of their rival.

Bach earned a hat trick for the game with the tying goal, adding to her impressive accumulation of 29 goals this season.

The teams headed to a five-minute overtime period to attempt to break the deadlock. In the extra session, Krizova again had a chance to be the hero of the game, but fired a shot wide of the net.

In the end, the game remained a tie and the Huskies managed to secure one point.

“Obviously, we don’t want to give up a goal with three seconds left, but we got a point out of [this game], so that’s really all that matters,” Flint said.

Although the Huskies would have liked to walk away with a win, Coach Flint was ultimately happy with his team’s resilience and ability to battle back.

The Huskies will have a few days of practice before welcoming the University of Connecticut back to town on Friday night for Military Appreciation Night, with faceoff set for 7 p.m. at Matthews Arena.

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