Women’s hockey tops UConn 5-3

Women’s hockey tops UConn 5-3
Northeastern's women's hockey team donned camo jerseys during Friday night's game in honor of Military Appreciation Night. / Photo by Riley Robinson.

By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The Northeastern women’s hockey team, sporting camo-style jerseys and socks for Military Appreciation Night, took the lead early and never trailed against the University of Connecticut at Matthews Arena Friday.

The Huskies grabbed the lead just 34 seconds into the game with a goal by second-year defenseman Codie Cross, who earned her 25th career point with the goal. NU’s quick goal jump-started a dominant first period.

“Something we’ve been harping [the players] on for awhile now is trying to come out and start fast,” associate head coach Jeff Pellegrini said after the game. “Our record has been very good when we have scored first, so that is always a big motivator for us”  

Northeastern was unable to hang on to their lead, as UConn evened the score with just 30 seconds to go in the first period. UConn second-year defenseman Emily Reid fired a pass over to second-year forward Briana Colangelo who buried a low shot past third-year NU goaltender Brittany Bugalski.

NU again dominated offensive zone time in the second period. The team pulled ahead with 5:35 left in the period after second-year forward Matti Hartman took a shot from just inside the lefthand circle, beating fourth-year UConn goaltender Annie Belanger.

“We got all over them right from the start [of the game], and before the game we talked about how we’ve been successful in the past when we have gotten the first goal,” Hartman said postgame.

NU was up on the powerplay less than a minute later after a penalty to Colangelo for cross-checking, but the Huskies were unable to capitalize on the player advantage.

UConn started the third period assertively, scoring quickly just 1:54 into the period with a shot from first-year forward Natalie Snodgrass, beating Bugalski high.

Snodgrass has been a force on the offensive side of the puck this season, amassing 14 goals thus far. To limit her opportunities, the Huskies looked to force her to the perimeter.

“She has a really good shot so it was important to keep her to the outside and blocking her shots if possible,” noted Hartman.

NU made efficient work in responding to the UConn goal, answering with one of their own just 14 seconds later.

Hartman carried the puck up the ice, entered the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with first-year forward Veronika Pettey to her wing, but Hartman elected to shoot a top-shelf wrister to the back of the net. It was Hartman’s second goal of the game and sixth of the season.

“Well, usually I like to be more of a play-maker so I usually pass on 2-on-1s, but tonight I just saw the opening and took the shot,” Hartman said regarding her decision to shoot rather than pass.

Moments later, fourth-year forward Denisa Krizova also found the back of the net on a wild play in front. Third-year forward Tori Sullivan entered the zone with the puck and whiffed on a shot, which Cross picked up from behind. Cross blasted a wrister, and Krizova was in the perfect spot to bang home the rebound and put NU up 4-2.

The ugly goal by Krizova was just what coach Pellegrini was looking for, noting how, “In order to score against them, you have to make it to the dirty areas since they’re such a talented team and they do a terrific job in taking away the middle of the ice.”

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued as UConn pulled within one goal 5:27 to go in the game. UConn third-year defenseman Jaime Fox rifled off a shot from the point, which was then deflected in front by second-year forward Catherine Crawley.

Moments later, NU solidified the win with a tip-in goal by Pettey off of a shot from the point by fourth-year defenseman Ainsley MacMillan.

UConn pulled Belanger to add an extra skater with 1:48 left in the game, but their efforts were too late and NU was able to close out the 5-3 victory.

NU will return to game action next weekend, when they travel north to take on the University of Vermont Catamounts Friday.