Northeastern women’s hockey falls to BC in Beanpot opener

Northeastern women’s hockey falls to BC in Beanpot opener
The Huskies celebrate fourth-year forward Shelby Herrington's game-tying goal Tuesday night at Conte Forum. / Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.

By Caroline Ingram, news staff

The 40th women’s Beanpot tournament kicked off Tuesday night against the Eagles of Boston College at Conte Forum. The Huskies traveled across town to take on the hosts, who are ranked third in the nation, and came up short by a score of 5-2.

“Despite the final score, I thought it was a pretty good game,” head coach Dave Flint said postgame. “But I felt that the second and third periods we outplayed them. The only difference was that they capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t.”

In the opening period, BC struck first about nine minutes in with a goal from first-year forward Daryl Watts, who was hit with a long centering pass from defenseman Toni Ann Miano. Watts entered the zone and deked third-year NU goaltender Brittany Bugalski on a backhand shot.

It was Watts who tacked on another goal for the Eagles, this time beating Bugalski on the opposite side after entering the zone on a 2-on-1 with teammate Caitrin Lonergan.

“We came out slow in the first period and [BC] had us on our heels,” head coach Dave Flint said

Northeastern amped up its urgency in the second period, doing a better job of shutting down BC’s potent offense.

The Huskies got on the board just under five minutes into the second with a five-hole goal by second-year forward Andrea Renner. With the puck in the Eagles’ defensive zone, a BC defender tried to flip the puck clear of the blue line, but defenseman Skylar Fontaine jumped up to bat down the puck and fired a pass over to Renner who potted it.

With 9:26 remaining in the period, the Huskies gained possession of the puck in their defensive zone and flipped it out to the neutral zone to be swiped up by third-year forward Kasidy Anderson. Anderson fired a high shot which circled around the boards and out to second-year defenseman Codie Cross at the point, who fired a pass back to Anderson positioned by the net. After an initial shot on BC goaltender Katie Burt was knocked loose, fourth-year forward Shelby Herrington was able to pound home the rebound to make it 2-2.

BC responded less than four minutes later with a 2-on-1 goal from forward Makenna Newkirk, who went back and forth passing the puck to linemmate Kenzie Kent before blasting a shot that beat Bugalski blocker side.

NU nearly tied up the game late in the second when Renner jammed in a loose puck after Burt bobbled the save, but the call was overturned after video review because of goaltender interference.

The teams headed to the locker rooms with BC holding the 3-2 edge. Coach Flint was pleased to see his team pick up their level of play in the latter two stanzas.

“In the first period, we had a difficult time matching their top line with ours,” Flint said. “We made some adjustments throughout the second and third to address that, and I feel like our play picked up in those periods as well.”

Both teams battled hard throughout the third, exchanging quality scoring opportunities, but neither team was able to break through. With just six minutes to go in the game, BC added to its lead with a high wrister from Newkirk.

The Huskies were facing a tough reality, down two goals with a little under six minutes left on the clock. Newkirk buried a short-handed empty net goal with 1:09 left to cement the 5-2 BC win and complete the hat trick.

It was a tough loss for Flint and his team to swallow.

“I really feel like we were the better team tonight, but not being able to capitalize on our chances was the thing that really hurt us,” he said. “Take out the first period and I was pleased with my team’s performance in the second and third.”

In addition to the Huskies’ struggles with finding the back of the net, Flint expressed his disappointment with his top line’s play in recent games.

“The line that is supposed to be my best line simply hasn’t been producing and they need to step up and produce for us,” he said. “A key difference in the game today was that [BC] had difference makers up front, and we didn’t. Not to say that we don’t have difference makers, they just weren’t there tonight.”

The Huskies will face Merrimack College this weekend before traveling back to Conte Forum Tuesday night to face off against Harvard University for the Beanpot consolation game.

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