Tuesday, January 26, 2010
NORTHEASTERN EARNS 2-0 SHOOTOUT WIN AGAINST BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Alyssa Wohlfeiler and Rachel Llanes score shootout goals after teams skate to 2-2 tie
The No. 6 Northeastern Huskies (16-5-4, 8-4-4-3 HEA) extended their unbeaten streak to six straight games with a 2-2 tie and a 2-0 shootout win over Boston University on Tuesday at Matthews Arena. Senior Annie Hogan and freshman Brittany Esposito scored for the Huskies in regulation, while junior Alyssa Wohlfeiler and freshman Rachel Llanes notched shootout goals.
Sophomore Florence Schelling stopped 24 shots and both BU shootout attempts. On the season, Schelling has stopped 19 of 21 shootout attempts, including six straight. With the shootout victory, the Huskies regain first place in the Hockey East standings, moving ahead of Providence by one point.
All facets of the Huskies' game clicked when they had to on Tuesday night, including a resilient penalty-killing unit that was put to the test early on. At 16:23 of the first period, three Huskies and one Terrier were sent to the penalty box at the same time, resulting on a two-minute long, five-on-three for BU. The Terriers enjoyed nearly the entire two minutes in the attacking zone, but the Husky penalty kill did the job, allowing only two shots on goal during the power play.
In the second period, the Huskies' offense answered the call after falling behind early in the frame. Boston University's Jill Cardella put the Terriers in front at the 5:56 mark with a deflection in front of the net off a shot from Tara Watchorn. Northeastern answered the goal 6:16 later as freshman Kelly Wallace stole the puck behind the BU cage and fed Hogan in front for a backhand goal. Northeastern's offense proceeded to pound the Terriers' net with chances, but BU netminder Melissa Haber proved up to the challenge. Haber made 12 of her 25 saves in the second period to keep the score 1-1 heading into the intermission.
Again, Boston University went in front in the third when Melissa Anderson slid a tricky backhander over the blocker of Schelling at 5:26. However, the goal was promptly followed by a BU penalty, presenting a glorious chance for the Huskies to tie the score once again.
Esposito took over from there. Circling behind her own net, the freshman carried the puck up the boards, beat a BU defenseman to the outside, and unleashed a wicked wrister under the crossbar to even the score.
Northeastern worked hard in the defensive end to force overtime and eventually a shootout as the Terriers peppered Schelling with 15 shots in the final two stanzas. Anderson had a final chance to win the game in regulation for BU, but her drive at the buzzer was knocked away by Schelling.
Esposito went first in the shootout for NU, and despite making a clean move around Haber, was denied by the goaltender's lunging pad on the backhand. Anderson shot next for the Terriers, but Schelling cut off her angle, forcing the shot wide to the right. Wohlfeiler skated in for the Huskies' second shot and waited for Haber to go down, before roofing a backhander to put NU up 1-0. Schelling then stoned Laurel Koller to give Northeastern a chance to win with another goal. Llanes, the shootout hero in New Hampshire on Jan. 20, calmly slotted her shot between the legs of Haber to earn the Huskies an extra conference point.
With the tie, the Huskies snapped a four-game losing streak against Boston University. Northeastern and BU will renew their rivalry next week at Harvard's Bright Center in the opening round of the 32nd-annual Women's Beanpot on Feb. 2. Opening faceoff is set for 5 p.m.