BOSTON, Mass. - Trailing 1-0 midway through the second period, the No. 10/10 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (22-10-2) responded with five unanswered goals to knock off Vermont (8-21-4) in the Hockey East quarterfinals on Saturday night at Matthews Arena, 5-1.
With the win, the Huskies advance to the conference semifinal game for the third straight season, where they will play No. 3 Boston College on Saturday, March 9 in Hyannis, Mass.
Kendall Coyne led the Huskies with a goal and three assists, tying the league record for points in a quarterfinal game, while Kelly Wallace added two third period goals and Casey Pickett notched a goal and two assists.
Chloe Desjardins made 27 saves to backstop the Huskies to their eighth straight win while Roxanne Douville had 43 saves for the Catamounts.
The teams played a physical and up-tempo first period, with the Huskies holding a 15-11 edge in shots on goal, but a UVM tally late in the frame game the Catamounts a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Catamounts tested Desjardins throughout the frame, and broke through with 5:57 left in the frame on a goal from Amanda Pelkey. After taking a feed from Emily Walsh heading up the boards, Pelkey cut in towards the cage and roofed a shot over the left shoulder of Desjardins for her ninth goal of the season.
NU nearly leveled the score in the final minute of the stanza when Coyne and Pickett went in on a two-on-one, but Coyne's saucer pass hopped over the stick of Pickett and into the corner.
Both goaltenders faced an arsenal of shots during the second period, and three Northeastern goals in less than eight minutes gave the Huskies a 3-1 advantage heading into the second intermission.
Douville kept NU at bay through the first seven minutes of the period but a goal from Coyne leveled the score at one aside 7:49 into the frame. Maggie Brennolt began the play by keeping the puck in the offensive zone after a failed clear from the Catamounts. Brennolt then spotted Coyne at the opposite point and slid the puck over to the sophomore winger. Coyne quickly settled the puck before snapping a shot through traffic and under the glove of Douville for her 35th goal of the year.
Northeastern took its first lead of the night with 4:57 to play in the frame as Tori Hickel notched her third goal of the season. After taking a pass from Claire Santostefano along the half wall, Coyne poked the puck out in front of the cage, when Hickel blasted it past Douville for a 2-1 NU lead.
Pickett gave the Huskies a two-goal edge just 34 seconds after the Hickel goal when she potted her 20th goal of the season. With Coyne controlling the puck behind the net, she faked a stride towards the left of the net, getting Douville to commit to the left post, before sliding the puck to Pickett at the right post, who knocked it into the open net.
Northeastern looked to build on momentum entering the third period, and did just that with two goals from Wallace less than three minutes apart. The first came when Coyne lifted the stick of a UVM defender behind the goal, then fired the puck towards the crease, where Wallace hammered it home for her 13th goal of the season.
Wallace buried her second of the evening with 12:16 to play in regulation when Pickett forced a turnover in the Catamount zone, sending the puck right onto the stick of Wallace, who wristed a shot through Douville for the score.
Game Notes: • Northeastern is now 24-3-4 all-time against Vermont, and improves to 3-5 all-time in the Hockey East tournament. • The Huskies extend their unbeaten streak against the Catamounts to 14 games (12-0-2), and haven't lost to UVM since Feb. 14, 2009. • Coyne tied the league record for points in a quarterfinal game with a goal and three assists. • Coyne's four points were tied for the most all-time in a WHEA quarterfinal game. • Coyne extended her point streak to 14 games (19 goals, 15 assists) • Hickel scored her first goal since Nov. 2, 2012 vs. Connecticut, a span of 22 games. • Hickel is the first NU freshman to score a goal in a playoff game since Santostefano on Mar. 5, 2011 vs. Boston University. • Pickett extended her point streak to eight games (six goals, 12 assists). • Wallace tied a career-high with two goals.