By Mark Fraenkel
After falling to Harvard in the first round of the Beanpot last Tuesday, the Boston University women’s hockey team (10-12-5, 9-7-4 Hockey East) lost to the Northeastern University Huskies (23-4-1, 17-3-1 HE) by a score of 3-0 tonight at Matthews Arena.
Powered by redshirt senior forward Maureen Murphy’s hat trick, the Huskies dominated the Terriers throughout the game.
“I think I was a little frustrated with the past game last week and just wanted to come out here and make a statement even though it was a consolation game,” Murphy said in the postgame press conference.
The Northeastern game came at the conclusion of a calendar week that was emblematic of a tough second half of the season. Since the Harvard game a week ago, BU tied a good University of Connecticut team last Friday and then got shut out against Boston College on Saturday.
Instead of starting senior goaltender Kate Stuart, head coach Brian Durocher opted to start fellow senior Nicole McGuigan. The decision was a reward for the netminder’s dedication to the program despite playing behind star goalies like Corinne Schroeder and Stuart.
“Nicole has been a fantastic teammate––you know, maybe someone who didn’t come in with the same resume as them and may not be on the exact same level, but somebody who’s continued to improve, made herself better, worked extremely hard, and she’s one of those people that’s a locker room presence,” Durocher said. “I was as excited for her as anyone.”
Northeastern’s head coach Dave Flint chose to start junior goaltender Gwyneth Philips in place of the stellar graduate student Aerin Frankel. Flint’s move worked as Philips picked up her second shut out of the season. Flint gave Philips the start in order to reduce the workload of Frankel ahead of a tough next stretch for the Huskies.
“We have six games in the next 12 days, which is going to be a lot on our team and in our goaltender,” Flint said in the post game press conference. “I have the luxury of having two really good goalies. And so we decided to go with Gwyneth tonight.”
The Terriers were also missing two of their starters on Tuesday afternoon. Freshman forward Kylie Roberts and sophomore defenseman Julia Shuanessy were both not in the lineup for BU.
Coach Durocher said they wanted to give freshman forward Liv Haag a chance to play so switched her with Roberst in the lineup. Shuanessy’s absence was more injury driven.
“[She’s] dealing with a sort of an injury that you know might require surgery down the road. So with the way our schedule is set up, it probably was best to give her the day off,” Durocher said.
Northeastern was missing senior forward Alina Mueller to the Olympic games.
With 8:45 remaining in the first period, senior forward Emma Wuthrich was sent to the box for hooking. The Huskies capitalized on the power play. A crisp pass from grad defenseman Skylar Fontaine to Murphy, led to Murphy’s 18th goal of the season.
Murphy thanked her teammates and said Fontaine and Mills gave her the goal “on a platter.”
Coach Durocher was impressed with the Providence College transfer’s play.
“She is a great player and has been a great player,” Durocher said. “When you have speed, you have hands, and oh by the way, you shoot the puck extremely well, it’s a tough matchup.”
About five and a half minutes later, Northeastern’s grad defenseman Brooke Hobson received a minor penalty for hooking. Despite a few good looks for the Terriers on the power play, the Huskies were successful on the penalty kill.
Despite having a 1-0 lead at the first intermission Dave Flint was disappointed in his team.
“First period might have been the worst period of hockey we’ve played this year,” Flint said. “And I let the team know that and I thought we were a bit better in the second and third, but still not where we need to be.”
Early in the second period, a missed shot by sophomore defenseman Madison Cardaci led to an opportunity for junior forward Haylee Blinkhorn, but the Terriers couldn’t convert.
With 12:14 remaining in the second period, Murphy added her second goal of the game.
With just over two minutes remaining in the second period, Brooke Hobson was sent to the penalty box for cross checking. Senior forward Mackenna Parker had an eventful power play, with two promising looks. Then in the neutral zone she received a two minute minor for elbowing.
As Parker was serving out the remainder of her penalty in the early seconds of the third period, sophomore defenseman Andi Calderone joined Parker in the penalty box.
Northeastern’s junior center Katy Knoll had a great backhanded opportunity on McGuigan but missed wide. With just under 30 seconds left on the penalty kill, Murphy completed her hat trick. Northeastern’s last hat trick was from Chloe Aurard in January of 2021 against Merrimack.
In the last 120 minutes of hockey, the Terriers have not scored a goal.
“Sometimes you have to get that goal to kind of change the complexion of the game, change the momentum, and that’s the thing that’s really been a tough out for us all year,” Durocher said. “You know we play hard, you’re getting a few chances but maybe not enough to get on over the line.”
BU was outshot by Northeastern, 37-14 in the loss. McGuigan made 34 saves in her first collegiate start.
The Terriers will next head to Burlington for two games against the University of Vermont this weekend. BU hosts the University of Maine at Walter Brown next Tuesday. We’ll have coverage of all the games, follow along on Twitter @BOShockeyblog and Instagram @boston.hockey.blog for further updates.