The Maine women’s ice hockey team outplayed their opponent in the Northeastern Huskies, but could not manage to get the win at the Alfond Friday night. The Huskies found ways to win despite missing their two top scorers to European tournaments.
The Huskies got goals from first-year defenseman Maddie Hartman on the power play in the first period and another from second-year defenseman Ainsley MacMillan in the second. second-year forward Christina Zalewski scored the Huskies third goal in the final frame.
Maine had their single goal from second-year forward Brooke Stacey. With the goal, Stacey adds to her scoring streaks; scoring at least one goal in her last five games, and has at least a point in her last six.
Maine did outshoot the Huskies 34-22 and would get four chances on the power play, but could not convert. Despite being outshot, Northeastern mangled to go 1-3 on the man advantage.
Goaltending and defense was the main theme of the game, both sides playing physical and solid defense to keep their opponent to the perimeter.
Maine fifth-year goaltender Meghann Treacy made 19 saves in the game, taking the loss. Northeastern first-year goaltender Brittany Bugalski made 33 saves to earn the win.
“[Bugalski]’s been rock solid,” Northeastern Head coach Dave Flint said on his goalie. “She’s settled in nicely, and she’s been there for us. It all starts with your goalie. We’ve been playing with a lot of confidence in her and we’re doing well.”
The first period was chock full of action, as each side used their speed and some quick stick work to create offensive chances.
Northeastern would get the best chance early, as Maine second-year forward Jessica Vallotton would get called for interference just 1:20 into the game.
After some quick cycling, the Huskies’ superior puck movement allowed them grab an early 1-0 lead. The Northeastern defenseman were able to work the puck down low towards the goal line before making a pass towards the slot.
Third-year forward Hayley Scamurra was able to put the puck onto the tape of Hartman, who fired the puck past Treacy on the low blocker side through a screen.
“[Screening the goalie] was a point of emphasis in practice this week,” Flint said. “I told the team ‘you have to get bodies in front of [Treacy].’ We did that and we got two goals out of it.”
After getting a few chances and gaining some momentum, the Black Bears tied the game just five minutes later.
A consistent cycle led to a few chances for the Black Bears, but Bugalski was up to the task.
Stacey was able to break through at the 6:47 mark, when she tipped a shot from the point taken by first-year defenseman Cassidy Herman. The puck made it through the remaining bodies in front of the net, and beat Bugalski high to tie the game at one.
“I’m not really sure if Stacey got a tip on it, but if she did then she’s doing her job,” Herman said on the team’s only goal. “[Coach Reichenbach] always tells us, when you get the puck at the point, take a few steps and then shoot. That’s what’s in the back of my mind.”
The Huskies would have a power play opportunity late in the first, but the Maine defense was able to hold and keep the tie game intact, taking that 1-1 score into the first intermission.
The second period was more reserved than the first. Maine came out swinging with some early cycling and a lot of shots on goal. The Black Bears would outshoot the Huskies 10-6 in the period, but Northeastern would get the only goal of the period.
The Huskies worked the puck into the offensive zone, where the puck eventually made its way to the point where MacMillan was waiting. MacMillan threw the puck towards the net, possibly looking for a deflection.
Instead, the puck beat Treacy below her glove hand, and the Huskies would take a 2-1 lead halfway into the game.
“The first two were screens, I didn’t really see them,” Treacy said on Northeastern’s first pair of goals. “They like to take my eyes away. The goalie can’t stop the puck if they can’t see it.”
This time, Northeastern would hold onto their lead, and take the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Down 2-1 in the third, Maine had their best period offensively. They outshot the Huskies 16-6 and even had a 5-on-3 power play advantage, but they could not break through Bugalski.
“We did a good job of moving the puck around, we just didn’t see the right seam open up at the right time,” Maine Assistant Coach Kendall Newell said after the game.
The Huskies’ defense held, and produced an interesting goal of their own.
After Northeastern broke out of their own end, they began an odd-man-rush up ice. First-year forward Kasidy Anderson carried the puck towards the net, where it was poked free and guided out of trouble by Treacy.
Zalewski was the first to the loose puck, and fired it in on net, floating right over Treacy’s shoulder to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead that would prove to be enough.
“We battled hard for 60 minutes. We played well and we’re really proud of the effort the girls put forward,” Newell said. “They buried a couple of bounces that they got and unfortunately the puck wasn’t shining down on us.”
While the final score was not in the Black Bear’s favor, they still found a way to put a positive twist on the loss.
“We took a huge step tonight as a team. Yeah we lost, 3-1 but on our eyes, we dominated the game. We have to keep telling ourselves ‘we’re going to do it,’ finish those offensive chances, and win,” Treacy said looking ahead.
“Scoring more goals tonight would be our biggest improvement. We did a lot of great things…the only difference was in scoring goals tonight,” Newell added.
After the weekend, Maine falls to 5-6-0 (3-4-0 WHEA), while Northeastern improves to 8-1-1 (4-0-0 WHEA). The Black Bears will take to the ice on Nov. 10 when the take on Dartmouth on the road.