BOSTON – Casey Pickett’s overtime winner ended No. 7 Northeastern’s 13-year Beanpot drought, as the Huskies completed a come-from-behind 4-3 victory against No. 10 Boston University on Tuesday night at Walter Brown Arena.
After Sonia St. Martin tied the game with five minutes to play, Pickett deked past Kerrin Sperry at 5:27 of overtime to deliver the Huskies their 15th Beanpot championship, the most of any school.
Northeastern jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind goals from Kendall Coyne and Lucie Povova, but three unanswered BU goals gave the Terriers the lead for just 1:43 before St. Martin sent the game to overtime.
Florence Schelling was outstanding in net for the Huskies, making 43 saves for her 17th win of the season.
Hard forechecking from Povova earned a holding minor on Kaleigh Fratkin just two minutes into the game. The Huskies could not find a shot on goal from their man advantage, but soon earned a reprieve when Coyne gained a step on Kathryn Miller down the left side and drew a tripping call at 4:52.
This time it was BU’s Isabel Menard who took the power play’s best chance. Gaining the zone shorthanded, the Syracuse transfer slickly dangled past Maggie DiMasi and deked to Schelling’s left, but the Huskies’ goaltender got just enough of the puck to send it skittering wide of goal.
The Terriers got a power play of their own at 7:13 when Stephanie Gavronsky went off for tripping, but the nation’s second-ranked penalty kill held fast to keep the game on level terms.
The Huskies had a decent foothold in the run of play but somehow had not registered a shot on goal until 12:41 of the first period, when Claire Santostefano dribbled one in on Kerrin Sperry from the neutral zone. Amidst an extremely defensive opening period, BU had registered only four shots by that point, and Northeastern would finish the period trailing in the category 13-4.
With four minutes to play, Coyne attempted an end run down the right wing, but the Terriers were resolute in not letting her get to the slot and her tight-angle backhand attempt was easily saved by Sperry.
Schelling wasn’t tested often in the opening frame, but with two minutes to play her now-familiar heroics kept the Huskies tied. Louise Warren took possession in the slot with Schelling lunging to cover the near right post, and when the rebound skipped to the weak side for Marie-Philip Poulin, Schelling somehow slid deftly across the face of goal to stone her. Seconds later it was Jill Cardella with time to wind up, but Schelling saw it all the way and pushed it aside, as the teams went to the locker room mired in a goalless draw.
Menard took the first chance of the second period after three minutes, receiving a pass from Poulin deep in the slot, but again Schelling stood strong in net to stay perfect.
DiMasi then earned a Husky power play at 4:25 when, amidst one of her signature runs into the offensive zone, she earned a roughing minor on Poulin, and the ensuing power play set off a combination blow from Northeastern. First, Casey Pickett hit Coyne, who was finally able to gain space in the slot, and after Sperry parried her first attempt, Coyne met the rebound at the back post with the goal at her mercy and roofed in her 24th goal of the season.
Just 1:41 later, artful tic-tac-toe passing from Dani Rylan, Santostefano and Povova teed up the latter on the doorstep. Sperry was wise to Povova’s first effort, but once again the Huskies benefitted from a rebound effort and Povova jammed in her seventh of the season to double the Northeastern advantage.
Povova now ranks tied for fifth on the team with seven goals, but has made those goals count against the best opposition Hockey East has to offer. Since scoring twice with three assists on Oct. 22, she has four goals, all against BU or Boston College.
The Terriers continued to enjoy a decided shots advantage as the middle frame wore on, and finally managed to beat Schelling. Shannon Stoneburgh sent one in from straight on at the blue line, and Shannon Mahoney set a perfect screen as it passed Schelling low and to her right as BU cut the lead to 2-1 at 16:00.
The Terriers had their tails up then, drawing two penalties in 20 seconds in the aftermath of the goal — Maggie Brennolt went off for holding before Colleen Murphy took a hooking minor at 17:49. With 1:40 at a two-man disadvantage, Schelling kept the Huskies ahead as best she could, but Menard and Watchorn combined to hit Kayla Tutino, who beat Schelling to tie the game at 18:35.
|Northeastern vs. Boston University|
Things kept getting worse for the Huskies as they struggled just to get to intermission, as Pickett’s hooking minor handed the Terriers another two-man advantage just 12 seconds after Tutino’s marker. The Huskies cleared their defensive zone just once over the final 1:13 of the period but managed to hold the fort, entering the locker room trailing on shots 30-15 and with 47 seconds left of a five-on-four situation still to defend.
Northeastern appeared reenergized to start third period, killing the rest of the penalty with relative ease. Menard once again failed capitalize on another golden chance, chipping a sharp centering pass from Poulin over the bar, and the Huskies kept enough of a presence in the BU zone to draw an interference minor on Warren at 3:14.
The Husky power play once again went begging, the teams exchanged half-chances before Rylan’s tripping call at 8:16 once again put Northeastern on the back foot. For 30 seconds the penalty kill did its job, with Schelling stoning Wakefield from a tight angle, until Tutino tripped DiMasi in the offensive zone to bring the sides to four-on-four for 90 seconds.
Here again Coyne caused a terror on the forecheck, working hard in the corner to draw a bodychecking penalty on Fratkin to turn a BU man advantage into a four-on-three for the Huskies. Pressure on Sperry abounded from there as numerous scrums broke out in front of the BU cage, but no winner would be found.
Menard once again gained space along the left wing with 7:35 to play, but Schelling made a fabulous glove save to once again deny the attempt. A minute later, Tutino walked in from the corner straight in on Schelling, who once again made a superlative stop, but Brittany Esposito took a bodychecking minor on the play to give the Terriers the power play that would put them ahead.
Wakefield was afforded too much space to one side and played in Tutino at point blank, she buried her second of the night to give BU what would become a very short-lived advantage.
Just 33 seconds later, St. Martin unleashed a wrister from the point for the equalizer with five minutes to play. It was timely offense from St. Martin, who netted her first goal of the season and just her second in 64 career games.
Neither team could gain a step on the other over the next few minutes, but at 18:16 Coyne ensured the Huskies would be on the power play through regulation when she drew a trip on Warren while breaking out of her defensive zone. Once again, however, BU’s fourth-ranked penalty kill kept the Huskies at bay, and the teams returned to the locker room to prepare for a full twenty-minute overtime period.
Northeastern had the better of the chances in overtime’s opening minutes, with MacSorley, Wallace and Esposito all going close, before the dam finally broke. At 14:33, Coyne led a two-on-one, drew the defender to her and found Pickett with only Sperry to beat. Pickett danced in, deked to her left, and avoided Sperry’s pokecheck to complete a lunging finish, before rushing back up ice to be mobbed by her teammates.