Pickett, Coyne each notch goal, assist as Northeastern upends Boston College
HYANNIS, Mass. -- Chloe Desjardins made 34 saves to help Northeastern (23-10-2) defeat Boston College (26-6-3) 4-1 in the Hockey East semifinals at Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Rink. The Huskies were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill in the win.
The Huskies advanced to the Hockey East championship game for the second time in three years, and will face Boston University on Sunday at 1 p.m.
NU received goals from four different scorers in the contest as Northeastern extended its winning streak to nine games. Kendall Coyne and Casey Pickett logged two points apiece for NU, while Kelly Wallace and Rachel Llanes also registered goals.
BC held a slight 35-34 edge in shots on goal for the contest while neither team capitalized on man advantages, with NU going 0-for-4 and the Eagles 0-for-6.
The teams played a physical and up-tempo first period. NU held an 11-8 edge in shots on goal and generated several scoring opportunities on goal. Each squad was awarded two power plays in the opening period and combined for seven shots (4-3 NU) during the man advantages.
NU nearly bolted out to a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the contest when Llanes crashed the net in search of her own rebound, and batted a loose puck out of the air and into the net, but the play was whistled for a high stick.
Later in the frame, Brittany Esposito almost gave the Huskies the edge when she dangled around an Eagle defender and sent a backhand off the crossbar and into the right corner.
At the other end, Desjardins kept Boston College at bay while the NU defense held the Eagles to shots on the perimeter throughout the frame.
The physical game continued into the second period, with the Eagles earning three power-play opportunities in the frame, but a Husky short-handed score proved to be the lone goal through 40 minutes of play.
With Lucie Povova in the box for a body checking minor, Pickett potted her 21st goal of the season less than four minutes into the period. After the Huskies broke up an Eagle bid in the defensive zone, Maggie DiMasi chipped the puck out of the zone and onto the stick of Pickett. She did the rest, speeding in on goal, drawing the puck across the crease and roofing a backhand over the shoulder of Boyles for the score.
Boston College held a 16-7 advantage in shots on goal during the frame, but Desjardins stood her ground as the Eagles peppered her with shots from all angles, including six saves with the Huskies shorthanded.
Less than three minutes into the third period, Kendall Coyne had a wraparound bid that ended up in front of the Eagle crease, where Llanes then crashed the net looking for a rebound, but Boyles was there to make the save.
Northeastern made it a two-goal game with 11:14 left in regulation when Kelly Wallace netted her 15th goal of the season just seconds after the Huskies had killed off their sixth BC power play of the afternoon. With Esposito springing out of the box, she fed Paige Savage with a pass, who then hit Wallace for a shot that beat Boyles.
The Huskies took a commanding 3-0 lead with 7:08 left in regulation when Coyne hopped on a loose puck, spotted Llanes cutting towards the cage, and fed her for a one-timer past Boyles.
Boston College attempted a comeback in the final five minutes of the contest and made it 3-1 when Emily Field snuck a shot past Desjardins with 2:56 left in regulation, but an empty net goal from Coyne at 18:40 iced the game for the Huskies.