Boston, Mass. ----- The Northeastern women's hockey team scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to stun the Maine Black Bears, 6-5, on Sunday afternoon in a high-scoring affair at Matthews Arena. The win, the first of the season for the Huskies, came despite a three-goal effort from Maine's Vanessa Vani and a 5-1 deficit faced in the second period.
The Huskies continued to be badly outplayed in the opening 20 minutes, as the Black Bears struck four times to take a seemingly commanding 4-1 lead after one period. Maine's Sonia Corriveau got the scoring going, picking up a rebound left in front of Northeastern junior goaltender Sarah Belliveau and depositing the puck in the open net. At the 7:43 mark, however, NU sophomore Erin Reil scored her first goal of the season to tie the game at one.
For the remainder of the first period and into the second, Maine asserted itself offensively against the Huskies. Brigitte Laflamme scored with 4:09 remaining in the first period to regain the lead for her team. Then, Vani struck three times in 4:37 to give her team a four-goal lead. Vani's first two tallies, both coming at the end of the first period, came within 16 seconds of one another. On both goals, Vani took advantage of scrambles in front of the net to put the puck past Belliveau. Vani then began the second period as she ended the first, completing her first career hat trick and seemingly putting her team in control.
The Huskies, however, would claw back against the Black Bears. Freshman Katy Applin began the comeback with her first career tally at the 8:38 mark of the second period. Less than two minutes later, with Reil in the box for body-checking, senior Jessica Coppney scored her first career shorthanded tally to bring the Huskies within two goals. Sophomore Cassie Sperry then sent the home team into the second intermission with more momentum after tallying her first of the season with 51 seconds remaining in the second period.
Both teams had many other chances in the second period, but the goaltenders proved to be up to the task in those situations. For the Huskies, Reil came flying out of the box after her penalty expired and went in all alone on Maine goaltender Lundy Day, but Day covered the post as Reil attempted to sneak one by. Minutes later, Maine's Robyn Law broke in all alone on Belliveau, but the Husky goaltender made a nice left pad save to preserve the score.
The third period saw the Huskies gain some desperation in an attempt to eke out a win, and the team turned to sophomore Missy Elumba to provide the heroics. Elumba scored two goals in a span of 2:02 midway through the final period, scrambling on two loose pucks in front of Day and somehow getting them into the net.
The Huskies then survived a frantic finish, as the Black Bears pulled Day while Northeastern freshman Lindsay Berman was in the penalty box for tripping. Despite three good shots, Belliveau and the Huskies escaped with their first win of the 2006-07 season. For Northeatern, Belliveau made 26 saves in earning her first collegiate victory. The Huskies peppered Day with a season-high 43 shots, with Day turning back 37 of those attempts in a losing effort.
With the victory, Northeastern ups its record to 1-5-0 (1-2-0 Hockey East). With the loss, Maine drops to 1-7-0 (0-4-0, Hockey East).
The Huskies return to Matthews Arena and Hockey East on Sunday, Oct. 29 when the team welcomes cross-town rival Boston College for a 2 p.m. matchup.