BOSTON, Mass. - The Huskies gave top-ranked Harvard a run for their money in the opening round of the Beanpot on Tuesday but ultimately fell to a 3-1 score, although the play was closer than the score indicated.
Because of a protocol violation by the Crimson, the Huskies started the game on a powerplay, and they took advantage. At just :42 into the game, Lindsay Berman took a pass from Katy Applin and shot it from just above the blue line. The puck fluttered to the net and bounced up and over Harvard goalie Christina Kessler to give Northeastern an early lead. It marks Berman's first ever Beanpot point and her fifth goal of the season. Applin registered her 10th assist of the season on the play.
TTwo minutes later, Harvard struck back. After Petrich was called for slashing, the Crimson used the man-advantage to take a hard shot from the point by Jenny Brine that went by NU goalie Leah Sulyma for the game-tying goal.
The Huskies held up very solidly in the remainder of the first, killing off three more penalties. Sulyma made 16 saves in the period, including an incredible kick save on the Crimson's leading scorer Sarah Vaillancourt to keep the game tied after one.
Harvard took the lead at 7:40 in the second when Katharine Chute took a shot that caromed over to the left side and was redirected by Brine and past Sulyma on her glove side for her second goal of the game.
That was all Harvard would get in the period, after the Huskies killed off two more Harvard powerplays and the Crimson snipers hit a few posts. Sulyma made 18 saves in the stanza, giving her 34 at the end of two. The Crimson put the finishing touches on the win when Sarah Vaillancourt got her 13th goal of the season with two minutes reamining, giving Harvard a 3-1 lead it would not relinquish.
The Huskies put up a valiant effort, generating some great offensive chances. On one particular play, Kristi Kehoe grabbed a rebound from Chelsey Jones and shot it just over the crossbar.
The Huskies had another chance with a faceoff in the offensive zone, as Erin Reil grabbed the puck of the faceoff and shot it at Kessler. Kessler thought she had kicked the puck away but it narrowly missed passing the goal line when it was scooped away by the Harvard defense.
The Huskies could not seem to get the puck to bounce their way and fell by the 3-1 final. Sulyma finished with 47 saves, her career-high regulation total. She also posted 47 saves in an overtime loss to Yale on Jan. 5. She now has 670 saves on the season and stands in 10th place on Northeastern's single season saves list.
The loss drops the Huskies to 5-17-3 overall on the season. Next Tuesday Northeastern will take on Boston College in the consolation round of the Beanpot at 5 p.m., at Walter Brown Arena.
The Huskies next take the ice on Friday when they begin a weekend series with Maine at Matthews Arena.