Sunday, February 15, 2009
NORTHEASTERN CLINCHES PLAYOFF BERTH WITH 4-3 WIN OVER VERMONT
Alyssa Wohlfeiler posts three points for Huskies
BOSTON, Mass. - Northeastern got goals from four different scorers to clinch the sixth seed in the Hockey East tournament with a 4-3 win over the Vermont Catamounts Sunday at Matthews Arena.
Northeastern built a lead early in the first period, scoring twice in the game's first ten minutes. Annie Hogan opened the scoring for the Huskies when she took a pass from Alyssa Wohlfeiler in the slot, and buried the puck low on the stick side of Vermont goaltender Kristen Olychuk.
Wohlfeiler did the scoring on NU's second goal, as she was the recipient of two quick, crisp passes from Lori Antflick and Annie Hogan, who moved the puck across the crease, giving Wohlfeiler a great look at an exposed goal, which she converted to put the Huskies up two. Wohlfeiler tallied three points on the night while playing through an injured shoulder. After the game, she conceded that if the a playoff spot were not on the line, she "probably wouldn't be playing."
Vermont struck back minutes later when Teddy Fortin scooped up the rebound from an Erin Barley-Maloney shot, and quickly potted the rebound before NU goalie Leah Sulyma could react.
Lori Antflick scored her third goal of the season late in the period to restore NU's two-goal margin. Antflick collected a loose puck in the zone, skated through the Vermont defense, fired a shot which Olychuk blocked, then collected her own rebound and netted the second attempt.
Vermont cut into the NU lead in the third when Peggy Wakeham got on the board to make the score 3-2 Northeastern. Katy Applin answered back for the Huskies with what would hold up as the game-winning goal.
Chelsea Furlani narrowed the lead to one when she scored midway through the third, and Northeastern had to battle through a Vermont five-on-three power play, but the Huskies held on, and solidified their spot in the postseason.
The berth is the first postseason appearance for Northeastern since the 2003-04 season, and is also the first postseason appearance for Head Coach Dave Flint, whose previous team, Saint Anselm, was not eligible for postseason play. The win was also the 100th of Flint's coaching career.
"We're turning the corner," Flint said of his team after the game. "We've lost some games in the last minute, and we've won some in the last minute. Some teams past might not have won that game, but these girls showed their character tonight."
Looking ahead to the postseason, Flint reiterated his confidence in Northeastern, noting that come "tournament time anybody can win. And with our goaltending, look out." Captain Katy Applin echoed the sentiment. "Every team that we could end up playing, we've played a close game against them. We know we can beat anybody...Anything can happen. The women's soccer team went into the playoff as the sixth seed and won the whole thing - we're looking to repeat that."
Northeastern will play at the site of the third-seeded school on Feb. 28 at a time to be determined. The Huskies close out the regular season against Boston University Feb. 21 and 22.