BOSTON, Mass. - Julia Marty's long-distance empty-netter with 1:26 remaining in the third period proved to be the difference as the No. 10 Northeastern Huskies (13-5-4, 5-3-3 Hockey East) held on to defeat Maine (9-10-4, 3-6-2 Hockey East), 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena.
Lori Antflick and Siena Falino also lit the lamp for the Huskies, who received another stellar performance between the pipes from Florence Schelling. The Swiss junior made 24 saves in her return to the Northeastern lineup following the MLP Nations Cup.
After a scoreless first period, the Huskies opened the scoring just 1:13 into the second stanza. Kristi Kehoe fed the puck to Antflick behind the net, and after absorbing a check along the boards, Antflick slid the puck to Falino. The sophomore forward wrapped around the net and sneaked the puck inside the right post for her fifth goal of the season.
With the goal, Falino extended her point streak to four games. She has scored a goal in two-straight games and has seven points (2-5-7) during the streak. She was on the ice for all three Husky goals.
Northeastern relinquished the lead at the 12:36 juncture of the period, however, after two untimely cross-checking penalties gave the Black Bears a 5-on-3 advantage. With less than 30 seconds remaining on the first penalty, Danielle Ward skated into the left faceoff circle, where she passed the puck to Kayla Kaluzny. Kaluzny sent a wrister towards goal that found just enough space below Schelling's glove to hit the back of the net.
Maine enjoyed a shorthanded bid in the second frame but Schelling stood strong when she stoned Myriam Croussette to keep the score tied, 1-1. The Swiss sensation also stopped a 2-on-1 chance later in the game to keep the score even.
The Huskies retook the lead 8:21 into the third period. Off a faceoff, Sonia St. Martin kept the puck in the offensive zone and got the puck to Falino, who then found Antflick on the doorstep, where she beat Brittany Ott (21 saves) for the 2-1 advantage.
With less than two minutes to play, Maine elected to pull Ott in favor of an extra attacker. The Huskies took advantage of the empty net when Marty lifted the puck out of the right corner of her defensive end and towards the Maine cage. The puck slid into the empty net and Northeastern had a 3-1 lead. Stephanie Gavronsky earned an assist on Marty's third goal of the season.
The Black Bears didn't give up, however, and their persistence paid off when Jennie Gallo cut the deficit to one goal at 3-2. The Huskies held on in the final 25 seconds, however, to preserve the win.
Northeastern took eight penalties but its penalty killers did a wonderful job, allowing just one power play goal in seven chances.
The Huskies won't have long to enjoy the victory as the No. 6 Boston College Eagles skate into Matthews Arena on Sunday, Jan. 16. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.