NORTHEASTERN EDGED BY DARTMOUTH IN OVERTIME, 4-3
No. 9 Northeastern (10-4-0, 5-2-0) started strong and freshman Kendall Coyne finished with a flurry, but Sally Komarek's goal just 51 seconds into overtime halted the Huskies' comeback in Dartmouth's 4-3 triumph in Hanover.
A late brace from Coyne pulled Northeastern level with two minutes to play, after three unanswered Big Green goals had put the Huskies in a 3-1 hole. It was NU's first trip to overtime in 14 games this season.
Northeastern jumped in front almost immediately through its leading scorer, junior tri-captain Casey Pickett. On just the Huskies' second shot of the game, junior Brittany Esposito found Pickett to bag her tenth goal of the year at 1:26 to put the visitors at an early advantage.
The Huskies maintained pressure on the Big Green through the early going, including a shot from sophomore Maggie DiMasi that rang off Kate Milligan's post, until a penalty gave the hosts the momentum. After freshman Lucie Povova went off for interference at 7:29, Sally Komarek and Kelly Foley combined to pick out Margeaux Sharp, whose first marker of the season put the teams on level terms after 8:20. The power play goal was a rare failure for a Husky penalty kill unit that had entered the game at 90.9% (50/55), second in the nation
Dartmouth would dominate the run of play in the aftermath of the goal, registering the next five shots on goal, but senior Florence Schelling held strong until Moira Scanlon's tripping minor gave the Northeastern defense a respite at 15:10. The Huskies would fail to convert on the extra-skater opportunity, but managed to keep Dartmouth on its heels long enough to enter the locker room still deadlocked.
By midway through the second period, Northeastern had pulled the shots battle level, 19-19, despite taking time to kill sophomore Sonia St. Martin's hooking minor at 3:41. Schelling would make just one save on the kill, which came after a strong to start to the period in which the Huskies launched the first six of the first seven shots. Once again, however, Dartmouth recaptured the momentum; after a series of saves from Schelling, the hosts finally nosed in front through Foley's team-leading seventh goal of the year at 12:16. The tally came with assists from Jessica Gagner and Reagan Fischer.
Northeastern nearly equalized right on the back of Dartmouth's goal when Ali Winkel went to the box for interference at 14:30, but Povova's shot hit pipe, and Milligan kept the Huskies at bay as the two teams entered the second intermission with shots even at 23 apiece.
Then, in a reprise of the Huskies' most recent loss at Boston College, in which the Eagles scored within two minutes after both intermissions, Dartmouth delivered Northeastern another period-opening sucker punch as the teams took the ice for the final frame. This time it was Sally Komarek doing the damage, with help from Jenna Hobeika and Morgan Illikainen, that doubled the Dartmouth advantage at just 1:02.
Unlike in Chestnut Hill, however, the Huskies would not go quietly in the third period. Exactly five minutes later, Esposito and senior tri-captain Stephanie Gavronsky combined to set up freshman Kendall Coyne, who pulled the Huskies within one with just under 14 minutes to play. The goal, Coyne's seventh of the season, was Coyne's first non-empty-netter since Nov. 4 against Connecticut - she had also missed two games to play with the United States National Team at the Four Nations Cup in Sweden.
Then, with 2:34 to go, Coyne drew Northeastern level at 3-3; it was a reuniting of former linemates, as Pickett and Esposito combined to allow Coyne to tie the game for the first time since midway through the second period. Coyne's second of the game - her eighth of the season, pulled her into a tie for fifth in the nation among rookie goalscorers.
The Huskies took control of the game through the end of regulation, including three unsuccessful bids from Coyne in rapid succession, but Milligan held fast in the Dartmouth net and the teams would go to overtime with the Huskies' having a slight edge in the shots battle, 30-28.
It was Komarek, however, that would make sure Northeastern's first foray into overtime would not end sweetly. The tally, her second of the game and third of the season, came just 51 seconds into the extra frame; and extended the Huskies' losing skid to three games.
Schelling, the WHEA Goaltender of the Month for October, stopped 25 of Dartmouth's 29 shots on goal, but was only just below the standard of Milligan, many of whose 29 saves came in crunch time as Northeastern laid siege to the Big Green net.
The Huskies won't have to wait long to try to snap their three-game skid; they'll welcome Boston University to Matthews Arena on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Northeastern's first midweek fixture of the season.