Northeastern women's hockey defeated Union, 2-1, on Friday afternoon at Matthews Arena behind two goals from junior tri-captain Casey Pickett. The Huskies continued their hot start, moving to 3-0-0 on the year.
Union (1-3-0) held strong through a scoreless first period in which they were outshot, 16-5. Finally, approaching the midpoint of the second period, the Huskies nosed in front through their leading goalscorer, Pickett. Senior tri-captain Stephanie Gavronsky pinched in from the left point and fired a shot wide over Lundberg's right shoulder. Pickett, already behind the net, pounced on the rebound and, with Lundberg slightly out of position from the previous shot, wrapped the puck around the other side and in to put the Huskies on top, 1-0.
By the second intermission Northeastern was left wondering how that score had held; through two periods the Huskies had launched 31 shots at Lundberg's net against just nine Union attempts. They had also been wasteful on the powerplay, going 0-5 to that point including a 5-on-3 opportunity that went begging.
Eight minutes into the third period, Union equalized out of nowhere. Hoping simply to dump the puck in, Union's Stefanie Thomson launched a high effort on goal from just before the red line as the Dutchwomen went to change lines; freshman netminder Chloe Desjardins went to a knee to block it, but the skipping puck bounced just over her lowered left shoulder and in.
The Dutchwomen seemed to seize a shift in momentum then, outshooting the Huskies in the third period, 15-9. But Desjardins, in her collegiate debut, did not come undone after the error, stopping numerous close-range opportunities as time wound down. Desjardins finished with 23 saves and earned the game's third star for her efforts.
It was Pickett who put the Huskies ahead for good with six minutes to play. After freshman Kendall Coyne drew the faceoff back to Pickett, the Wilmington, Mass., native blasted a one-time slap shot from the high slot past Lundberg. The goal was Pickett's fifth (5-0-5) in just three games this season, good for third in the nation. Coyne (1-4-5) is also enjoying a strong start, with four assists on the young season.
Not lost in Union's defeat was the superlative play of Lundberg, who stopped 38 Northeastern shots, including a breakaway effort late in the third from sophomore Claire Santostefano that would have iced the game.
The Huskies move to a perfect 3-0-0 on their season-opening four-game homestand, and continue to lead the NCAA Div. I RPI rankings. Northeastern takes on Quinnipiac on Saturday at Matthews Arena; puck drop is scheduled for 2 p.m.