Kendall Coyne netted Northeastern's second hat trick in as many days as No. 7 Northeastern (17-5-2, 11-2-2 WHEA) cruised to a 5-1 win over Vermont at Matthews Arena.
Junior tri-captain Casey Pickett, coming off a hat trick of her own yesterday, had a goal with two assists. Junior Rachel Llanes also scored for the Huskies, who are now unbeaten in four straight games. Florence Schelling stopped 21 Vermont shots and has now allowed one goal or fewer in each of her last six games.
Hockey East minnows Vermont (3-15-6, 2-9-2 WHEA) stayed resolute over a first period in which it outshot Northeastern, 14-11. The Huskies would overwhelm the Catamounts as the game wore on, however, and ended up with a dominating 38-22 advantage.
Coming off an emotional 8-0 victory yesterday over New Hampshire, Coyne made sure there would be no letdown with a goal three minutes into the game. Pickett lugged it in along the right wing and sent a hopeful pass in front of goal that deflected to sophomore Maggie Brennolt. Brennolt's shot was blocked in front, but Coyne pounced on the rebound and jammed it home to give the Huskies an early lead.
Northeastern would hamstring itself with penalties through the remainder of the opening period. Graduate tri-captain Dani Rylan was first in the box just a minute after Coyne's opener, but Vermont punted the opportunity when Delia McNally tripped Coyne at 5:13 to even the sides. Despite being outshot over the opening frame, Northeastern did have the better of the chances, forcing numerous scrums in front of Kelci Lanthier's cage, but could not double its lead.
Late in the period, freshmen Lucie Povova and Ann Doherty put the nation's second-ranked penalty kill to the test when respective tripping and cross-checking minors gave the Catamounts 48 seconds of five-on-three time. The Huskies stood strong, however, denying Vermont an equalizer as the first intermission horn sounded.
Northeastern seemed to be off on the right foot 29 seconds into the second period when Amanda Pelkey bodychecked Pickett. Vermont once again let itself off the hook, however, and minutes later it Northeastern who would pay for its sins. Chelsea Rapin got in behind the NU defense and sophomore Sonia St. Martin could only hook her to the ice to prevent a breakaway at 5:50; on the ensuing power play, Megan Dalbec fired a laser across the slot to an unmarked Rapin, who coolly finished past Schelling to put the Catamounts back on level terms at 7:28. Vermont's power play began the day the second worst in the nation, converting on just 10 of 133 chances (7.5%).
But Coyne would not let things stay level for long. Povova stepped in front of Greer Vogl's shot from the point and Doherty poked it out to Coyne, and the U.S. international did the rest. She darted through the neutral zone and fired on Lanthier using McNally as a screen; Lanthier made a simple pad save, but Coyne beat McNally to the rebound and flipped it up over Lanthier to give the Huskies a lead they would not relinquish at 9:42. The goal was Coyne's sixth game-winner of the season. Doherty, who had two assists yesterday, now owns her first career two-game point streak.
Vermont immediately handed Northeastern an opportunity to increase the lead when Krystal Baumann sprayed Schelling at 10:30, but senior tri-captain Stephanie Gavronsky buried Rapin along the boards just 22 seconds later for a bodychecking minor to cut out the advantage.
Amidst a second period in which Northeastern outshot Vermont, 18-5, it seemed as if the Huskies might somehow fail to increase their lead by intermission, but they pressed on and had the game out of sight once they hit the locker room. The goaltender Lanthier put Northeastern on the power play for the fourth time after a tripping call, and Llanes made her pay. Sophomore Maggie DiMasi fired in from the point and yet again Lanthier yielded a hearty rebound, which Llanes capitalized on for her seventh goal of the year at 17:22. Also taking an assist on the play was freshman Colleen Murphy, who found the net in yesterday's rout.
Fans may have been all out of hats after Pickett's trick on Saturday, but Coyne would send them running for the haberdasher just 98 seconds after Llanes made it 3-1. This time she was on the end of precise tic-tac-toe passing from St. Martin and Pickett, gaining the zone herself and firing past Lanthier for her first hat trick and the de facto knockout blow with a minute to play in the second period. To date Coyne had had five two-goal games but no hat tricks until this afternoon.
With four goals and four assists over two games this weekend, Coyne is now 12th in the nation in points per game (1.73), second among freshman and first among all Hockey East players.
Third among Hockey East players is Pickett, who would add to her tally at 7:40 of the third period. Coyne was on the puck once again and snapped one into the slot onto Pickett's tape, and the Wilmington, Mass. native made no mistake with a wristed rifle past replacement goaltender Roxanne Douville to set the 5-1 scoreline.
The Huskies now look ahead to Saturday at 3 p.m., when they travel Boston University for the teams' third contest this season.