No. 8 Northeastern women's hockey shrugged off its first loss of the season last night with a comprehensive 7-0 romp over Yale this afternoon in New Haven, Conn. Freshman Lucie Povova and senior tri-captain Stephanie Gavronsky each netted twice, and senior Florence Schelling recorded her 12th career shutout.
The Huskies started on the right foot for the first time in three games, taking an early lead through Povova's second goal of the year midway through the first period. Junior Rachel Llanes assisted Povova's strike, and now has a three-game point streak after recording just a lone assist over the team's first three fixtures. Northeastern controlled the tempo early, winning the first period shots battle, 16-9, and killed off a Yale two-man advantage after two of its best penalty killers, freshman Kendall Coyne and Gavronsky, went to the box within a minute of one another.
Northeastern continued to dominate the run of play through the second period, and finally doubled their lead when Llanes found graduate tri-captain Dani Rylan to make it 2-0 to the Huskies. The goal was Rylan's first point of the season, and gave Llanes her first multi-assist game since Feb. 26, 2011, against Connecticut.
With last night's rollercoaster loss at Princeton still fresh in the memory, the Huskies made no mistake in putting the game away early with two goals in 12 seconds near the end of the second period. Gavronsky netted first to make it 3-0, with helpers from Povova and junior tri-captain Casey Pickett. On the ensuing faceoff, Llanes beat Yale's Lynn Kennedy to the puck, and needed just 12 seconds to score unassisted and put the game out of sight for Northeastern. It was Llanes' third career three-point game, the most of any active Husky.
The outburst may have killed the game for the Bulldogs heading into the third period, but the Huskies weren't done, making sure to put an exclamation point on proceedings after last night's setback. After Jamie Gray and Danielle Moncion's minors gave Northeastern a two-man advantage, the Huskies cashed in at the double. First it was a second from Gavronsky, who netted with just a second left in the five-on-three to preserve a second power play opportunity. It was the latest in a remarkable scoring surge for Gavronsky to begin her senior season; the Sherwood Park, Alberta, native entered the campaign with just eight career goals, and her four markers already this season are one more than her goalscoring output from her freshman and sophomore seasons combined.
Less than a minute later, with Northeastern still skating five on four, Povova kept the rout going with her second of the day to make it 6-0. The tally capped a banner day for the native of Cizkovice, Czech Republic, who became the first freshman with four points in a game since current sophomore Claire Santostefano did the trick against Providence on Nov. 21, 2010.
Sophomore Maggie DiMasi made a grand return to the Northeastern lineup, netting a seventh for Northeastern in her season debut with two minutes to play. It was the Huskies' third straight successful power play opportunity for a squad that had converted just four of its first 28 man advantages to start the season. The goal gave Pickett a third assist on the day; Pickett is the first Husky to complete that feat since Llanes did it against Connecticut on Feb. 26, 2011. Coyne registered an assist as well, and has now scored in all six games as a Husky.
No player better exemplified the turnaround in momentum from yesterday's defeat better than Schelling. After allowing four goals with just 11 saves at Princeton on Friday, the 2009-10 WHEA Co-Player of the Year responded with a sterling performance in New Haven, stopping 30 Yale shots en route to her fourth win of the season and 12th career shutout.
The Huskies have the week to rest up before heading back out on the road, this time for their first Hockey East clash of the season, at Maine on Friday, Oct. 28. Puck drop from Orono is scheduled for 2 p.m.