HYANNIS, Mass. - Chloe Desjardins made 34 saves, and the No. 10/10 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (23-10-2) was a perfect six-of-six on the penalty kill en route to a 4-1 win against No. 2/3 Boston College (26-6-3) on Saturday afternoon in the Hockey East semifinals at Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Rink.
The Huskies advance to the Hockey East championship game for the second time in three years, and will face No. 4/4 Boston University tomorrow at 1 p.m.
NU received goals from four different scorers in the contest as Northeastern extended its winning streak to nine games. Kendall Coyne and Casey Pickett logged two points apiece for NU, while Kelly Wallace and Rachel Llanes also registered goals.
BC held a slight 35-34 edge in shots on goal for the contest while neither team could capitalize on the man advantage, with NU going 0-of-4 and the Eagles 0-of-6.
The teams played a physical and up-tempo first period, with NU holding a 11-8 edge in shots on goal and generating several scoring opportunities on goal. Each squad was awarded two power plays in the opening stanza and combined for seven shots (4-3 NU) during the man advantages.
NU nearly bolted out to a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the contest when Llanes crashed the net in search of her own rebound, and batted a loose puck out of the air and into the net, but the play was whistled for a high stick.
Later in the frame, Brittany Esposito almost gave the Huskies the edge when she dangled around an Eagle defender and sent a backhand off the crossbar and into the right corner.
At the other end, Desjardins kept Boston College at bay while the NU defense held the Eagles to shots on the perimeter throughout the frame.
The physical continued into the second period, with the Eagles earning three power play opportunities in the frame, but a Husky shorthanded tally proved to be the lone goal through 40 minutes of play.
With Lucie Povova in the box for a body checking minor, Pickett potted her 21st goal of the season less than four minutes into the stanza. After the Huskies broke up an Eagle bid in the defensive zone, Maggie DiMasi chipped the puck out of the zone and onto the stick of Pickett. The senior center did the rest, speeding in on goal, drawing the puck across the crease and roofing a backhand over the shoulder of Boyles for the score.
Boston College held a 16-7 advantage in shots on goal during the frame, but Desjardins stood her ground as the Eagles peppered her with shots from all angles, including six saves with the Huskies shorthanded.
Less than three minutes into the third period, Kendall Coyne had a wraparound bid that ended up in front of the Eagle crease, where Llanes then crashed the net looking for a rebound, but Boyles was there to make the save.
Northeastern made it a two-goal game with 11:14 left in regulation when Kelly Wallace netted her 15th goal of the season just seconds after the Huskies had killed off their sixth BC power play of the afternoon. With Esposito springing out of the box, she fed Paige Savage with a pass, who then hit Wallace for a shot that beat Boyles.
The Huskies took a commanding 3-0 lead with 7:08 left in regulation when Coyne hopped on a loose puck, spotted Llanes cutting towards the cage, and fed her for a one-timer past Boyles.
Boston College would attempt to mount a comeback in the final five minutes of the contest, and made it 3-1 when Emily Field snuck a shot past Desjardins with 2:56 left in regulation, but an empty net goal from Coyne at 18:40 iced the game for the Huskies.
- Northeastern is now 65-26-5 all-time against Boston College, and 4-5 all-time in the Hockey East tournament.
- NU has beaten Boston College in each of the past two meetings, the first time that's happened since the 2007-08 season.
- Pickett extended her point streak to nine games (seven goals, 13 assists), the longest of her career.
- DiMasi's second period assist gave her 20 for the season, marking the first time since 1997-98 that NU has had four players with at least 20 assists.
- Coyne extended her point streak to 15 games (19 goals, 16 assists), the longest of her career.
- Wallace has three goals in her last two games.
- Ann Doherty played in her first game since Jan. 3 after returning from an injury.
NU forward Casey Pickett WHEA Semifinal Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)
NU goalie Chloe Desjardins WHEA Semifinal Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)
NU head coach Dave Flint WHEA Semifinal Post-Game Reaction (YouTube Video)