BOSTON- Kendall Coyne recorded her second hat trick in her last three games, and the Northeastern women's ice hockey team (15-10-2) received a career-high 38 saves from Chloe Desjardins to knock off No. 3/3 Boston University (18-4-3) in the Beanpot semifinal on Tuesday night at Matthews Arena, 4-1.
The Huskies advance to the Beanpot title game for the third time in the last four years, and 24th time overall. NU will play Boston College in the championship game next Tuesday at 8 p.m. after the Eagles defeated Harvard in the first semifinal, 2-1.
Coyne (three goals, one assist) and linemate Casey Pickett (one goal, three assists) played a factor in all four NU goals while Rachel Llanes also posted a multi-point night with two assists to help end the Terriers 13-game unbeaten streak, which was the second longest in the nation.
BU held a slim 39-36 edge in shots on goal for the contest, forcing Desjardins to make double-digit saves in each period of play. NU, meanwhile, won 32-of-60 faceoffs, led by Rachel Llanes' 20-of-28 performance.
The Terriers nearly capitalized on a misplay early on in the contest when Desjardins left a rebound off a dump in from Lillian Ribeirnha-Braga in front of the net. Jill Cardella got a stick on the rebound, but a Husky defender cleared it out of danger with just inches to spare.
Desjardins continued to be tested throughout the opening moments of the game, but the sophomore was up to the task, turning away four BU shots during a Husky penalty to Brittany Esposito.
When Coyne replaced Esposito when she was released from the box, Pickett picked the pocket of a Terrier forward and fired a hard pass across the neutral zone and onto the stick of Coyne, who went in uncontested to beat Sperry five-hole.
After a 0-of-7 performance on the power play at BU four days ago, Northeastern cashed in on its first opportunity of the night less than two minutes after the Coyne tally. Maggie DiMasi began the play along the left wall by dishing to Coyne heading out towards the point. Coyne then skated towards the center of the zone before dropping to Pickett, who was stationed at the point. Pickett then sent a blast in on goal, through a screen by Llanes and into the back of the net for Pickett's 15th of the season.
Desjardins came up big for the Huskies with 1:25 left in the period when Jenelle Kohanchuk took a long pass and went in on a breakaway after NU got caught in a line change. Kohanchuk tried to beat Desjardins five hole, but she quickly closed the pads and sent the puck into the corner.
Coyne and Pickett almost connected again 48 seconds into the second when Coyne outskated a BU defender, picked up a loose puck to avoid an icing call, and centered to Pickett for a one-timer that Sperry got a piece of and covered for the faceoff.
Isabel Menard tried to cut the deficit in half three minutes later when she found a loose puck stationed in front of the crease and flung a soft shot on goal that Desjardins turned aside. BU, however, hustled to the rebound, and forced Desjardins to make back-to-back saves from point blank range to preserve the two-goal lead.
Coyne would make it 3-0 Huskies with 14:42 left in the second when she took a pass from Pickett behind the net and tried to hit Llanes on the doorstep. The puck, however, went off the pad of Sperry and over the goal line.
Menard had another chance to get BU on the board with the Terriers on the penalty kill eight minutes in. Menard stole the puck from Colleen Murphy at the point, going in on a breakaway on Desjardins. Menard tried to beat Desjardins to the left, but she slid over to hug the post and make the stop.
Maggie Brennolt kept BU at bay with five minutes left in the frame when she came up a huge shot block off the stick of Kohanchuk in the slot.
Claire Santostefano and Katie MacSorley created a scoring chance with 1:06 remaining in the second when MacSorley gathered a loose puck for a shot from the slot before Santostefano picked up the rebound and tried to put it over a sprawled Sperry, but the Terrier netminder knocked it down to earn the faceoff.
Coyne had a couple chances to bury her third of the game early in the third period, first when she lost Kathryn Miller with a quick move to the right and a low shot on goal before she gathered a loose puck later in her shift, throwing a backhand on goal that Sperry steered into the corner.
BU tried to respond minutes later when a shot from Marie-Philip Poulin rang a shot off the pipe before a sea of Huskies blocked a second Terrier chance in front of Desjardins.
Boston University broke through for the first time in the contest when Jordan Juron cleaned up a rebound in front of the Husky net with 12:58 left in regulation. After receiving a feed from Sarah Lefort, Caroline Campbell fired a shot on goal from the right point. Desjardins made the initial save, but Juron was waiting for the rebound, and promptly deposited it into the net to make it 3-1.
After being awarded its third power play of the night with 7:24 left in regulation, the Terriers pulled Sperry in favor of the extra skater, giving them a 6-on-4 skating advantage. The NU penalty killers weathered the storm as Desjardins made two saves and the Huskies blocked three more. As the penalty expired, Coyne was nearly the recipient of another clearing pass for a breakaway, but the sophomore forward was whistled for offsides.
BU would pull Sperry again with 2:27 left in regulation in search of two scores, but Coyne iced it for the Huskies, burying an empty net goal to complete the hat trick and send the Huskies into the title game.
The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday when Northeastern travels to Connecticut for a 1 p.m. faceoff.
- Northeastern is now 32-19-5 all-time against Boston University, including a 16-4-1 mark in the Beanpot.
- Coyne recorded her sixth multi-point game in her last seven contests moved to within five points of 100 of her career
- Pickett tallied her eighth multi-point game of the season, 27th of her career, and moved into sole possession a tie for 18th place on the NU record list for career points.
- Desjardins made her first start in goal since Jan. 16 at Boston University after returning from an injury.
- DiMasi extended her scoring streak to seven games (eight assists).
- Former Northeastern goaltender Kelly Dyer Hayes was inducted to the Beanpot Hall of Fame prior to the game.