BOSTON - Sophomore goaltender Chloe Desjardins made 24 saves and Katie MacSorley netted her second goal of the season as the Northeastern women's ice hockey team (4-0-0) defeated RPI on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena, 1-0.
Desjardins made 12 of her saves in the third period to earn her second shutout of the season as the Engineers outshot the Huskies 24-21 overall. RPI also controlled possession in the faceoff circle, winning 37-of-55 draws. Neither team could capitalize on the power play, however, as each squad went 0-of-5 on the man advantage.
"I thought we were really inconsistent," said head coach Dave Flint. "I didn't like our effort in the first period, but I liked the way we played in the second. We can't keep taking penalties late in close games; eventually, that's going to catch up to us.
The Engineers held the upper hand throughout the first period, outshooting NU 10-5 and testing Desjardins with several shots from inside the hashmarks.
Desjardins' best save of the frame came with the Huskies on the power play. Casey Pickett controlled the puck at the blue line, took a step towards goal and fired a shot on goal. Clare Padmore stepped in front to block the shot, which bounced out to center ice, sending Padmore in alone on Desjardins. Padmore tried to beat the sophomore glove side, but Desjardins stoned Padmore to keep the game scoreless.
"She's (Desjardins) been tremendous," Flint said. "I was wondering how long it would take her to get comfortable at this level, and she's looking like a veteran right now."
Northeastern came alive in the second period, dictating the pace of play and outshooting the Engineers 13-2. The Huskies earned three power play opportunities during the stanza, and tested O'Brien with seven shots during the man advantage.
MacSorley put NU up 1-0 with 12:29 left in the period when she hammered home her own rebound for her second goal of the season. Ann Doherty began the play by skating the puck up the right side and dishing to Brittany Esposito. Esposito took the disk into the RPI zone and fed MacSorley in the slot. MacSorley's initial shot was turned aside by O'Brien, but MacSorley was there waiting for the rebound, and promptly deposited it in the back of the net for the score.
RPI would challenge the Huskies in the final 20 minutes, peppering Desjardins with 12 shots on goal. Northeastern gave the Engineers three power play chances in the third period, but Desjardins refused to allow the tying goal despite numerous bids by RPI.
The Engineers were awarded a power play in the final two minutes of regulation, and pulled O'Brien in favor of the extra skater, but was soon whistled for too many men on the ice to negate the man advantage in the waning seconds of the contest.
"I'm pleased that we won," Flint said. "We're on a quest for consistency, and to play 60 minutes, and we haven't done it yet. Hopefully we can get it together.
The Huskies will play its third game in five days on Tuesday as Northeastern hosts No. 3/4 Boston University at 7 p.m. from Matthews Arena.
Game Notes: Northeastern is now 3-2-0 all-time against the Engineers ... The Huskies improved to 4-0-0 for the second straight season; the last time NU began back-to-back seasons 4-0-0 was 2000-01 and 2001-02 ... Esposito's assist in the second period extended her scoring streak to three games (1g, 3a) ... NU's two shutouts in four games mark the quickest the Huskies have shutout two opponents since 2008-09 ... After a 5-of-5 showing on the penalty kill vs. RPI, Northeastern is now a perfect 22-of-22 this season while shorthanded.