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Northeastern senior forward Rachel Llanes
CANTON, N.Y. - Backstopped by 27 saves from Carmen MacDonald, St. Lawrence (10-7-1) handed the No. 9/10 Northeastern women's ice hockey team (10-6-2) its first shutout loss of the season on Thursday night at Appleton Arena, 6-0.
Rylee Smith had three points (two goals, one assists) to lead SLU as the Saints outshot the Huskies 33-27 for the game and went 0-of-4 on the power play. NU, meanwhile, was 0-of-2 on the man advantage. Chloe Desjardins made 27 saves in goal for the Huskies.
After playing an even first 10 minutes of the opening period, St. Lawrence found its groove by netting two goals in the final six minutes of the frame to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The game began with back-and-forth action as both goaltenders were tested early, and the Saints nearly went up 1-0 in the initial moments of the contest with a flurry of shots on goal, but Rachel Llanes saved a goal by tying up a SLU forward in front of the net when a rebound popped into the crease.
SLU would break through with 5:16 left in the period as Ellie Williams scored her fifth goal of the season on an odd play in the Northeastern end. With the puck trickling towards Desjardins, the sophomore netminder leapt out from her crease attempting to stick the puck away, but it barely got by her and Williams knocked it over the goal line as Kendall Coyne dove into the cage trying to clear it away. The goal was reviewed and stood as called.
Less than three minutes later, the Saints went up by two when Smith converted on a NU turnover in the defensive zone to net her seventh goal of the year. With the Huskies trying to transition from their own zone, Smith picked off a clearing bid just inside the blue line, giving her a clear path to the net. Smith quickly deeked to her left before going right and tucking the puck inside the right post with 2:52 left in the frame.
At the other end, where Northeastern recorded nine shots in the opening frame, the Huskies tried to chip away at the deficit. NU nearly cut the SLU lead in half late in the period when Coyne and Casey Pickett went in on a two-on-one, but Coyne's shot was gloved by MacDonald.
The Huskies fell victim to a couple tough penalty calls in the second period, forcing NU onto the penalty kill and spending most of the period in the defensive zone. Desjardins was up to the task, however, turning away 12 shots in the period, including seven on the penalty kill. With SLU on the power play seven minutes into the frame, Desjardins came up with back-to-back stops from point blank range as the Saints tried to extend its lead to three.
Paige Savage went on the attack at the midway mark of the frame when she took the puck in the neutral zone, stickhandled through the St. Lawrence defense and fired a low shot on goal that was steered into the corner by MacDonald. The Saints took a commanding 3-0 late in the stanza, this time coming from Kayla Raniwsky, who spotted a loose puck in front of the cage and pounded it past Desjardins for her fifth goal of the season with 4:58 remaining in the frame.
Despite throwing 12 shots in goal in the third period, the Huskies could not solve MacDonald, who turned away each Husky scoring chance that came at her. St. Lawrence added a fourth goal eight minutes into the frame when Smith picked up her second of the night off a scramble in front of the net before Sabatine matched Smith with her second of the game off a crossing feed from Smith with 6:10 left in regulation. Jessica Hon would make it 6-0 with 39 seconds left in regulation with a shot that got through the pads of Desjardins for her first goal of the season.
The Huskies will travel down the street to Cheel Arena tomorrow afternoon to faceoff with No. 2/2 Clarkson at 3 p.m.