CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Redshirt senior Kelly Wallace (Libertyville, Ill.) scored two goals as the Northeastern women's hockey team (13-12-2) knocked off No. 3/5 Harvard, 4-3, on Tuesday at Conte Forum to advance to its third straight Women's Beanpot Final.
Freshman Hayley Scamurra (Williamsville, N.Y.) had two assists and junior Chloe Desjardins (Saint-Prosper, Quebec) stopped 27 shots to help the Huskies to their sixth straight win and first win over Harvard (17-3-3) in the Beanpot since Feb. 10, 1998.
The two-time defending Women's Beanpot champions will look to make it three straight titles next Tuesday, Feb. 11 against the winner of the Boston College/Boston University semifinal at 8 p.m. Northeastern is unbeaten in its last seven Women's Beanpot contests (4-0-3) dating back to 2010.
Goals from junior Colleen Murphy (Cary, N.C.) and Wallace gave NU a 2-0 lead after one period and the Huskies never looked back, extending the advantage to 4-1 after 40 minutes, before surviving a late Harvard rally to pick up their first victory over the Crimson in 11 tries.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Harvard held a 30-22 edge in shots. The Crimson threw 14 pucks at the net in the final period, but Desjardins came up with several big saves, including a game-saving stop on a Sydney Daniels chance on the doorstep with 1:14 remaining.
Northeastern put three pucks past Harvard netminder Emerance Maschmeyer, who entered the game with the third-best save percentage in the nation at .953. Maschmeyer (10 saves) was pulled for the first time this season after Wallace netted her second goal of the game at the 4:48 mark of the second stanza.
The Huskies struck just 6:41 into the opening period to take a 1-0 lead. Savage started the play with a pass in behind the Harvard net to senior Katie MacSorley (Stratford, Ontario), who circled to the half-wall, before tossing the puck back to the point for Murphy. The junior collected the disc and wristed a shot into traffic that found its way through and beat Maschmeyer over her glove to give Northeastern the early advantage.
The Huskies doubled the lead just over six minutes later on a pretty passing play between Scamurra, Wallace and redshirt senior Brittany Esposito (Edmonton, Alberta). After a battle in the corner in the Huskies' zone, Scamurra was able to free the puck from a scrum and feed Wallace leaking out of the zone on the left wing. Wallace then made a beautiful play to chip the puck up the boards and around a defender, initiating a break with Esposito. Wallace fed the puck to Esposito along the left-wing boards and made a beeline to the net, drawing the defender away from Esposito in the corner. Esposito noticed the cut and delivered a perfect saucer pass to the crease for Wallace to bat home at the 12:53 mark to make it 2-0. The assist gave Esposito her 100th career point and extended her point-streak to six straight games.
Harvard nearly pulled a goal back in the closing minutes of the period when Hillary Crowe rifled a shot from the left circle that beat Desjardins, but struck the left post and stayed out.
Northeastern carried its 2-0 lead into the second, but things quickly turned when the Crimson scored a shorthanded goal just 3:20 into the frame. Skating in on a 2-on-1 break, Elizabeth Parker centered a pass for her younger sister, Mary, who made no mistake on the doorstep to cut the NU advantage in half.
Harvard's momentum was quickly squashed, however, as Northeastern came right back and scored on the power play 1:28 later to reestablish its two-goal cushion. Freshman Heather Mottau (Milton, Mass.) tossed the puck into the right corner for Scamurra, who was able to nudge it behind the Crimson cage to Wallace. Unguarded, Wallace emerged with the disc at the left of the net and threw a feed in front that appeared to surprise Maschmeyer, who fumbled the puck in her skates and directed it into her own net to make it 3-1 Huskies.
The goal chased Maschmeyer for the first time this season as backup Brianna Laing (eight saves) took over between the pipes for the Crimson.
Laing did not immediately fare any better as she was promptly beaten by Scamurra on a breakaway out of the penalty box, but the shot struck the iron and skittered into the corner.
Northeastern solved Laing minutes later after Wallace forced an errant pass in the Harvard zone. Masters hustled to intercept the puck behind the cage, before throwing a centering feed into the crease. The puck pinballed off a Harvard defender in the goal-mouth and ricocheted back toward the net, catching Laing off guard as it squibbed between her pads to push NU's lead to 4-1 at the 14:55 mark of the middle frame.
The lead held into the middle stages of the third when Harvard staged a comeback to cut the score to 4-3. Parker netted her second of the game at the 10:13 mark of the third, tipping home a centering feed from Sarah Edney at the left of the net. The Crimson scored again less than five minutes later when Samantha Reber beat Desjardins from close range on the power play.
With the Huskies' lead cut to one, 4-3, Desjardins came up with several huge stops down the stretch to preserve the victory. The junior first denied Crowe's shot through traffic with 2:10 left, before stoning Daniels at the side of the net with 74 seconds remaining.
Harvard pulled Laing for the final 1:14 of the third, but Northeastern played excellent team defense to stifle the Crimson attack and hold on for the dramatic 4-3 win.
The Huskies will face Providence this Saturday, Feb. 8 at 3:30 p.m., before turning their attention to Beanpot title No. 17 on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m.
- Northeastern is unbeaten in its last seven Beanpot games (4-0-3).
- Esposito is the 24th player in program history to reach 100 career points.
- Savage extended her assist streak to seven straight games.
- Wallace extended her point-streak to seven straight games.
- Northeastern scored first against Harvard for the second time this season.
- Murphy scored her first career Beanpot goal.
- Tuesday's game was just the third contest this season in which the Crimson allowed three or more goals.
- Harvard has allowed just four power-play goals all season, two of which have been scored by Northeastern.
- The Huskies have scored at least four goals in five straight games.
- Northeastern beat Harvard in the Beanpot for the first time since Feb. 10, 1998, a 5-4 victory in the Beanpot Final.