BOSTON - Alina Mueller tallied a goal and an assist and Chloé Aurard scored a shorthanded goal in the final four minutes to lead No. 1 Northeastern (19-1-1) to its fifth consecutive Hockey East Championship Game appearance in a 2-1 defeat of UConn (9-10-1) on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Hockey East tournament inside Matthews Arena. The top-ranked Huskies have won seven consecutive games over UConn in the league tournament and are unbeaten over their last 19 games.
Aerin Frankel stopped 27-of-28 shots to earn her NCAA-best 17th win of the season, and set a new Hockey East record with 14 wins in the league tournament. Aurard's game-winning goal came at the 15:22 minute mark of the third period on the only penalty of the game. Maureen Murphy, Skylar Fontaine and Aurard added helpers for NU.
Aurard went quickly around the net late in the first period and found the nation's points leader Mueller who lifted one over the UConn goaltender with just 11 seconds before intermission as Northeastern took a 1-0 lead at the end of the first period. UConn evened the game on a fortuitous bounce on a shot by Coryn Tormala at the 13:37 minute mark of the second period.
The top-seeded Huskies would call on their penalty-killing unit to score the game-winning goal as Aurard found the back of the net on a nice feed from Fontaine with a 2-on-1 break to secure her NCAA-leading third shorthanded goal. Northeastern has now killed off 58-of-60 power plays this season and leads the country at 97 percent.
The shorthanded goal is the first for the Huskies in the Hockey East tournament since a 4-1 semifinal win over Boston College on March 9, 2013. Northeastern has now won 14 consecutive tournament games and is an astounding 17-1 over its last 18 conference postseason games. Head Coach Dave Flint earns his 26th win in just 34 tournament games, most by any coach in league history.
The top-ranked Huskies will host the winner of No. 4 seed Providence and No. 5 seed Maine on Saturday inside Matthews Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on NESN and streamed on College Sports Live.