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Huskies lose Women’s Beanpot semifinal in shootout to Terriers

Photo: The Huskies celebrate a goal in the Beanpot semifinal against the Terriers. Photo by Jim Pierce.

Northeastern never trailed, and yet the Huskies were left to stand by and watch the celebrations of Boston University in the semifinal of the 41st Women’s Beanpot.

After three thrilling periods and five fraught minutes of overtime, it ended in a shootout with BU tri-captain and defenseman Reagan Rust pitching the winner to the high right corner beyond sophomore goalie Aerin Frankel. The Terriers won the shootout 2-1 after regular play ended in a 3-3 tie.

The Huskies (20-3-4), ranked No. 3 nationally, have been the traditional powerhouse of the Women’s Beanpot with a record 16 titles. But they haven’t won it since 2013—a drought extended by the hot Terriers (16-6-6), who have vaulted to a No. 8 ranking while remaining unbeaten in nine straight games dating back to Jan. 6.

Two thrilling reunions of this timeless Beanpot rivalry have now left both schools feeling equally elated and miserable. On Monday at TD Garden, the Northeastern men won their semifinal in overtime at BU’s expense. One night later, at Harvard’s Bright Landry Hockey Center, the Terrier women claimed revenge.

The Huskies battle the Terriers in the Beanpot semifinal. Photo by Jim Pierce.

When Skylar Fontaine finished a rebound of Mia Brown’s shot 11:28 into the opening period, the Huskies had reason to believe. Not only were they 17-1 this season when scoring first, but they also recognized that this goal ought to be particularly dismaying to the Terriers, seeing as how they had dominated the early going while forcing 10 saves from Frankel (who would submit 25 overall).

Instead of giving in, the Terriers responded 3:41 into the second period as Mackenna Parker scored on a deflection. And so the pattern was set: Three times Northeastern would grab the lead, and in each case BU would equalize.

Ensuing Husky goals by Veronika Pettey (6:50 in the second) and freshman Alina Mueller (who generated her 15th goal of the season 17 seconds into the third) were each answered within five minutes by BU’s Sammy Davis (who added two assists) and Jesse Compher.

The shooting stats, which were virtually even, served to mirror the scoreboard throughout regulation. In overtime, the Huskies generated six of the eight shots in an intense, extended rush at putting an end to it. But BU goalie Corinne Schroeder (31 saves overall) held up then, as she would again moments later.

Mueller opened the shootout scoring in the second round with a high crossing flick. But Schroeder fended off a game-winning attempt by Chloe Aurard, then watched Elia Nara and Rust break through to seize BU’s place in the final against either Boston College or Harvard.

Northeastern remains focused on winning the national championship in the weeks ahead. As they watched BU whoop it up at their expense, the Huskies no doubt could feel their resolve intensifying, and with it the motivation to pursue an even bigger prize.

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