Northeastern Huskies charge into NCAA women’s hockey tournament after winning Hockey East conference championship

The Northeastern women’s hockey team defeated Boston College 3-2 on Sunday to take the Hockey East tournament for the second time in two years. Photo by Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics

The Northeastern women’s hockey team defeated Boston College, 3-2, in overtime Sunday, taking the Hockey East championship for the second straight season.

Back-to-back champs after winning the Hockey East championship for the first time last year, the Huskies are headed back to the NCAA tournament after forward Kasidy Anderson stole the puck near center ice, skated toward the net, and slipped a backhand shot past Eagles goaltender Maddy McArthur for the game-winning goal.

The Huskies rushed onto the ice, tossed their equipment into the air, and embraced each other to celebrate the win. Northeastern goaltender Aerin Frankel was named the most valuable player of the tournament.

A wild third period set the stage for overtime. Huskies forward Alina Mueller broke a 1-1 tie when she scored with 5:07 remaining in the period. But the Eagles temporarily put the Huskies’ celebration on ice, when Kali Flanagan scored with 4.9 seconds left in the period.

Northeastern (27-5-5) earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, and will host Cornell University (23-5-6) in the first round Saturday at 1 p.m. at Matthews Arena. It will be the first time in program history that the Huskies will host an NCAA tournament game.

Northeastern charges into the NCAA tournament unbeaten in its past six games. The Huskies are 6-3-2 against nationally ranked opponents this season.

Northeastern’s Hockey East title and NCAA tournament berth continue a successful and historic season for the women’s hockey program. The Huskies have been ranked third in the nation for the past 11 weeks. In January, they played two games against Clarkson University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the first-ever NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey games played outside North America. The first game ended in a 3-3 tie, and Northeastern won the second game 3-1.

Northeastern scored the first goal of the Hockey East title game late in the first period. Skylar Fontaine skated into the Boston College zone and fired a shot toward the net. The puck deflected off an Eagles player, and Andrea Renner collected the loose puck with her stick and ripped the puck into the net for the game’s first goal.

Boston College tied the score early in the second period with a power-play goal, and Frankel made several huge stops throughout the period to keep the game tied at 1-1.

The Huskies advanced to the Hockey East title game with a 3-2 victory over Providence College in the semifinals on Saturday. Frankel made 32 saves, and forward Chloe Aurard added a goal and an assist, to help carry Northeastern to its third-straight Hockey East title game.

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