Girls’s Division I Faculty Hockey: Fontaine’s extra time objective sends Northeastern to their first-ever nationwide championship recreation

ERIE, Pa. – The Northeastern Huskies superior to their first-ever NCAA championship recreation with a 3-2 extra time win over Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs Thursday evening at Erie Insurance coverage Enviornment.

Senior defender Skylar Fontaine intercepted a cross on the blue line and skated throughout the objective earlier than taking pictures again on the far submit to beat UMD goalie Emma Soderberg and win the sport for Northeastern with 26 seconds left within the extra time interval.

The Huskies got here from behind and scored three unanswered targets to advance to Saturday’s title recreation. They’ll face the winner of semifinal quantity two between Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Northeastern’s Katy Knoll scores the game-tying objective within the NCAA semi-final on Thursday afternoon. Picture: NU Athletics

“We’re thrilled for the chance to play in our first ever nationwide championship recreation. I’m pleased with my workforce, their resiliency taking place 2-0 and battling again to win in extra time at this time,” mentioned Northeastern coach Dave Flint.

The highest workforce within the nation, Northeastern began this recreation slowly and appeared to be in bother. Minnesota Duluth flustered them and dominated the shot chart and puck possession within the first interval.

The Bulldogs have been relentless on the Huskies, pressuring them in each a part of the ice and forcing them to make fast choices, one thing Flint mentioned his workforce was unprepared for.

“They have been throughout us within the first. We simply weren’t shifting our ft. We hadn’t seen that pace in awhile. They have been doing job of taking away time and house. We weren’t making good choices with the puck,” he mentioned.

UMD had the Huskies on their heels, however couldn’t convert within the opening body, one thing coach Maura Crowell mentioned it might be simple to look again and say was vital, however her workforce had loads of different alternatives to attain all through the sport.

Northeastern goalie Aerin Frankel has already been named Goalie of the Yr and at this time was named a Patty Kazmaier top-3 finalist and she or he confirmed why, particularly early on on this recreation. She was stellar together with her glove hand specifically, nabbing every part Minnesota Duluth placed on her cleanly.“The type we play is fairly vast open and we’re gonna hand over some odd man rushes. We depend on (Frankel) to bail us out in some conditions and she or he did that at this time. Even after we had a gradual begin, she stored it 0-0. If we go into the primary intermission down one or two, it might need been a unique recreation,” mentioned Flint.

Sophomore Mannon McMahon lastly broke it open for the Bulldogs halfway by the second. A puck deflected off a Northeastern participant’s skate out to Kailee Skinner on the high of the circles. She would up for what seemed like a slapshot, however purposefully hit the puck off the again boards. Frankel was tied up on the other facet of the crease, leaving house for McMahon to get the puck off the boards and rating. It was McMahon’s first objective this yr.

Junior Taylor Anderson mentioned that may be a play the Bulldogs follow and her teammates carried out it to perfection.

5 minutes later, Anderson doubled the UMD lead on a play that was arrange fantastically by senior Anna Klein, who carried the puck by the impartial zone with pace. She took it vast and ran right into a little bit of visitors alongside the again boards earlier than enjoying it to herself and coming across the different facet of the online and attempting to backhand it in. The puck hit the submit and deflected out to Anderson, who took one contact and picked her spot to beat Frankel.

However issues started to unravel for UMD in direction of the tip of the second as Northeastern had a 5-on-3 energy play that straddled the interval break. They capitalized simply 42 seconds into the third, simply after the primary penalty expired and that appeared to provide the workforce a jolt.

Maureen Murphy slotted house a cross from Fontaine to make it a one-goal recreation.

Out of the blue the smooth-skating, confidence workforce that entered the sport undefeated in 21 video games began to emerge. Lower than 5 minutes later, they took benefit of some Minnesota Duluth errors to even the rating.

The Bulldogs weren’t in a position to maintain the puck within the offensive zone which allowed Northeastern to go on offense. UMD seemed to have possession again behind the online, however Veronika Pettey fed it out to Andrea Renner. Her shot was blocked by Maggie Flaherty, however the puck fell to the slot and Katy Knoll had a second to gather it and measurement up the online earlier than scoring and tying the sport.

“I really like the best way we began. We got here out flying, put loads of strain on them,” mentioned Crowell. “The momentum shifted in the beginning of the third. We weathered it. I favored our effort in OT. I assumed we acquired higher and higher. It comes down to creating performs and so they made yet one more than we did.”

Northeastern managed the puck and the momentum within the third and however UMD weathered the push and the groups performed a way more even extra time interval.

It was becoming that it was Fontaine that ended it. She ended the sport with 16 pictures on objective, greater than double anybody else within the recreation.

“After we had 4 pictures within the first interval, I mentioned we’ve to begin getting pucks to the online, so you probably have a shot, there’s no unhealthy shot. If in case you have a possibility, get the puck to the online. I assume Skylar took that to coronary heart,” mentioned Flint.

It was a troublesome strategy to finish the Bulldogs’ season, however Crowell mentioned she and her workforce are holding their heads excessive.

“We might have received that hockey recreation. We belong,” she mentioned. “Our performances communicate for themselves.”

Northeastern prolonged their unbeaten streak to 22 video games. They’ll play for the nationwide championship Saturday evening at 7:30 pm jap on ESPNU.

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