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UMaine pulls off major upset during weekend series against Northeastern

The University of Maine Black Bears women’s hockey faced off against the third-ranked Northeastern University Huskies on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 as the heavy underdogs.

UMaine entered this game 3-3, coming off last weekend’s series against Long Island University, where they split the series 1-1. Northeastern entered the series undefeated with a 7-0 record, coming off of a weekend series themselves where they beat Merrimack College 5-0 and 4-1. 

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Huskies had no issue whatsoever finding the back of the net consistently. They won handily 6-1, with three of those goals coming in the third period. Fourth-year forward Katie Knoll scored two goals while fifth-year forward Maureen Murphy led the team in points with three, all off assists. UMaine’s fourth-year forward Morgan Trimper scored the team’s only goal in the second period off a power play thanks to assists from fifth-year defender Emma Lange and second-year forward Alyssa Wruble. However, it was all the Black Bears could muster against the stingy Husky defense.

In her third game, UMaine’s first-year goalie Brooklyn Oakes played well at the beginning of the game, but with the defense surrendering 39 shots on goal, it was a long night for the Black Bear defense as a whole. For Northeastern, fourth-year goalie Gwyneth Philips was terrific, saving 24 of 25 shots and making saves effortlessly all night long.

UMaine did not do well on the faceoff during the game as the Huskies beat them 30-21. Fifth-year forward Ally Johnson had the most faceoff wins with 11 but also lost 11 simultaneously, while Northeastern’s second-year forward Taze Thompson led the Huskies with 11 faceoff wins out of 17. The Black Bears only had one penalty all game compared to Northeastern’s four but it did little to change the result of the game.

After their dominance in the first game, the Huskies came into Saturday’s contest expecting to get the same result, since it’s been the norm for them all season. However, it was far from a normal game as the Black Bears pulled off a shocking 1-0 victory. Fifth-year forward Grace Heiting scored the game’s only goal with almost nine minutes to go in the first period, as her slapshot got past Philips. Heiting was assisted by second-year defenseman Courtney Colarullo and first-year forward Luisa Welcke. Thanks to some fantastic defense, UMaine held on to the one-score lead the whole game which led to the upset victory.

After not playing on Friday, third-year goalie Jorden Mattison was nothing short of spectacular against the Huskies, making terrific save after terrific save. Philips was good as well, saving 31 of 32 shots, but because of how well UMaine played defensively, it was one mistake too many.

Along with dominating on defense, the Black Bears limited their mistakes to almost none. As well as not making many mistakes, UMaine won the faceoff battle 31-25 with first-year forward Lilli Welcke going an impressive 12-17.

UMaine will travel next weekend to face off against the University of Connecticut on Friday and Saturday and will return home to face their rivals, the University of Vermont, for the weekend series on Nov. 4 and 5.

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