While the majority of UNH undergrads were on winter break, the women’s ice hockey team remained grounded in Durham with an impressive month of hockey that has landed them fourth in the Hockey East standings.
Returning to play on Jan. 6, the Wildcats had posted a 3-2-0 record in the month of January while going 3-1-0 in Hockey East play, including two lopsided wins over rival Maine.
One thing that didn’t change over break was Jonna Curtis’ dominance.
Curtis posted eight points (four goals, four assists) in just two games last week and a six-point performance (three goals, three assists) last Saturday, Jan 22.
But on Saturday afternoon at the Whittemore Center, Northeastern made Curtis a non-factor in a 6-0 rout.
“I think the first goal that went in took all our confidence away,” head coach Hilary Witt said. “We mentally lost it, but the other part of it is, for a long time it was an even game, we just weren’t finishing.”
Northeastern controlled all phases of the game in the opening period with its speed and defense. The Huskies had UNH playing on its heels and put two goals on the board in the process.
Hayley Scamurra netted the first goal just 39 seconds into the contest. With the ‘Cats playing undisciplined, they were sent to the box four times and gave Denisa Krizova of Northeastern a slap shot opportunity from the point on the man advantage at 19:18 to lead 2-0 at intermission.
“The first goal was a bad turnover,” Witt said. “Tough way to start the game. The second goal, the five-on-three, we took some silly penalties we didn’t need to take.”
The Huskies kept their foot on the gas in the second.
Surviving a penalty kill, Northeastern came right back with energy rushing the UNH zone. Kasidy Anderson beat Hilary Cashin with a wrist shot that went stick-side high, putting the Huskies up 3-0 at 14:35.
More importantly, Northeastern had contained Curtis. They limited her to just one shot through two periods, drew a penalty and scored twice with her on the ice.
“First shift wasn’t great and we kind of got our heads down after that,” Curtis said. “Second period was a little better but we weren’t playing our game. We weren’t able to come back.”
Anderson continued where she left off in the third for Northeastern, driving home a slap shot off the faceoff at 1:05 to put her team up 4-0. At 12:46, Matti Hartman received a cross-ice pass near the slot from Christina Zalewski and beat Cashin stick-side high once again to solidify the win and the two points in the Hockey East standings.
With the win, Northeastern remains in second in the Hockey East standings with 26 points, while UNH remains in fourth with 17 points. Both teams trail by large margins behind first place Boston College at 32 points.
UNH will next play back-to-back matchups against Vermont on the road starting Friday. With Vermont falling to UConn on Saturday, UNH remains neck and neck in the Hockey East standings with the Catamounts.
Both UNH and Vermont are knotted up at 17 points and fourth place in the Hockey East standings, making this weekend’s pair of games even more meaningful.
“We got to shake it off,” Witt said. “We have to move on and keep our heads up.”
For more information, visit unhwildcats.com.