Women’s Beanpot Notes: Northeastern’s Defense Steps Into Spotlight

Gwyneth Philips turned in a huge performance


February 14

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — It’s rare that Northeastern’s tremendous top line takes a backseat to anything else.

But the Huskies defense, along with sensational senior goalie Gwyneth Philips, stole the spotlight in the championship bout of the women’s Beanpot, spearheading Northeastern to a 2-1 victory over Boston College on Tuesday night at Conte Forum.

In a quick two-game tournament, the Huskies gave a snapshot of just how complete they are, and they have a Beanpot title now to back that up.

“Our first line makes us go a lot of the time, but there’s a lot of other parts that we’re made up of that have contributed at different times to our success this year,” Northeastern head coach Dave Flint said. “You don’t win 28 games without good goaltending and good defense.”

It took BC until 1:34 left in the third period Tuesday to net its first goal against Northeastern this season. It was the fourth meeting between the two sides.

Northeastern’s defense did all the dirty work to thwart BC’s attack, including senior defenseman Megan Carter and company routinely putting their bodies in line with shot attempts.

“As talented as we are offensively, I always tell our players from day one, ‘If you want to be in the lineup, you better commit to the defensive end of the ice,’ ” Flint said. “All of our players do that. They do a really good job of it. The defense and the goaltending stepped up big today for us, and really helped us secure that win.”

Philips continued to show why she’s one of the best netminders in the country. She handled BC’s pressure all night, including when called upon to make highlight-reel saves. Philips finished with 27 saves en route to receiving the Bertagna Award for the the tournament’s top goalie.

And first line winger Maureen Murphy made sure Philips got her due, too.

“Gwyn is really the backbone of this team,” Murphy said.

Here are more notes from the women’s Beanpot championship and consolation games:

— Murphy earned women’s Beanpot MVP honors after scoring a tournament-leading three goals, including the decisive tally in the championship win.

— It was the second straight year the Eagles fell in the Beanpot title game, but BC head coach Katie Crowley liked the effort from her team and the pressure it put on Northeastern until the final buzzer.

“Obviously a heartbreaker for us,” Crowley said. “Was really proud of of how hard we fought, especially in that third period.”

— It was mission accomplished for Northeastern, but there are plenty of more missions left ahead of the Hockey East regular-season champions as the Huskies look to make a return trip to the Frozen Four. With the conference and NCAA tournaments in mind, Murphy believed the Huskies benefitted from the heightened environment of the Beanpot.

“I think it gives us really good experience on top of we’re just excited that we won,” Murphy said. “We have a younger team this year. Obviously, we graduated a lot last year. So, to get experience in this high-pressure situations is really awesome.”

— The Terriers showcased their offensive depth as they had six different scorers propel them to a season-high scoring output.

— BU senior forward Julia Nearis hit a milestone in the consolation round of the Beanpot as she played in her 100th career game. She marked the occasion with a goal and an assist, but at first was unaware of her personal achievement.

“I actually had no idea it was my 100th game,” Nearis said. “Brooke Fisher was like, ‘Congrats.’ And I’m like, ‘For what?’ Time flies when you’re having fun with your best friends. Definitely don’t look too much at the points right now, but as long as that (games played) number goes up moving on to the postseason.”

— Sophomore goalie Daisy Boynton got her first collegiate start between the pipes for the Crimson. The Concord, Mass. native posted 34 saves in the loss.

Thumbnail photo via Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics
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