Women’s Beanpot Preview: Northeastern’s Tournament To Lose

Northeastern is ranked fifth nationally


February 7

Heading into the the 44th annual women’s Beanpot at Conte Forum on Tuesday, there’s zero doubt that Northeastern is the clear favorite.

But that won’t stop Boston University, Harvard or Boston College from trying to stop the Huskies from adding an 18th Beanpot title to their trophy case.

Here’s everything you need to know about each semifinal Beanpot game as both contests can be watched on NESN.

Boston University (10-15-3) vs. Northeastern (25-2-1), 4 p.m. ET
Northeastern, which already has secured a Hockey East regular season title, is the definition of a juggernaut and comes into the Beanpot ranked fifth in the entire country. The Huskies have yet to suffer a loss in 2023 and are riding a 13-game winning streak, which includes a 6-0 triumph over BU on Jan. 8.

Northeastern possesses a top line that few in college hockey can match, featuring three potent goal scorers. Alina Mueller leads the trio with 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 points while Chloé Aurard (16 goals, 24 assists) and Maureen Murphy (15 goals, 24 assists) aren’t far behind at all. The Huskies also boast an elite goalie in Gwyneth Philips, who leads the nation with a .960 save percentage, 0.79 goals-against average and nine shutouts.

The Terriers have lost only once since that lopsided defeat to the Huskies, going 3-0-3 in their last six games. BU will need to be clicking on all cylinders as it hasn’t had much success in the Beanpot against Northeastern. The Terriers are 5-17-4 all-time in the tournament when facing the Huskies.

But having a goalie like graduate senior Andrea Brändli, who owns a .938 save percentage, gives BU an opportunity to steal a game or two.

Alina Mueller, Northeastern: The Switzerland native has put together an illustrious career that has come with plenty of awards, including earning Hockey East Player of the Year honors twice. Mueller also recently became the all-time record holder for points in Hockey East play. In total, she has 88 goals and 147 assists for 235 points in her five seasons with the Huskies.

Julia Nearis, BU: The senior forward from Beverly, Mass. is the main offensive threat for the Terriers. She has notched a team-leading 10 goals this season to go along with nine assists for 19 points.

Harvard (7-14-3) vs. Boston College (16-12-1), 7:30 p.m.
Harvard is looking to make it back-to-back Beanpot titles, but it has quite a challenge in front of it. The Crimson met up with BC once already this season, dropping a 5-1 decision back on Nov. 22.

It’s been a down campaign for a typically strong Harvard squad and winning the Beanpot could sure turn the season around. The Crimson will have to lean on their defense since they don’t generate much offense.

But that could be playing into Eagles’ hands as they thrive on the defensive end, ranking 13th in the nation by allowing 1.96 goals per game.

BC, which has gone 10-18-0 against Harvard in Beanpot play, also can rev up its offense behind senior forward Hannah Bilka, who leads the team with 34 points off of 11 goals and 23 assists.

Alex Pellicci, Harvard: The sophomore netminder, who sports a .923 save percentage, is routinely called upon by the Crimson. She has had some noteworthy performances already this season, including an astounding 54-save effort against Yale and a strong 33-save showing in a loss to Quinnipiac at Frozen Fenway.

Abigail Levy, BC: The graduate senior goalie highlights a stout Eagles defense. Levy has posted a 1.78 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and four shutouts on the campaign while also notching 12 wins.

The winners of each semifinal tilt will appear in the Beanpot championship game on Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The consolation matchup will be played at 4 p.m. Both games will be aired on NESN+.

NESN 360 in-article asset
Thumbnail photo via Northeastern Athletics/Jim Pierce
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