By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – One week ago, Northeastern clinched a spot in the 34th Boston Beanpot championship match when junior Brittnay Esposito notched a game-winning goal in a first round shoot out against Boston College.
Then, a week after their dramatic win against the Eagles, Northeastern provided their fans with a fairy tale tournament ending when junior Casey Pickett netted a game-winning goal in overtime, which lifted the Huskies past Boston University, 4-3 at the Walter Brown Arena on Tuesday evening.
“As soon I got [the puck], I knew what I wanted to do with it, and I was confident that it was going in, so I guess that helped having confidence,” said an elated Pickett. “It’s a great feeling to know that you made your whole team happy, and I’m glad that I could do that for everyone.”
“It’s great,” said an exuberant Northeastern senior goaltender Florence Schelling, who ended the game with 43 saves between the pipes. “I’m so excited, I can’t even think about it.”
Pickett’s game winning goal was assisted by freshman line-mate Kendall Coyne, (one goal, one assist), who provided the Huskies with their first lead in the second period when she notched her 24th strike of the season past BU sophomore goaltender Kerrin Sperry, (25 saves).
The Huskies doubled their lead practically two minutes later when freshman Lucie Povova lit the lamp for the seventh time this year to give Northeastern a two-goal advantage.
BU answered literally eight minutes later when freshmen Shannon Stoneburgh and Kayla Tutino tied the game at 2-2.
Once the third period began, both teams ramped up the intensity, and combined for six penalties, which didn’t provide either squad with momentum until BU’s Tutino tallied the go-ahead goal with roughly five minutes left in regulation.
However, BU’s celebration was short lived, as Northeastern responded 33-seconds later when sophomore Sonia St. Martin scored the equalizer, which forced overtime, and another epic tournament finish.
“Once we got that goal right back, I had almost a sense of calm that we were going to win the game,” said Northeastern head coach Dave Flint. “The mood was great in the locker room after regulation going into overtime everyone was positive.”
“I thought that after the third, we had a lot of positive energy in the locker room,” said Pickett. “We bounced back after a late goal by BU, and kind of showed what we’re made of and I think that we all knew we had confidence in each other going into overtime, and we knew that we had it.”
Pickett exhibited some confidence following the face-off, as she recorded the game winner at 5:27 in the extra session after receiving a pass from Coyne, who stole the puck away from a few BU players at center ice.
“Obviously it was one of those goals that was real pretty, and real nice in the OT,” said BU head coach Brian Durocher. “It wasn’t just a fluke or something that fell out of the sky in the back of the net [because] it was a real good hockey play by two super hockey players.”
Northeastern hadn’t won a championship since they defeated Harvard University in 1998, and now has collected 15 Beanpot trophies, which is two more than the Crimson, and 14 more than the Terriers.
“I liked how our team battled,” said Flint. “I think earlier in the year, we might not have come back from [trailing, 3-2], but we’ve matured a lot as a team, and we have a group of girls that really believe in their selves.”