Photo by Justin Berl/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images
#7-ranked Northeastern took the ice at historic Matthews Arena for a Friday afternoon Veterans Day matinee against Boston College in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU. And with the bigger stage of a national TV audience, Northeastern’s star forward Alina Mueller shone brightest, scoring two goals and two assists to lead Northeastern to a 4-0 victory in the first game of their weekend series against the Eagles.
Boston College got off to a fast start, building an early lead in shots on goal in the opening half of the first period, but as the game progressed, Northeastern began to exert their obvious advantage in run of play.
The Eagles survived the first period to head to the first intermission tied 0-0. But Mueller and the Huskies broke through in the second period. Mueller scored 5:39 into the second period and would set up Katy Knoll for a goal at 14:02 of the second period. In all, Northeastern would outshoot BC 21-5 in a second period that they completely dominated.
Mueller would another assist on the power play and a second goal in the third period to bring the game to its’ final 4-0 score.
The win extends Northeastern’s lead atop the Hockey East standings, 11 points clear of second-place Providence, though the Friars have three games in hand on the Huskies. Boston College falls to .500 through 9 Hockey East games.
Notes and Thoughts:
-I’m as dismissive of programs out east, especially in Hockey East, as anyone. But even with all three players from last year’s Patty Kazmaier hat trick returning this year, I think Mueller has to be the favorite for the Patty Kaz this year. So dangerous every shift she’s out on the ice, and a complete game-changer for Northeastern. She maybe wouldn’t be as dominant if she was facing WCHA-caliber competition regularly, but I do think she’s the best player in the country.
-For Boston College, on the other hand: woof. I can’t stress enough how underwhelming this team is, especially compared to some of the talent they have the roster. I get that Northeastern has the best player on the ice, but there’s really not an excuse for Northeastern to control play to the level that they did. Final shots were 43-15 Northeastern, and as the broadcast noted a few times, that was after BC led 5-2 in the early stages of the game. Once Northeastern got going, there was just no answer from BC.
And this is a team that still has an Olympian in Cayla Barnes, a national team player in Hannah Bilka, and a couple U18 national team veterans in Abby Newhook, Alexis Guay, and Kelly Browne. That should be more than enough to form the nucleus of a top-10 program. They’re really not getting anything else from anywhere else in their line-up though. That’s especially scary looking forward. What happens when those high-end players graduate? Because right now, the future does not look good.
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