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2020 Women’s Hockey Recap: Nearly Northeastern’s season?

The Huskies had a shot at a university first National Championship taken out of their hands due to the pandemic.

Northeastern Athletics/ Jim Pierce

One of the two teams that never actually ended their season, was a mere three games away from a championship, all of them in the city of Boston.

Northeastern University (32-4-2, 24-3-0 HEA) (1st HEA)

The Huskies were scheduled to play Princeton on a Saturday and the game was on track to be played until the day before when all NCAA sports were cancelled, some teams were already en route at the time of announcement.

The season that was

Northeastern was considered to be a top team this season but many were unsure if last year’s freshman would hit a sophomore slump along with the questions that came with losing some major leadership and production from their previous campaign. Turned out there was nothing to worry about. The Huskies would only lose twice in 2019 and then two more times in 2020 all by only one goal, three of them in overtime.

The season had a number of highlights including sweeping Boston College with three shutouts, something that Northeastern had never done in Hockey East play. Their biggest game was an overtime loss to then number one Wisconsin in Pittsburgh that featured some weird calls and even weirder bounces for both teams. Though not much can top their performance on the second Tuesday in February, that almost became the second Wednesday, when they beat Boston University at Walter Brown Arena in the second overtime to claim their 18th Beannpot title and first in seven years. That game was followed up by their final loss of the season, an overtime loss to a Providence team that just stymied the Huskies all year. They would win their next seven games allowing only five goals and winning the Hockey East Championship resoundingly by a score of 9-1 over Connecticut.

The season that could have been

As the third seeded team in the NCAA Tournament NU earned the right to host a game, they were paired with the ECAC tournament champion the Princeton Tigers who unofficially were the sixth seeded team. If they had advanced next up was the winner of second seeded Wisconsin versus Clarkson. The championship matchup was likely top seeded Cornell but fourth seeded Minnesota and Ohio State were also in play. While Princeton was scheduled to be played in the friendly confines of Historic Matthews Arena, the Frozen Four was also set to be played in Boston at BU’s Agganis Arena which would’ve been a huge advantage for the Huskies, next year they are sticking to their original scheduling and Mercyhurst will be the host in Erie, Pennsylvania.