ORONO — The University of Maine’s women’s hockey team and Northeastern University’s Huskies each had plenty of scoring chances in their Hockey East contest Thursday night at Alfond Arena.
But Maine sophomore goalie Brittany Ott and NU junior Florence Schelling stole the show.
Ott finished with 36 saves, including 21 of the Grade-A (high-percentage) variety, while two-time Swiss Olympian Schelling made 19, with 16 Grade-A’s, as the teams battled to a scoreless overtime tie.
They will conclude their series at 2 p.m. today.
Maine is now 4-6-1 overall, 0-2-1 in Hockey East. NU is 7-2-3 and 1-1-2, respectively.
“For the two of us, in a game like this, to have shutouts is pretty good,” said Schelling, who made 52 saves in a 10-1 loss to Canada in the Olympics last winter. “(Ott) was amazing.”
“(Schelling) is one of the best goalies in the world. She makes the first save all the time,” said shifty Maine junior right wing Myriam Croussette, who was one of the Maine’s top threats.
“They both battled well. They’re two of the better goalies in the league,” said NU coach Dave Flint.
“Both teams had chances but both goalies stood on their heads,” said Maine junior left wing and captain Dawn Sullivan, who had a breakaway off a steal with 37 seconds left in regulation only to have Schelling rob her to the blocker side.
“I know she is really good down low so I aimed high,” said Sullivan. “I tried to go under the crossbar but she got the top of her shoulder on it.”
Schelling said, “I try to always be prepared for something like that.”
Northeastern had the better of the play in the first period and a more pronounced advantage in the second period but Ott preserved the scoreless tie with a number of gems.
She made two rapid-fire saves midway through the middle period as she thwarted Katie MacSorley’s wraparound attempt and then slid across to the far post to rob Siena Falino’s follow-up shot.
Maine junior center Dominique Goutsis suffered injuries to her neck and shoulder when she fell awkwardly into the boards at center ice with 11:50 left in the second period.
She was attended to by trainers and emergency medical technicians for approximately 20 minutes before being transported by ambulance to the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. She reportedly had feeling in all of her extremities.
Croussette said the injury “shook us up” but they regrouped between periods and played much better in the third period.
“We progressed,” said Croussette.
In the third period, it was Schelling’s turn to excel.
She extended her pad to stuff Brittany Dougherty, who was set up all alone at the edge of the crease by Danielle Ward.
Moments later, Kayla Kaluzny threaded as pass to Ward busting down the right wing. Ward cut across the slot and tried to beat Schelling with a point-blank backhander but Schelling smothered the shot. The puck sat in the crease but Kaluzny had her stick tied up and couldn’t poke it over the goal line.
NU lost second-leading scorer Brittany Esposito to a leg injury with 11:04 left in the third period.
Ott credited her defense corps for clearing the front of the net and limiting NU’s second and third chance attempts.
“And I saw all the shots except some on the power play,” said Ott.