Women’s Preview: #10 Northeastern @ UVM

Gotta get this out quickly, afternoon game – probably should’ve done this before the men, to be honest.

Northeastern started the post-Kendall Coyne era badly – a 5-0 massacre at home to St. Lawrence, followed by a 6-5 defeat a night later. Since then, however, they’ve gotten back in their groove, dropping just one game (a surprising home L to Merrimack). They currently sit at 10-3-1, and are ranked #10 in the USCHO poll.

In goal, sophomore Brittany Bugalski is pretty much permanently frozen in the Husky crease, starting all but the 6-5 loss to SLU. She’s been excellent, sporting a .937 save percentage and three shutouts, up from a .918 last season.

The defense is mostly unchanged from last season, with the only real change of note being Codie Cross replacing the graduated Jordan Krause. Though 30 points is tough to replace, Cross has done well enough. Heather Mottau is also pretty solid offensively, although her numbers have gone down from her senior year. Maddie Hartman has taken a solid step forward from her freshman year and looks to get better as time goes on.

Offensively, Northeastern’s biggest question going into the season was how do you even come close to replacing Kendall Coyne? Coyne eviscerated defenses last year, posting 84 points last season, second in the country behind BC’s Alex Carpenter. Though they no longer have Coyne, they still feature many weapons, most notably Czech star Denisa Křížová. Křížová was second on the team in scoring last year with 59 points, and with Coyne gone this is her team now. Fellow junior McKenna Brand has become Křížová’s sidekick and has 16 points this season after posting 21 all last season. Even after losing a superstar, Northeastern still has a top-ten offense, and they will slice any opponent with good passing and skating.

Enjoy the game. UConn preview out Saturday night.

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