Credit: Pixabay

The University of Maine’s women’s ice hockey team found itself trailing the nation’s third-ranked Northeastern University Huskies by just a goal when Ida Kuoppala’s power play goal 7:03 into the third period made it 2-1.

But Maureen Murphy’s second goal of the game 3:30 later gave the Huskies some breathing room and they survived UMaine’s upset bid 3-1 at Matthews Arena in Boston.

It was Murphy’s NCAA-leading 29th goal of the season.

Northeastern is now 29-4-2 and will play UConn in Saturday’s championship game as NU looks for its fifth straight title. Game time is 7 at Matthews Arena.

UMaine finished at 15-19-1.

NU’s Maddie Mills opened the scoring 11:49 into the second period when she jammed home a Chloe Aurard rebound that deflected to her just outside the crease.  

It was her 16th goal of the season.

Murphy scored her Division I-leading 13th power play goal just over four minutes later when she took a pass from Swiss Olympian Alina Mueller and fired the puck through a screen past the blocker of backup goalie Jorden Mattison, who was playing in place of the injured Loryn Porter.

Kuoppala responded early in the third period when she ripped a one-timer past Aerin Frankel after being set up by Taylor Leech and Celine Tedenby.

But Murphy restored the two-goal lead with Aurard picking up her second assist of the game and Brooke Hobson also getting an assist on the goal.

Frankel finished with 12 saves and improved her Hockey East postseason record to 17-0.

Mattison wound up with 38 stops for UMaine.