Brand helps Huskies reach NCAA tourney
Park Rapids' McKenna Brand helped the Northeastern University women's hockey team qualify for the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in school history.
Park Rapids’ McKenna Brand helped the Northeastern University women’s hockey team qualify for the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in school history.
Brand, a sophomore forward, was eighth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 38 games as the Huskies set a school record for wins in a season by going 28-9-1. Northeastern, which went 14-17-5 last season, earned the No. 8 seed for the NCAA tournament and was eliminated with a 5-1 loss to No. 1 Boston College on March 12.
During the season, Brand fired 72 shots on net with one power-play goal, three game-winning goals and 15 blocks in helping the Huskies finish third in the nation in scoring by averaging 4.38 goals a game. Northeastern was rated No. 6 in the final NCAA poll. Northeastern was 9-0 when Brand scored a goal and 8-1 when Brand had an assist.
Brand had an assist in Northeastern’s 9-5 win over St. Lawrence on Sept. 27 and an assist in the Huskies’ 5-4 win over Syracuse on Oct. 9.
Brand tallied a power-play goal in a 5-4 win over Mercyhurst on Oct. 16, had two assists in a 7-3 win over Mercyhurst on Oct. 17, had an assist in a 3-1 win over Maine on Nov. 6, tallied an assist in an 8-3 victory over Merrimack on Nov. 13, and scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Vermont on Dec. 5. Brand followed with a goal and an assist in a 5-1 win over Connecticut on Jan. 5.
In a 4-0 win over Connecticut on Jan. 22, Brand had a goal and an assist and followed by scoring the game-winning goal and adding two assists in a 7-3 win over Connecticut on Jan. 23. Brand then scored two goals in a 5-2 win over New Hampshire on Jan. 29.
Northeastern ended the regular season with a 3-2 loss to Boston U on Feb. 19 as Brand had an assist and a 6-2 win over Boston U on Feb. 20 as Brand scored the game-winning goal. The Huskies finished second in the Hockey East standings with a 20-4 record and 40 points. Boston College won the Hockey East title with a 24-0 record and 48 points. Boston University was third with a 17-5-2 record and 36 points.
In the first round of the Hockey East tournament, the No. 2-seeded Huskies defeated Providence 5-2 and 6-2 in a best-of-three series on Feb. 26-27 as Brand had a goal in the second game. Boston U, the No. 3 seed, defeated Northeastern 4-3 in the semifinals before Boston College ended the Huskies’ season in the NCAA playoffs. Boston College lost to the University of Minnesota in the championship game.
Brand had eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points in 36 games to rank fourth on the team in scoring as a freshman.