This Week in Women’s D-I: January 15, 2010

Goal upon goal upon goal has been netted in the Hub by a sniper wearing No. 7 and bearing the name of Esposito.

Not a single one of those goals, however, were scored under a snowy sky in the shadow of the Pru.

That is, not until a week ago, when Brittany Esposito (with no one named Phil in her family tree) scored twice on the frozen pond at Fenway Park. The first of those gave her Northeastern mates a 1-0 lead over New Hampshire in the very first NCAA womens’ outdoor hockey contest.

The second came a little too late to help the Huskies ward off hard-charging UNH, which went on to capture the Frozen Fenway fete. Still, history is history and outdoors is outdoors.

The two were bound to converge with an Esposito – Brittany Esposito – smack dab in the middle. Hailing from Edmonton, the NU freshman has fresh memories of the 2003 Heritage Classic, the NHL’s first-ever regular season outdoor game, which was staged in her hometown amid sub-zero temps. Esposito said she had wanted to go, but had a game (of the indoor variety) to play, and thus could only hear about the experience from family members.

“My brother and my mom both got to go to it,” she said. “I had a game at that time. They both loved it. It was freezing cold. I thought it was one of the coolest things.”

No pun intended, perhaps.

Moving the clock ahead by six years, Esposito landed in Boston to enroll at Northeastern and play for the Huskies. As luck would have it, she would have a second shot at an outdoor chill thrill.

Actually, it turned out to be bad luck.

“When I found out,” she said, “that the Winter Classic would be here, and I would be here, I wanted to go. But we had a game.”

Ah, but it turned out she was in the right spot after all. The view of the proceedings would be far than she could have ever imagined … and she wouldn’t have to scrape up the money to pay her way into the park, either.

“I found out from a teammate in an email we were playing here,” Esposito said. “I called my dad and told him to book a flight. I remember watching it then, and I can’t believe I got to play in something so similar. (It was cold) but it doesn’t really matter when you get to play in Fenway Park.”

Even better when your “A game” comes with you, which according to Northeastern interim co-coach Lauren McAuliffe is typical for Esposito.

“She’s an awesome kid,” said McAuliffe. “On the ice and off the ice. She could play anywhere for us. She takes everything to heart. She’s has character and has a ton of potential.

“As an Edmonton kid, Hockey Canada is smart if they have her on their radar, (because) she’s only getting better and better.”

Those are the cold facts.

Speaking of Northeastern, Swiss sophomore Florence Schelling has blossomed into one of the top goaltenders in the Nation; that’s no secret. One hitherto unknown factoid about Schelling that emerged from the Frozen Fenway media glare is her penchant for primping.

Even on the ice.

When she puts on her game face, there’s almost always a bit of Maybelline that goes with it. An exception was during the team’s workout held at Fenway the day before the big game, when she rushed to the Park from the airport, after arriving back from Switzerland.

“The only difference I saw,” said McAuliffe, “is she didn’t have make up on in practice. That was a first.”

Asked whether that is Schelling’s standard m.o., McAuliffe said wryly, “she presents herself well.”


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