The North­eastern Uni­ver­sity women’s hockey team is one of the best clubs in the country and has a strong chance of qual­i­fying for the NCAA Tour­na­ment in March. We asked head coach Dave Flint about the com­pet­i­tive nature of Hockey East play, the impli­ca­tions of win­ning next week’s Beanpot and the impor­tance of junior goal­tender Flo­rence Schelling, who has posted a 2.09 goals-​​against average and .927 save per­centage in 23 games.

Hockey East fea­tures three teams in the top 10 in the country. How does playing in col­lege hockey’s best divi­sion impact your club’s style of play?

Hockey East has come a long way in a short period of time. It’s very com­pet­i­tive, from the top to the bottom, so we have to bring our best game every time we hit the ice. There aren’t any easy wins anymore.

The Huskies face off against Har­vard in the first round of the Beanpot next Tuesday. Aside from the imme­diate impact in the stand­ings, what would win­ning the tour­na­ment mean for the club, Hockey East and rest of women’s col­lege hockey?

Aside from brag­ging rights, the Beanpot has national impli­ca­tions because all four teams — North­eastern, Boston Col­lege, Boston Uni­ver­sity and Har­vard — have been nation­ally ranked this year and have a shot to make it to the NCAA Tour­na­ment. Win­ning the Beanpot would also give us con­fi­dence and momentum going into the Hockey East playoffs.

What’s your team’s greatest strength and how impor­tant is it in deter­mining the suc­cess of the club?

We’re very strong at the goal­tender posi­tion, which gives us a good chance to beat anyone on any given night. That gives us a lot of con­fi­dence. I also think we have good team chem­istry, which is an impor­tant piece of the puzzle.