By: Josh Brown
BOSTON – Who else but Dylan Sikura?
With Game 1 of the Hockey East quarterfinals knotted up at two midway through the third period, the senior assistant captain received an Adam Gaudette pass in the high slot and ripped a wrist shot past UMass goalie Ryan Wischow.
The late tally proved to be the winner, as the No. 7 Northeastern men’s hockey team beat UMass, 3-2, in front of 1,919 fans at Matthews Arena on Friday night. The victory gives Northeastern a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Freshman Cayden Primeau got the start in net for the Huskies (22-8-5), making 29 saves on the evening. Wischow stopped 28 pucks on the other end of the ice for UMass (17-19-2).
After a tight-checking, clean first period produced zero pucks in the back of the net, the Huskies scored two on a five-minute power play midway through the second period. UMass freshman forward Jake Gaudet received the game misconduct for crushing defenseman Garrett Cecere behind the net.
Nolan Stevens scored first at the 8:51 mark of the period when he tipped home a Jeremy Davies (two assists) shot from the point. Exactly four minutes later, with just 16 seconds remaining on the power play, Sikura netted his first of the night on a one-time feed from Davies at the left dot.
UMass cut the deficit to one just 22 seconds later when Austin Albrecht fired a shot from above the left circle that beat Primeau glove side. The Minutemen carried that momentum into the third and tied the game just under three minutes into the period on Brett Boeing’s second goal of the year.
Although UMass controlled the tempo for the rest of the period, Sikura scored his 19th of the season at the 13:48 mark to put the Huskies in front for good.
Northeastern will look to punch its ticket to the Hockey East semifinals when they take on UMass in Game 2 of the series on Saturday night at Matthews Arena. WRBB will have complete coverage, with pregame coverage getting underway at 6:45 p.m.