By: Josh Brown
BOSTON – For the second time in three seasons, the No. 7 Northeastern University men’s hockey team is on to the TD Garden for the Hockey East semifinals.
While Friday’s Hockey East quarterfinals Game 1 against UMass was a nail-biter until the bitter end, the Huskies scored early and often and never looked back en route to a 7-2 win in Game 2 of the series on Saturday in front of 2,538 fans at Matthews Arena.
The victory gives Northeastern (23-8-5) a program record 14 home wins on the 2017-2018 campaign. It is also gives Jim Madigan’s squad a season-long seven-game winning streak.
Freshman goalie Cayden Primeau got the start in net, making 28 saves on the evening. Ryan Wischow made 14 saves in net for UMass (17-20-2) and Brad Arvanitis stopped seven shots in the third period in relief.
Jeremy Davies got the scoring going early for the Huskies, potting his sixth goal of the season less than four minutes into the opening frame. The sophomore defenseman received a pass from Biagio Lerario at the point and danced around a defender before beating Wischow five-hole.
With just 31 seconds remaining in the first, Nolan Stevens scored his first of two on the night after Lincoln Griffin sent him a pass from behind the net that the senior captain jammed past Wischow.
The Huskies piled on four more goals in the second period, courtesy of Adam Gaudette, Dylan Sikura, Brandon Hawkins and Stevens. Gaudette’s goal was number 30 on the season, making him the 11th player in team history to reach the milestone.
UMass forward Niko Rufo and Lincoln Griffon traded goals in the opening ten minutes of the third period and Minutemen junior Brett Boeing scored the final goal of the game with 3:10 remaining.
The Huskies will take on Providence in the Hockey East semifinals on Friday night at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. Josh Brown, Joe Barbito and Christian Skroce will have complete coverage, with pregame beginning at 7:45 p.m.