Overtime winner lifts Huskies to weekend sweep of UMass Lowell

By Josh Brown

BOSTON – The script looked eerily familiar. After blowing leads of 1-0, 3-2 and 4-3 against No. 17 UMass Lowell on Saturday night, it was impossible to not get flashbacks of last weekend against Quinnipiac, where the Huskies blew leads on five separate occasions.

But with 2:50 remaining in overtime, junior Patrick Schule flipped a puck off the back of River Hawks goalie Tyler Wall to give No. 20 Northeastern a 5-4 win at Matthews Arena. The win gives the Huskies their first 2-0 start in Hockey East play since 2012.

Ryan Ruck got his third consecutive start in net, making 23 saves in the winning effort.

Northeastern (4-2-1, 2-0-0) got on the board first late in the opening frame, when Grant Jozefek potted his fifth goal of the season. Streaking into the offensive zone 3-on-1, Jozefek skated to the right faceoff dot and picked the corner over Wall’s far side shoulder.

UMass Lowell (3-5-0, 0-4-0) would answer with two goals of their own just over a minute apart in the second period. Anvi Berisha scored at the 6:43 mark and Connor Sodergen found the back of the net at 8:02 to give the River Hawks their first lead of the weekend.

Adam Gaudette continued his dominance on special teams, scoring a short-handed goal at 13:37 to reclaim the lead for the Huskies. Gaudette jumped on the puck in the neutral zone and beat Wall over his right shoulder.

Early in the third period, Bobby Hampton netted his first collegiate goal to put the Huskies back up by one. The freshman skated around a host of UMass Lowell defenders in the slot and backhanded a shot over the shoulder of Wall.

Although Ryan Lohin would tie the score up at three just over two minutes later, Nolan Stevens answered for Northeastern at 15:41. With Wall outstretched on the ice, the senior captain skated directly through the crease and backhanded the puck into the empty net.

After Ryan Dmowski tied the score with 1:38 remaining in the third, Schule scored the game-winner in overtime to send the Huskies home with the sweep.

Northeastern will have a well-deserved day off on Friday before traveling down the street to No. 6 Boston University for a Saturday evening matchup. WRBB will have complete coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Secondary scorers power Huskies to opening night win over Sacred Heart

By Josh Brown

BOSTON – It may have been opening night, but Northeastern displayed a year’s worth of chemistry in game number one. Led by two goals apiece from Grant Jozefek and Matt Filipe, and a four-point night from freshman Zach Solow (1 goal, 3 assists), the Huskies routed Sacred Heart, 7-3, in front of a hefty crowd at Matthews Arena.

Northeastern started the scoring at 10:14 in the first period when Grant Jozefek slipped a puck past Sacred Heart goalie Brett Magnus (17 saves). Defenseman Eric Williams potted his first goal of the season just seven minutes later on a laser of a shot from the right faceoff dot that beat Magnus bar down.

The Huskies (1-0-0) would find the back of the net four more times in the second period. After Lincoln Griffin and Matt Filipe extended the Huskies lead to 4-0 at the 10:47 mark, the Pioneers (0-1-0) got one back just 13 seconds later courtesy of sophomore forward Vito Bavaro.

Any momentum that Sacred Heart built up was quickly lost, as Jozefek netted his second of the game just 1:08 later to extend the Huskies’ lead to four. Filipe scored his second of the game with just 13 seconds remaining in the period to send the Huskies into the locker room with a five-goal cushion.

Sacred Heart would put up a valiant effort in the third, scoring two quick power play goals on Northeastern goalie Ryan Ruck (19 saves). Austin McIlmurray capitalized on a Biagio Liario tripping call at 3:32, and Stephen Hladin on a Nolan Stevens tripping call at 4:17.

Despite the momentum, Sacred Heart would fail to find the back of the net again for the rest of the night. Zach Solow put the cherry on top late in the third, scoring his first collegiate goal from just within the blue line at 15:56.

The Huskies will be back in action on Saturday night when they take on Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. Josh Brown, Dan McLoone and Patrick Milne will be on the call with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Northeastern’s season ends with 3-2 setback to No. 8/6 Boston University

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – It may have been a new day, but it was the same story for the Northeastern hockey team.

The Huskies (18-15-5) were swept out of the Hockey East Quarterfinals by BU on Saturday night thanks to blowing their second consecutive 2-0 lead. The Terriers (23-10-3) didn’t need overtime tonight, completing the comeback in the final period in the 3-2 win.

With their backs against the wall, the Huskies came out firing once again in the first period. Biagio Lerario scored his first career goal just 2:23 into the game and Nolan Stevens doubled the lead nine minutes later with his tenth tally of the year.

The Terriers were well verses in coming back from a 2-0 deficit, having beaten Northeastern 3-2 in overtime on Friday, and got right back to work on offense when Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson cut the lead in half with 5:22 left in the second period.

Leading 2-1, the Huskies played with much more offensive pace throughout the final two periods than they did the night before but just couldn’t solve BU netminder Jake Oettinger (24 saves) for a third time. Ryan Ruck (25 saves) stood on his head at times for Northeastern to preserve the lead, but the relentless Terriers offense finally broke through.

Nick Roberto tied the game up just three minutes into the third period. For the second consecutive night, the referees reviewed the goal for a potential offsides call on BU, but the tally was upheld after a long review. Head coach Jim Madigan only talked for 47 seconds after the game, as he did not want to get suspended for commenting on the two offsides calls or how they influenced the series.

The Terriers mounted offensive pressure on Ruck down the stretch and were rewarded with a power play opportunity with just 1:34 left in the game after Garrett Cockerill was called for hooking. Ruck made a handful of spectacular saves during the kill effort, but Chad Krys broke through with 24.9 seconds left in the game hand the Huskies their second straight heartbreaking defeat.

The Huskies finish the season with no chance for an NCAA at-large bid. The loss also ends the Northeastern playing careers of seniors Zach Aston-Reese, John Stevens, Brendan Collier, Sam Kurker, Tanner Pond, Mike Jamieson, Ryan Rosenthal, Garrett Cockerill and Jake Schechter. The Terriers advance to the Hockey East Semifinals, where they will take on either Boston College or Notre Dame.

Huskies squander 2-0 lead, drop game one to BU

By Josh Brown

BOSTON – Coming off a convincing sweep of Connecticut in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs, it looked like Northeastern was going to have its way with a BU team that had last week off after clinching a share of the league’s regular season crown. But after falling behind 2-0, BU showed why it is unbeaten against Jim Madigan’s Huskies in the last seven meetings.

Goals by Dante Fabbro and Chase Phelps knotted the score at two, and Jordan Greenway notched the game-winner just 3:11 into overtime to send the Terriers to a 3-2 victory in game one of the Hockey East Quarterfinals.

Fighting for a rebound in front of the net on the power play, the big 6-foot-5 Greenway capitalized on the chaos and fired the puck into the back of the net.

Not to be lost in defeat is Ryan Ruck’s performance in net, as the sophomore sent aside 32 shots from a BU offense which entered the zone at will in the latter two periods.

Northeastern got the early 2-0 lead just 9:52 into the game via their two Hobey Baker hopefuls in Zach Aston-Reese and Dylan Sikura. Aston-Reese beat BU goalie Jake Oettinger (33 saves) on an off-angle shot that sailed over the right shoulder of the netminder, and Sikura tapped in a freebie to give the Huskies the early lead.

The Terriers made it a one-goal game at 7:33 in the second period when Fabbro sent a weak shot on net from above the right face-off dot that beat Ruck. Phelps scored the long overdue game-tying goal midway through the third, beating Ruck five-hole to force overtime.

Following a Jeremy Davies hooking call, Greenway sent the Terriers faithful home happy with his ninth goal of the season.

The two teams will get right back at it Saturday night for game two. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.

Northeastern falls to Towson in CAA Quarterfinals

By: Matthew MacCormack

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Northeastern had its share of peaks of valleys in the 2016-17 season, but Saturday’s 82-54 loss to Towson to end the year may have been the low point.

The Huskies (15-16) never led on Saturday night at North Charleston Coliseum, as the No. 3 Tigers dominated the six-seeded Huskies from tip-off to final whistle. NU shot just 27% from the floor and 20% from three-point land, as the physical Tigers won the rebounding battle (42-25), and throttled Northeastern in bench-scoring (44-12).

“We came to a basketball game and a football game broke out. We didn’t bring our helmets or pads,” head coach Bill Coen said post-game. “Tonight, it was all about them exerting their will pretty much everywhere on the floor.”
Zane Martin came off the bench to lead Towson with 17 points, and William Adala Moto and Brian Starr each chipped in 12 for the Tigers, who advance on to face No. 2 Charleston in a semi-final matchup on Sunday.

Towson did a stellar job containing senior guard and CAA Player of the Year T.J. Williams all evening. Williams led the Huskies with 15 points, but went just 3-16 from the floor in his final collegiate game.

“I tip my hat off to them,” Williams said.

“I felt that they came with a good game plan. I tried to make some plays down the stretch to find some players on my team. We got some good looks but the shots didn’t fall.”

The Tigers (20-12) jumped out to a 15-3 lead, with Adala Moto dropping eight points in that stretch. The first-half lead ballooned to as large as 16, as the Huskies seemingly couldn’t buy a bucket.

There was some hope late in the second half, when NU cut the deficit down to 12 points off a three from Bolden Brace with 6:42 to go. After a Husky steal, a three from Jimmy Marshall rattled in-and-out, and Martin responded with a three of his own to push the lead back to 15. The game got no closer.

“We made a nice little run there,” Coen said.

“I thought Jimmy’s shot was down, but then right away they come back and bang a three. It was a little bit of a back-breaker and a dagger.”

Williams and Marshall logged their final minutes in Black and Red. Williams graduates with 1,377 career points, good enough for 15th in NU history.. His scoring output this year (642 pts) was the sixth highest single-season mark in program history.

“We knew it would be a physical game,” Williams said.

“I wish the outcome of the game would have been different, but they came ready to play.”

Northeastern advances to Hockey East Quarterfinals with 6-2 rout of Connecticut

By: Dan McLoone

BOSTON – Try as they might, the UConn Huskies just cannot seem to solve the riddle that is Northeastern.

The highest-scoring power play in the nation showed up in a big way down the stretch for Northeastern (18-13-5), as the Huskies tallied four goals on the man advantage, including three goals during a five-minute major power play, to complete the series sweep of UConn (12-16-8) with a 6-2 win to open the Hockey East playoffs.

Brendan Collier got the scoring going just four minutes in, wristing home a shot from the slot for his second goal of the weekend. Zach Aston-Reese doubled the lead eight minutes into the second period, tapping home a puck to light the lamp for the 30th time on the year.

Graduate student Brian Morgan made it 2-1 at the 12:20 mark of the second period, but Adam Gaudette responded just 2:10 later with a power play tally to make it 3-1. The goal was

Gaudette’s 16th on the man advantage, extending the single-season program record that he had previously set last week against Maine.

Connecticut made it 3-2 with two minutes left in the second period courtesy of a Miles Gendron goal. UConn carried that momentum into the third period, creating numerous chances on Ryan Ruck, who held strong and finished the evening with 32 saves.

Down by just one goal with 9:25 to go in the game, UConn lost the momentum when Evan Richardson was handed a game misconduct for contact to the head on Garrett Cockerill. Northeastern capitalized on its ensuing five-minute power play, as John Stevens netted two goals in the span of two minutes to make it 5-2. Jeremy Davies added one more before UConn finished killing the penalty to blow the game open.

Play got chippy down the stretch as Jake Schechter and Brian Morgan were given 10-minute game misconducts for a getting in a post-whistle scrum, but Northeastern held on to earn a series sweep and move to 10-0 all-time against Hockey East’s other Huskies.

Northeastern advances to the Hockey East Quarterfinals next week, where they will travel to either Boston University or UMass Lowell depending on the results of Sunday’s game three between New Hampshire and Merrimack. Game one of the best-of-three series will be on Friday.