The Northeastern Huskies got off to a blistering start Friday night, jumping to a two–zip lead less than six minutes into their tilt with the Maine Black Bears.
Coach Jim Madigan’s forwards led the way for the Huskies (7–4–2, 4–3–1 HEA), who now sit in fifth place in the Hockey East standings, one point behind the Black Bears (7–4–3, 4–3–2) who are in a three-way tie for second.
The first two goals of the night, courtesy of sophomore sensation Tyler Madden, were followed up by a rebound strike from Maine forward Eduards Tralmaks 11 minutes in, leaving the Huskies with a one-goal lead heading into the first intermission.
In the second, the Huskies extended their advantage when forward Zach Solow rang a tipped shot off the crossbar before batting it out of the air past Black Bear netminder Jeremy Swayman.
Solow’s power play tally was followed by Madden’s third goal of the game. The Deerfield Beach, Fla. native took a feed from junior forward Grant Jozefek and used his quick hands to blast it past a shell-shocked Swayman.
“Obviously it’s awesome,” said Madden on scoring his first-ever Husky hat trick. “What’s important is that we came out of the game with two points and we’re going to try to get two more tomorrow.”
Ben Poisson got one back for the Black Bears on an odd-man rush, sniping one above the shoulder of a helpless Craig Pantano.
But when freshman Aidan McDonough capitalized on the man-advantage a minute into the third period, the game felt out of reach for Maine coach Red Gendron’s squad. Two costly penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game scuttled any chance of a dramatic Maine comeback.
“We were not the best version of ourselves tonight,” said a frustrated Gendron after the game. “They played the type of game they succeed with, but that wasn’t the best we can do.”
The Huskies netted a comfortable 5–2 win in front of an enthusiastic crowd, but won’t have much time to rest on their laurels. The two teams will battle again Saturday night. Matt Cunha and Adam Doucette will call the game from Matthews Arena, with coverage beginning at 6:45 EST.