BOSTON – Saturday night was an encouraging start for the Northeastern men’s hockey team. While only a preseason exhibition, the Huskies posted a commanding 5-0 win over the Dalhousie University Tigers, a refreshing result after the disappointments that the previous season brought. Perhaps even more impressive for the Huskies was that four of the five goals (and six total points) came from freshmen skaters.
Nearly seven minutes into the first period, a rebound of a Kevin Roy shot was knocked home by freshman John Stevens. Stevens was assisted by his linemates, Roy and Braden Pimm. The offense continued to click, connecting on passes and creating opportunities. Roughly halfway through the first period, the Huskies were given two power plays by the Tigers. During the first power play, Stevens attempted to connect on a cross ice pass to his USHL teammate, fellow freshman Mike Szmatula, on the doorstep of the goalmouth. They just missed on the effort; however, on the second power play, the same play worked to perfection, netting the Huskies a 2-0 lead (Kevin Roy received the secondary assist).
From there, the Huskies did not look back. Kevin Roy and another freshman center, Dalen Hedges, chipped in goals in the second period, while Stevens added a shorthanded score as part of a three point night (2-1-3). Northeastern showed impressive dominance in puck possession as well. They broke Dalhousie’s forecheck with ease. They outshot the Tigers 46 to 19 and freshmen centers Stevens and Hedges combined to win 22 of 28 faceoffs. They even scored two power play goals in seven opportunities while posting a perfect five-for-five performance on the penalty kill.
Northeastern gave one period of play to each of their three goaltenders tonight. Clay Witt stopped all nine shots he faced. Bryan Mountain and Derick Roy saved six and four respectively, combining with Witt to post a shutout.
The only negative in an otherwise positive night for Northeastern was the ejection of freshman Nathan Ferriero, who was thrown from the game in the second period after getting into a vicious bout with Tigers forward Brett Theberge. Theberge was also ejected from the game.
The Chargers of the University of Alabama-Huntsville will come to Boston next weekend to open up the NCAA hockey season. The Huskies will be looking for their first real win at home since November 11th, 2012 (against these same Chargers). If they receive this kind of offensive production, along with a strong effort in goal, a successful weekend series won’t be far off.