By: Dan McLoone
BOSTON- Goals came early and often in Northeastern’s exhibition opener on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskies put 64 shots on goal and dismantled Simon Fraser, 10-2. A year after starting off the season with a disappointing loss to Acadia, Jim Madigan’s squad controlled the puck for most of the day and dictated the pace of the game. Freshman Jason Cotton scored a hat trick to lead the way for an offense that saw eight different skaters score, including five freshmen.
“I think we’re going to have enough goals during the course of the year, but I think we’re going to have to focus on our (defensive) zone and making sure we’re taking care of our own zone as we try and score goals,” said Madigan.
Senior captain Kevin Roy opened the scoring for the Huskies, sending a shot off of the glove of Clan goaltender Lyndon Stanwood just two minutes into the game. The goal kickstarted a night of offensive production, as Stanwood was peppered with shots for a full 60 minutes.
30 seconds later, Northeastern struck again, as freshman Patrick Schule poked home the puck in front of the net to take a 2-0 lead.
Northeastern continued to chip away at Stanwood, netting their third goal on a power play opportunity that saw Zach Aston-Reese take a nice centering pass from Nolan Stevens and one-timed it home. Mike McMurtry made it 4-0 in the second period with a beautiful finish on a centering pass from Garret Cockerill.
The final period belonged to the freshmen, as Adam Gaudette poked home a pass from Aston-Reese for his first goal in a Huskies uniform just two minutes into the frame. Playing on their heels for most of the game, Simon Fraser was able to get one back 20 seconds later when Mak Barden beat freshman goalie Ryan Ruck to make it 5-1.
Cotton got the first of his three two minutes later, firing a shot past Stanwood into the top corner of the net to make it 6-1. Northeastern took a 7-1 lead five minutes later, as Roy carried the puck up ice for a 2-on-1 opportunity, sending a pass to Lincoln Griffin that he slotted through Stanwood’s legs.
“We see that they can score, they can make plays, and we need some big guys to come in and help us win,” said Roy, on the impact of the freshmen in their first game for Northeastern. “It’s a good start and we’ll see come next week when we face a good opponent.”
After killing off a 5-on-3 opportunity for Simon Fraser, Eric Williams got on the scoresheet with a rocket of a shot from the blue line past Stanwood’s right shoulder. Simon Fraser got one back after the faceoff, as Adam Callegari directed a centering pass past Ruck to make it 8-2. The last two minutes belonged to Cotton, as he finished off his hat trick in just over a minute. Cotton took the faceoff win into the attacking zone and wristed a shot into the net for his second, and then deeked around Stanwood the next time the Huskies came up the ice to finish the scoring.
For Northeastern, the win sends them into their matchup against Colgate next weekend on a high note. After dropping two to Colgate in last year’s 0-8-1 start, Madigan hopes to use Sunday’s performance as a springboard for the start of the regular season.
“It was our first test. We’ve been working for the last three weeks to get to this point and it’s a barometer for us to start judging ourselves,” said Madigan. “I saw some good things out here from our team and then a lot of things we know we need to get better at.”
Josh Brown contributed to this article.