By: Dan McLoone
BOSTON – The high-powered Northeastern offense showed up once again on Saturday night, as a Nolan Stevens hat trick paced the No. 15 Huskies to a 4-1 win over No.12 Boston University at Agganis Arena.
Bobby Hampton got the scoring going for the Huskies (5-2-1, 3-0-0 Hockey East), poking home a puck in the crease to make it 1-0 at the 11:44 mark. It was the second career goal for the freshman, who has now scored in consecutive contests. The Huskies doubled the lead as the horn sounded, as Nolan Stevens took skated in all alone and slotted the puck five-hole past BU netminder Jake Oettinger (28 saves) to make it 2-0 with .1 seconds left in the period.
The Terriers (4-5-1, 2-2-1 HE) cut the lead in half just 2:09 into the second period when Jordan Greenway got a stick on a loose puck in the crease to make it 2-1. Stevens made it a two-goal cushion for the Huskies once again at the 9:23 mark with a finish in the slot off of a rebound before completing the hat trick on a redirected tip off of a Ryan Shea slot from the point. The hat trick was the first of Stevens’ collegiate career.
Things got chippy throughout the matchup, as Ryan Ruck suffered a concussion from an incidental hit to the head from Patrick Harper late in the first period. Ruck, who made 14 saves, was originally cleared by trainers before being pulled midway through the second period. Cayden Primeau replaced him in net, standing tall through multiple BU offensive chances while making 19 saves. Biagio Lerario also exited the game early after taking a hit from Nikolas Olsson that led to his ejection. Lerario did not return, and is considered day-to-day.
The win moves the Huskies to 3-0-0 in Hockey East play for the first time since the 2008-09 season. It also snaps an eight-game winless streak against the Terriers that dates back to 2015 and ends a tough 1-11-1 stretch against the Terriers since 2013.
Northeastern will look to continue its strong start in Hockey East play next weekend. The Huskies host BU on Friday night before traveling North to take on UMass Lowell on Saturday night. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts, with pregame beginning at 6:45 p.m. on WRBB.