by Matthew MacCormack
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. —
It didn’t look good for the Northeastern men’s hockey team after two periods of Friday night’s season opener against Sacred Heart at Walter Brown Arena.
The Huskies trailed, 2-1, to a Pioneers team that lost by a combined 14-3 tally in last year’s two-game series at Matthews Arena in Boston. Northeastern was 0 for 5 on the power play; especially troubling for a team that ranked second in the country in Power Play Points a season ago. To make matters worse, Sacred Heart’s Mike Lee had scored a shorthanded goal on one of those power plays to seize the lead for the Pioneers.
Everything changed seven seconds into the third period, when redshirt senior forward Brandon Hawkins buried a feed from classmate Liam Pecararo to give Northeastern an equalizer. From there, the Huskies rolled, scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to seize a decisive 5-2 victory to open the season. Five different players scored for the Huskies.
“I liked how we stayed to our game-plan even though we were down 2-1” said head coach Jim Madigan after the game.
“We’re gonna be in a lot of these games this year, up a goal, down a goal going into the 3rd period, and as a team we gotta find a way to win.”
Matt Tugnutt scored the first goal for Sacred Heart.
Freshman Tyler Madden — a third-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks who comes to Northeastern by way of the USHL — scored his first collegiate goal in his first game in black and red. The Huskies are working hard to replace the high-scoring trio of Hobey Baker winner Adam Gaudette, Dylan Sikura and Nolan Stevens, who powered the Huskies’ offense last season.
Northeastern is back in action on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena, against Sacred Heart once again.