By Josh Brown
The 10th ranked Northeastern Huskies walked in to the Compton Family Ice Arena last weekend with a 4-0 record in that very building spanning back to the 2011-2012 season with three of those wins coming against Notre Dame (the fourth was against Western Michigan, who Northeastern beat in a shootout in the first round of the Shillelagh Tournament). The Irish who have amassed a 39-18-1 record at home the past three seasons, would pick up that much garnered for win against the Huskies on Saturday night 3-0, only after Northeastern was able to continue their success in the Hoosier State with a 4-0 win of their own on Friday.
The scoring started early for the Huskies, a change of pace from the Vermont series which saw a stalemate until late into the second period both games. Adam Reid got Northeastern on the board at 5:46 in the first period on an unassisted goal, his fourth of the season. Reid wasted no time getting goal number five 2:13 later on a goal assisted by Dalen Hedges and Mike McMurtry.
Despite being outshot 11-4 in the period, Northeastern went into the locker room with the 2-0 lead after one. Coach Jim Madigan was not only happy with Reid’s first period performance, but that of the third line as a whole.
“I liked the way that line played. They had a good game the other night. They are possessing pucks down low, they just needed to get a little luck around the net,” Madigan continued, “[Dalen] Hedges made two real good passes there [Mike] McMurty’s got a good stick…Adam [Reid] is more of the power forward on that line and you saw two really nice shots to get us going.”
Northeastern was able to pick up right where they left off in the second period, on a Mike Szmatula power play goal at 1:44 in the period assisted by John Stevens and Kevin Roy. Later in the period the Huskies would tack on one more, as McMurtry would pick up his fifth goal of the season with help from Dalen Hedges and Adam Reid, who had his first three point game of his Huskies career.
Despite two trips on the power play by each team in the third period, the 4-0 lead stuck giving the Huskies a well deserved two points, on a night where Clay Witt faced 30 shots, as opposed to the 14 the Huskies managed to get on Notre Dame goalies Steven Summerhays and Chad Katunar.
Madigan talked about why his team plays so well in front of the Irish faithful.
“Every time we’ve come up here it’s been for two games. We’ve been able to get away as a team, settle into an environment, we’re at the hotel and the guys are together, we’re hanging out together, we’ve got meetings…” Madigan adds, “so it’s nice when you get away as a team…and more than anything they’re a top team.”
Saturday would not bode as well for Northeastern, with the Irish salvaging two much needed conference points.
Notre Dame this time would be able to get on the board early thanks to a Vince Hinostroza goal assisted by Mario Lucia and Peter Schneider. Insurance was added at the 10:17 mark of the period on the power play, when Lucia was able to get his second point of the night with the goal assisted by Hinostroza and Austin Wuthrich.
Regular strength and the power play were not the only two ways the Irish would score on this night, as they added a short-handed goal by Schneider set up by Jeff Costello and Kevin Lind.
That proved to be all the Irish needed, as they were able to close out the 3-0 win. Despite the loss Madigan was able to draw some positives from the game.
“Obviously disappointed with not picking up two points tonight, but I liked the way our guys played.” Madigan said, “They played hard, they competed, we played hard to the end, we didn’t get any puck luck tonight.”
“We were around the net we had some good chances and we couldn’t find the net…but I liked the way we played right until the end of the game. It’s a mentality we’ve been trying to work with and our guys showed it tonight.”
Northeastern lays in second place in Hockey East at 8-5-1 in the conference, two points ahead of third place Providence. For the Huskies now, it’s all about the Beanpot, where they will face the Crimson of Harvard in the first round Monday at 5:00.