By: Josh Brown
BOSTON – For outside observers, Saturday night looked like a trap game for the No. 8 Northeastern men’s hockey team.
Not only did the Huskies have to endure a two-hour bus ride home after suffering a 3-0 loss to Massachusetts on Friday night, but they were without the services of Jeremy Davies (one-game suspension) and Grant Jozefek (upper-body injury).
It did not matter.
Dylan Sikura scored just 31 seconds into the game and Nolan Stevens recorded a hat trick as the Huskies cruised to a 5-0 win in front of 2,131 fans at Matthews Arena.
Freshman Cayden Primeau got the start in net for Northeastern (15-6-3, 11-4-1), making 19 saves on the evening.
The win moves Northeastern back in sole possession of first place in Hockey East. It is also the sixth consecutive home win for the Huntington Hounds.
After winning the opening faceoff, Stevens controlled the puck on the right-side boards in the Northeastern offensive zone. The captain dished a pass down to sophomore Biagio Lerario on the goal line, who found a cutting Sikura for the early tally.
Nolan Stevens pushed the Huskies’ lead to 2-0 just 46 seconds into the second period. With the puck loose in the neutral zone and a lot of open ice to skate, Stevens narrowly got around UMass defenseman Jake McLaughlin and used one hand to flip the puck over the outstretched glove of goalie Matt Murray (28 saves).
The goal was Stevens’ 100th career point at Northeastern.
Stevens recorded his 101st point at the 17:07 mark of the period, notching his second goal of the game on a snipe between the circles. After a receiving a pass from Sikura at the top of the left dot, Stevens walked untouched into the slot and placed the puck in the top left corner of the net.
Brandon Schultz scored his first career goal at the 8:34 mark of the third period on a weak-side feed from John Picking and Nolan Stevens completed the hat trick at 12:30 on a power play strike to put the game out of reach.
The Huskies will be back in action next weekend when they take on No. 10 Providence in a home-and-home series beginning in Matthews Arena on Friday night. WRBB will have complete coverage.