by Matt Neiser
Coming off a 4-1 win at UMass Lowell on Friday, the No.18 Northeastern men’s hockey team had no time to rest on their laurels. With No. 2 St. Cloud State Huskies coming to town, the Huskies knew they were in for a dogfight, and the game did not disappoint.
Despite facing 2-0 deficit in the second period, the Huskies rallied, scoring three unanswered goals to seal a massive 3-2 victory and improve their record to 4-2.
St. Cloud took control of the game early, grabbing a 1-0 lead five minutes in through Blake Lizotte. A goal by Jack Ahcan with five to go in the second period doubled that lead, and it looked for a second like St. Cloud might run away with it.
Spoiler Alert: they didn’t. Senior captain Eric Williams put Northeastern on the board with 1:38 to go in the period, and the Huskies never looked back from there. Biagio Lerario evened the score less than two minutes into the third, firmly placing the momentum in Northeastern’s favor.
What ensued was a hectic, back and forth third period with both teams finding quality chances to grab the lead. At one point, AJ Villella crashed into St. Cloud netminder Jeff Smith, leading to a Northeastern “goal” that was eventually waved off for goaltender interference. Both Smith and Northeastern sophomore Cayden Primeau had fantastic games in net, saving 29 and 25 shots apiece. Primeau earned the 2nd star of the night for his efforts, including a game-saving snag on a point blank shot with only a few minutes left.
Buoyed by Primeau’s excellence, Northeastern kept the pressure on St. Cloud throughout the period. With 6:25 to go in the game Grant Jozefek finally broke the stalemate, firing past Smith to give Northeastern a 3-2 lead. St. Cloud gave their best effort to get back into the game, but the Northeastern defense refused to crack.
The Huskies have a few days to recuperate from the frenetic night, with their next bout coming Thursday night against local rival Boston University.