by Joe Barbito
BOSTON, MA – On the back of another immaculate performance from sophomore goaltender Cayden Primeau, Northeastern defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats 4-0 to end the season and secure home ice in the Hockey East playoffs.
Junior forward Biagio Lerario scored two goals early in the second period to set the tone of the game. Primeau made a whopping 32 saves, and senior goaltender Ryan Ruck was able to finish the final four minutes of regulation, making three stops along the way.
The first period would come and go without a tally, and the only notable play from that period came when UNH hit iron about two minutes into regulation. After a rather lengthy review the referees determined that the Wildcats did not convert, and the game remained scoreless. Junior defenseman Jeremy Davies, recently named the national Player of the Month, was sent to the box for tripping at 18:14, but the Husky penalty kill stood tall, ultimately going 4-4 on the evening.
Scoring would finally open at 3:26 of the first period. Lerario weaved his way in front of the net and collected the loose change from a shot from freshman defenseman Jordan Harris. The goal was Lerario’s second of the season and his first since October 27 against St. Cloud State.
Lerario would light the lamp again at 6:10 when he tipped a feed from senior defenseman Eric Williams. Williams was nearly parallel to the goal line and tossed the puck into the space in front of sophomore goaltender Mike Robinson. Lerario just got enough of it to tip it past Robinson and make it a 2-0 game.
The next goal would come at 10:29 of the second off some pretty tic-tac-toe passing. Davies picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and slid it forward to freshman forward Tyler Madden on the left side of the crease. Madden then flipped the puck cross-crease to senior forward Liam Pecararo who banged home the one-timer, making it a three-goal game.
Junior forward John Picking put the cherry on top of the sundae with a short-handed goal at 11:46 of the third. Picking snuck his way past the defense and went top-shelf to put this one to bed.
Northeastern will face Maine in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs next weekend in a best-of-three series.