by Joe Barbito
PROVIDENCE, RI – It was one of the roughest possible endings for an enchanted season for the Huskies. Northeastern surrendered five goals to the Big Red and will be watching the rest of the NCAA tournament from home.
Cornell got off to a hot start with a goal just about four minutes into the game, and never seemed to take their foot off the gas. Despite the similar statistics in shots and faceoffs, the Big Red were able to play a smarter heavier game that forced sophomore goaltender Cayden Primeau to make mistakes and prevent the Northeastern offense from generating many grade A chances.
Scoring opened up at 4:02 of the first period when senior forward Beau Starrett fired a wrist shot from the slot unimpeded on Primeau. The sophomore appeared to have made the initial save but was not able to clamp down quickly enough and let a dribbler get past him.
The Huskies would go on the power play twice in the first period and generated very little from top to bottom. The size of Cornell seemed to be a difference maker as they could put their sticks in the lanes and prevent Northeastern from getting any sort of tic-tac-toe passing going.
Less than a minute into the second period, senior forward Mitch Vanderlaan entered the zone and positioned himself well in the slot working past junior defenseman Ryan Shea. Vanderlaan roofed a wrister to beat Primeau and make it 2-0.
Nine minutes later sophomore forward Morgan Barron finally capitalized on all of his offensive zone time with a beautiful wraparound goal to make it a three goal game. Cornell widened their margin of victory to four when freshman forward Michael Regush 12th goal of the year.
The lone Northeastern goal came on the power play when senior forward Liam Pecararo hurled a wrist shot to the short side of sophomore goaltender Austin McGrath. The goal gave Pecararo 30 points on the season.
Cornell would get the last laugh when sophomore forward Brendan Locke beat Primeau at the 4:34 mark of the third. The Huskies fell flat after that and skated the game out with little gusto.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but looking back on it we’re the greatest team to ever wear the Husky logo, and that’s gonna be a feeling that’s going to last a lifetime,” said sophomore forward Zach Solow when asked about the make up of this team. “Hopefully it’s broken pretty soon.”
Northeastern hockey will be back in the fall. Until then, thanks for following along with WRBB all season long.