Story by Sam Kirshman
BOSTON – Northeastern came out on top tonight after a bit of luck and a lot of hard work. The win comes from a late push in the second, and a great third period from the Huskies. Despite two strong defenses, five goals were pushed across tonight, with the winning number coming from Jayden Struble on what was a lucky deflection on a heave from beyond the blue line.
The first period started out fairly even, with both squads battling hard after a 5-0 blowout victory for Northeastern in the two teams’ matchup the night prior. Maine looked like a completely different animal early, showing much more prowise on both the offensive and defensive ends. Coach Ben Barr decided to switch up the lines and starters, and went with backup Victor Ostman in net. Ostman impressed in the first period, saving all eight shots sent toward him. The Huskies played fairly well, but momentum started to get away from them towards the middle of the period, which ultimately resulted in a goal for Maine. Ben Poisson put home a shot from the slot where he was wide open, after a phenomenal entry pass from his 6’8 teammate, Keenan Suthers. Poisson’s top shelf snipe was the only score of the period.
Despite reckless play from the Black Bears which caused two penalties early in the second period, they maintained the momentum. Both goalies were looking rather strong, until Adam Dawe got a breakaway chance on Devon Levi in the middle of the second. Dawe flawlessly deked Levi, resulting in a very easy looking goal. Shoutout to Dawe, as Levi is not easily fooled at all; Dawe’s goal was one of the most impressive by a Northeastern opponent thus far. The Huskies were seemingly down and out of it, losing momentum as the period dragged on. This was until Justin Hryckowian was able to find a loose rebound in the middle of the ice and rifle it home topside. The unexpected goal gave the Huskies fire as they headed into the break.
Northeastern used this momentum to their advantage in the third. Returning to the form they held in the contest on Friday, the Huskies dominated puck time and pressure. Five minutes in, this aggression resulted in a post ringing shot from Ty Jackson which ricocheted right onto Gunnarwolfe Fontaine’s stick for an easy game tying goal. With momentum fully in swing, the Huskies continued to push. Ostman was beginning to wear down, as his rebounds became less and less controlled, with one of them actually bouncing off the top of his head.
Northeastern’s hard work was finally rewarded with a stroke of luck, when Jayden Struble tried to dump the puck into the corner, it deflected off of a Maine player and went straight into the net unnoticed by Ostman, and many in attendance. The Huskies used this chance to seal the deal, playing lockdown defense to close out the victory.
A tight contest resulted as a mark in the victory column for the Huskies, despite not showing the greatest performance. The Huskies look forward to a home and home set with New Hampshire next weekend.