By Jordan Walsh
BURLINGTON, VT. – After a disappointing loss last week that ended the team’s eight-game unbeaten streak, the Northeastern Huskies (16-5-1) seized an opportunity to rebound against the slumping University of Vermont Catamounts (3-14-2) at the Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington.
UVM entered Tuesday night’s contest sitting second-to-last in the Hockey East standings, holding a 2-6-2 conference record. The Catamounts had lost their last four games, leaving them dead last in the Division I PairWise Rankings.
The Huskies jumped on the Catamounts early, with senior defenseman Jordan Harris firing a one-timer from the top of the right circle and netting his third goal of the season, just over six minutes into the first period.
Sophomore forward Ty Jackson had an excellent sequence to set up the goal, stealing the puck from Vermont, entering the offensive zone, and evading the Catamount defenders to earn the secondary assist. Junior defenseman Jeremie Bucheler was also credited with an assist on the play.
Vermont applied more offensive pressure in the second frame, but Huskies goaltender Devon Levi stood firm, making a few highlight-reel saves in the process, including an incredible stop on a cross-ice pass to deny a one-timer.
Northeastern would end up being the winner of the second frame, as junior forward Aidan McDonough ripped a shot on the power play, again from the top of the right circle, to score his 16th goal of the season and extend the Huskies’ lead to two. Forwards Justin Hryckowian and Sam Colangelo would add the assists on McDonough’s goal.
Colangelo added his own score in the third, burying a goal point-blank off a centering pass from Jackson, who earned his second assist of the night.
With less than four minutes left in regulation, Hryckowian tipped a shot from sophomore forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine to score the second power play goal of the game and seal the win for the Huskies.
The Catamounts still fought in the final few minutes, hoping to avoid being shut out for the first time in four games, but Levi and the Husky defenders did not blink, closing out the 4-0 Northeastern victory.
Levi’s ninth shutout of the season is the most in Division I, as this performance broke a tie for first place with Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay. Levi’s save percentage improved to .955, keeping him in first place in that statistical category as well.
Northeastern head coach Jerry Keefe praised the performance of his netminder postgame.
“I thought Dev was really solid for us tonight,” Keefe said. “He made a couple big saves at the right time for us. In the second period I thought [Vermont] made a hard push and he made a couple of big saves that gave us a chance to keep a two-goal lead going into the third period.”
The Huskies will next take to the ice Friday night in Amherst, in the first game of a home-and-home series with UMass. WRBB will be on the air for the second night of the back to back when the Huskies and Minutemen face off at Matthews Arena. Mike Puzzanghera and Matty Wasserman will be on the call with coverage starting at 7:30 p.m.