By Jill Saftel, News Staff
Cody Ferriero offset his own penalties with a second-period hat trick and a third-period goal to lift Northeastern over the Harvard Crimson in a 5-1 win. Northeastern hadn’t traveled to the Bright Hockey Center to take on the Crimson since Dec. 19, 1999, but the Huskies wasted no time setting the tempo in a fast-paced, physical matchup for their first win at the Bright Hockey Center since Jan. 12, 1978.
“It’s a good win for our club,” head coach Jim Madigan said. “We needed that coming back after the break. From our end, I like the way we played and we got down 1-0 and we haven’t done a real good job this year coming back so I liked the poise and the confidence in the room after the first period.”
Freshman defenseman Colton Saucerman got an early shot on Harvard’s net, but it was blocked by senior forward Luke Greiner. As the Huskies dictated the pace, the Crimson matched their intensity through the first four minutes with even shots. Senior goaltender Chris Rawlings’ first challenge came just a few minutes in with a shot from junior defenseman Danny Fick, but he got on top of it for the save. Rawlings wasn’t so fortunate when junior forward Cody Ferriero went off for high-sticking at 3:53. Harvard capitalized immediately with a goal from freshman forward Brian Hart at the left circle just 28 seconds into the power play.
Down 1-0, the Huskies continued to put the puck on net with a chance for sophomore Josh Manson from the blue line at 12:47 turned away by Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard. Fellow defenseman Drew Ellement saw two chances a minute later but his first opportunity went wide and the second was blocked.
Northeastern’s best chance came when senior captain Vinny Saponari got a handle on the puck behind the net with a clear passing lane to sophomore forward Ludwig Karlsson, positioned by the crease, but Karlsson couldn’t settle the pass and the opportunity was lost.
Ferriero put his team on the penalty kill again at 10:40 with a hooking minor, but Harvard was unable to capitalize the same way they had on their first power play. The first legitimate Crimson chance came from senior defenseman Danny Biega with a slap shot saved by Rawlings. Despite the one-goal deficit, the Huskies exited the first period with an 11-7 shot advantage.
But just as Northeastern fans were cursing Ferriero, he capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage at 1:22 in the second. After his first attempt went wide, patient puck work from Ferriero and Saponari proved successful as the junior shot one by Girard.
He struck again less than two minutes later, again on the power play, with assists from junior forward Braden Pimm and freshman forward Kevin Roy. The offensive onslaught of the second period wasn’t over for the Huskies or for Ferriero as he went for the hat trick, again on the power play, with Biega off for Harvard. That’s the second career hat trick for Ferriero, who scored his first in Vermont on Jan. 27.
“As a team, we decided coming out of the break we needed to get a kick start, so everyone was riled up,” Ferriero said. “I’ve felt a little snake bitten lately but you’ve just got to keep shooting the puck and eventually you’re going to get those bounces.
Three power play goals, nevermind in one period, were certainly out of character for the Huskies who were 8-62 on the power play for the season before taking the ice Saturday night.
Roy notched the Huskies’ fourth goal to seal the deal with his eighth goal of the year. The freshman forward is second among all NCAA rookies in scoring this season. His goal and four assists marked the first time a Husky had scored five points since Mike Morris and Jason Guerriero did so on Mar. 5, 2005. For some perspective, Roy was 11 years old the last time it happened.
“I just think what matters is the game we played. After a good break it’s a new season. Things didn’t go the way we wanted in the first half, but we came back and had a successful start to the new season,” Roy said. “We came out well and everybody did their job.”
But Ferriero wasn’t done for the night, and he offset his four penalties with an equal four goals, getting set up by Roy with 12:19 to play. That prompted a goaltender change for Harvard, opting for freshman Peter Traber in favor of Girard, but the damage was done.
“He only knows one way, and that’s full steam ahead,” Madigan said of Ferriero.
The outing was also the first appearance for freshman defenseman Mike Gunn, who displayed some good hustle to put himself between Hart and the Northeastern net midway through the second period. Madigan said he was pleased with the poise he saw from Gunn in his first outing.
The Huskies will return to Matthews Arena Saturday Jan. 5, 2013 for another non conference matchup against Bentley (6-8-1 overall, 5-5-1 Atlantic Hockey).