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Huskies beat Maine 2-1 in OT quarterfinal thriller

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Huskies beat Maine 2-1 in OT quarterfinal thriller

NU forwards Tyler Madden (9) and Liam Pecararo (39) scramble for a loose puck in front of the Maine net.

NU forwards Tyler Madden (9) and Liam Pecararo (39) scramble for a loose puck in front of the Maine net.

Muhammad Elarbi

NU forwards Tyler Madden (9) and Liam Pecararo (39) scramble for a loose puck in front of the Maine net.

Muhammad Elarbi

Muhammad Elarbi

NU forwards Tyler Madden (9) and Liam Pecararo (39) scramble for a loose puck in front of the Maine net.

Sofie Kato, deputy sports editor

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The Huskies exited the first best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal game at Matthews Arena Friday with an ever-physical win, 2-1 against the Maine Black Bears in overtime.

This postseason, the Huskies are a No. 3 seed for the first time since the 1988-89 season. Finishing the regular season with wins in six of their last seven games, they skated into the series on a hot streak as they look to advance to the semifinals for the third time in the last four years and the 10th time in program history.

The Huskies faced a scare when the Bears almost scored the first goal with 5:44 left in the first but it was called off due to an illegal kick. Both the Huskies and the Bears got a power play only five minutes into the second period, with star goalie Cayden Primeau making pivotal saves in net for NU.

With an assist from senior forward Lincoln Griffin at 8:29 of the second, freshman forward Tyler Madden slipped a shot between the legs of the goalie, opening the scoring for Northeastern.

“He’s a playmaker, he wants to make plays and he wants the puck in key situations and he doesn’t shy away from the puck,” said head coach Jim Madigan of Madden.

After blocking a shot from the Bears during the second period, Madden skated off the ice, limping into the locker room. Soon after that Maine defenseman Brady Keeper nailed in a goal for the Bears to tie the game at 1-1.

The rest of the second saw several penalties, but no goals were made off of the power plays.

Early in the third, senior forward Patrick Schule hit one off the iron as the back-and-forth game continued. Defenseman Alexis Binner of the Bears had a shorthanded shot that was saved by Primeau. Primeau ended the night with 41 saves and Maine goalie Jeremy Swayman ended with 30.

“I mean they are both really good goalies, besides in numbers they are both sophomores and came into the league together,” Madigan said of Swayman and Primeau. “They faced each other an awful lot and I think both teams probably play to the strength of their goalies. They give their teams confidence and that’s what both goalies did tonight.”

Players were seen pushing each other, slamming into walls, tripping and holding each other throughout the physical game.

The game remained deadlocked for most of the third, with one of the teams needing a big play to come out on top but neither getting it. Shot after shot continued to fly but nothing was going in. Game one of this series went to overtime.

With 15:45 left in the extra period, sophomore forward Austin Goldstein shot on a 2-on-1 and scored, giving the Huskies the 2-1 win. The goal was Goldstein’s first of the season, and it could not have come at a bigger moment.

“One of our defensemen just chipped the puck, and I saw a lane and I was kind of left and I took it to the net and luckily it found a way to go in,” Goldstein said of his winning goal.  “It was nice, it’s been a long year, and to be rewarded in that way is a very big blessing.”

The Huskies face Maine again Saturday at 7 p.m. A win would clinch the series and send the Huskies to the semi-final; a loss would trigger a decisive game three on Sunday.

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