No. 12 men’s hockey takes another victory over No. 11 River Hawks, 2-1


Sarah Olender

Sophomore defender Jordan Harris contributed offensively to the Huskies last night with two assists.

Leah Cussen, news staff

After a 3-0 shutout last night, No. 12 men’s hockey had another success over No. 11 UMass Lowell with a final score of 2-1. With senior forward Matt Filipe, sophomore forward Tyler Madden and freshman defenseman Jayden Struble off of the ice tonight due to injuries, the Huskies were tasked with bringing their all to the rink, and they certainly did. 

“Other than obviously adjusting our lines, we didn’t change our game plan,” said NU head coach Jim Madigan. “I thought our older guys helped those younger guys or those guys who hadn’t played a lot of minutes, [they were able to] help them out and calm them down and get them to feel comfortable out there.”

Due to the injuries, the Huskies (17-8-3, 10-7-1 HEA) only dressed 11 forwards while 8 blueliners got the call.

Sophomore defenseman Jordan Harris contributed to both of NU’s goals, with assists on both of them. Every point matters, as the Hockey East Conference is just a few weeks away and the top contenders for the playoffs remain tight. 

“[I’ve] got a lot of history with this league and never I’ve seen it this bunched up,” Madigan said. “It’s going to be a dogfight all the way to the end and you got to just keep battling and take it one game at a time, and that’s been our mindset mentality last few weekends here.”

UMass Lowell (15-9-5, 9-6-4 HEA) came in hot during the first period and Northeastern offense was no match for the energy the River Hawks brought to the rink. At 13:18, Pantano let in a shot on a practically empty net, allowing UMass Lowell sophomore forward Reid Stefanson his first goal of the season. 

“Their first period … Lowell carried the play and we reset in between the intermission [of] first and second,” Madigan said. 

Moving into the second period, the River Hawks lacked precision, but continued working their offense against the Huskies. 

Just six minutes in the period, freshman forward Aidan McDonough missed a perfect opportunity to score, with nothing standing between him and the net. UMass Lowell senior goaltender and Hobey Baker candidate Tyler Wall seemed more determined entering tonight’s game after a 3-0 loss to NU last night. Yet, he ended the night with only a .900 save percentage, as compared to Pantano’s impressive .968. 

Only half a minute later, freshman defenseman Mike Kesselring scored his second point of the season with a one-time shot and assists by Harris and freshman forward Alex Mella, who earned the first point of his career. 

“In the second period, they pushed and we watched,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “It wasn’t a good recipe for success.” 

The game would remain tied for the rest of the second and much of the third, but a 9:26 goal by freshman forward Matt Demelis with assists by Harris and freshman defenseman Jeremie Bucheler put the Huskies at a 2-1 lead almost halfway through the third period. 

Using the same tactic as last night, UMass Lowell subbed a player for an empty net with just over two minutes left in the third. However, the Huskies pushed through and maintained their one-goal lead for another victory over the River Hawks.

“Obviously the lineup was a little altered and I thought our guys had a real gutsy, gritty performance here tonight and at the end, a victory,” Madigan said.

With the home-and-home sweep, the Huskies move into a tie for sixth place in Hockey East. They are just three points away from first and two ahead of ninth place UNH. The Huskies will look to maintain this energy against Boston College Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. and again on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.