No. 14 men’s hockey earn two Hockey East wins in weekend opener against Merrimack


Sarah Olender

Huskies earn two wins against Merrimack in season opener by 8-2 and 6-3.

Leah Cussen, city editor

In their first series of the season, No. 14 men’s hockey finished with 14 total goals, compared to Merrimack College’s five, with final scores of 8-2 and 6-3 in each game. With their first two Hockey East wins, the Huskies are looking to boost their ranking and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in their season.  

“I thought all our lines play well and contribute offensively,” said head coach Jim Madigan after the first game. “I think we got four quality lines, regardless of [being labeled] one through four.”

Northeastern (2-0-0, 2-0-0 HEA) saw a lot of firsts from its impressive freshman and sophomore classes. Freshman forward Steven Agriogianis collected a total of five points over the two games, including two goals. Sophomore defenseman Tyler Spott and freshman forward Ty Jackson both scored their first career goals as well, and sophomore goaltender Connor Murphy saw his first two career wins. 


Huskies beat Merrimack in home opener, 8-2

As soon as the puck hit the ice at 6 p.m. Saturday, it was clear the Huskies had been waiting to get back to competition. 

NU’s first goal of the night came from Agriogianis at 14:15 in the first period, with assists from sophomore defenseman Michael Kesselring and junior defenseman Jordan Harris. Not only was it the Huskies’ first goal of the season, it was also Agriogianis’ first career goal.  

“It feels good. I mean, I’ll enjoy it for the night,” Agriogianis said after the game. “Obviously, Jordan Harris made a great play and like I said, I’ll enjoy it but a quick turnaround for tomorrow we got to get ready.”

Just over a minute later, Harris scored the Huskies’ second goal — and first of four power-play goals — of the night. A tic-tac-toe play that saw assists from redshirt senior Grant Jozefek and senior forward Zach Solow allowed Harris to sink the puck into the upper righthand corner of the net. 

Three more NU goals in the first half of the second period proved that Merrimack’s (1-3-0, 0-2-0 HEA) sophomore goaltender Troy Kobryn struggled to keep up with the Huskies’ offensive work. 

At 3:03, Solow’s shot went right through Kobryn’s five-hole, bringing the Huskies up to a 3-0 lead. He was assisted by sophomore forward TJ Walsh, who was playing his first game since Jan. 6 and earned his first point since Dec. 7 of last year. 

The next goal provided another first for the Huskies — a first career goal for Spott at 5:53, with assists from Solow and freshman forward Dylan Jackson.

“I think there was a wide shot and Dylan Jackson made a great play off the wall, found me in the middle. I saw a ton of open ice,” Solow said. “I saw the whites of [Spott’s] eyes lit up and I just put it into an area for him and he did the rest. He put that thing through the net.”

Another Northeastern power-play goal came from Harris at 8:35 with an assist by Jozefek. The goal was reviewed as Jozefek may have been offsides for the play, but it was ultimately not overturned, bringing the Huskies to 5-0. 

At this point, Merrimack decided to take Kobryn out of the net, putting freshman goaltender Zachary Borgiel in his place. Not long after, the Huskies still managed to score again, giving sophomore forward Neil Shea his second career goal and Agriogianis and Spott their first career assists. 

As the period came to a close, the Warriors scored their first goal of the night. Merrimack senior defenseman Dominic Dockery managed to get the puck past Murphy, bringing the score to 6-1. 

The third period saw a lot more physicality as tensions grew between the two teams. At 17:00, Agriogianis capitalized on an NU power play for his second goal of the evening with assists from Walsh and sophomore defenseman Jeremie Bucheler. 

Not long after, sophomore forward Riley Hughes scored his second career goal unassisted. 

The final goal of the night came from Merrimack freshman forward Conor Lovett, bringing the final score to 8-2 for a Northeastern win. While Murphy let in two goals throughout the game, he still ended the night with a .909 save percentage and the first win of his career. 


A satisfying sweep for the Huskies, 6-3

After losing to NU in the first game of the home-and-home series, Merrimack was ready to dominate at their home rink. 

While NU was able to kill Merrimack’s first power play of the night, they had less success during their second. A 5:07 goal by freshman forward Alex Jeffries gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead soon into the first period. 

Another power-play goal by Jeffries at 10:54 gave Merrimack a 2-0 lead. Throughout the first period, the Warriors continuously cleared their zone, not giving the Huskies a chance to shoot. 

However, the tides turned for the Huskies when they got their first power-play opportunity at 13:03 in the first period. In their first game against Merrimack, the Huskies finished four for eight on the power play. So when they got the opportunity in their second game, they wasted no time attempting to cut the Warriors’ lead in half. Hughes scored his second goal of the season, with assists by Kesselring and sophomore defenseman Jayden Struble.  

The Warriors started the second period on a power play and hoped to increase their one-goal lead against NU. But only seconds after Merrimack’s power play expired, NU got their own chance at a power-play goal — and they did not disappoint. Jozefek evened up the score at 4:20 with his first goal of the season and assists from Harris and sophomore forward Aidan McDonough. At a tied score of 2-2, all four goals were made on power plays. 

Another power play for NU a few minutes later did not see the scoreboard change. But two seconds after the power play expired, Solow gave the Huskies the one-goal lead they were looking for with assists from Harris and freshman forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, who earned his first career assist. Immediately after the goal, however, Solow was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty, though it wasn’t made clear what warranted the decision to send him to the box. 

With just 2.3 seconds left in the second period, McDonough worked the puck past Borgiel, giving the Huskies a secure two-goal lead over the Warriors. With the assist, Agriogianis earned his fourth point of the season, and junior defenseman Julian Kislin earned his first. 

A major and game misconduct penalty on Fontaine gave Merrimack a 5-minute power play to start the third period. The Huskies killed the penalty, and Murphy offered three strong saves, ultimately finishing the game with 27 saves and a .900 save percentage. A penalty on sophomore forward Ryan Nolan cut the Merrimack power play short as the two teams finished up with a 4-on-4. 

Ty Jackson’s first career goal came at 6:05 with assists from Agriogianis and Struble, giving the Huskies a commanding three-goal lead. The lead was trimmed, though, as less than 20 seconds later Lovett scored for the Warriors. 

With two minutes left in the game, the Warriors left their net empty, giving the Huskies a perfect chance at another goal. With an assist by Walsh, McDonough provided the final goal of the night, bringing the score to 6-3 for a second Northeastern win. 

“Winning in this league is difficult, and to sweep a team in this league is even that much more challenging,” Madigan said. “We found out a little more about our team here tonight.” 

After two victories against Merrimack, The Huskies now look to their next series against UVM Dec. 26 and 27.