No. 3 men’s hockey goes undefeated in weekend series against No. 7 Boston University


Photo Courtesy of Ethan Wayne

Eli Curwin, news staff

Coming out of their first loss in the past six games, Northeastern University (9-4-1, 5-3-1) faced a weekend series, Nov. 19-20, against Boston University (4-8-2, 5-3-2), who they had not seen on the ice since March 7, 2020. The last matchup between these two teams, 622 days ago, ended in a 2-1 NU victory.

NU was victorious in both games. On Friday, Nov. 19, the Huskies won 1-0 following junior forward Aidan McDonough’s overtime goal.

Friday’s game was intense from the faceoff. BU’s aggressive defense led to more puck possession time and more shots on goal for the Terriers, outshooting the Huskies 38-16.

Despite the ferocity from BU, the performance from sophomore goaltender Devon Levi led to a Husky shut out. Levi’s 38 saves give him the highest save percentage (.949) in the Hockey East and the second highest nationwide.

In the last seven minutes of regulation, intensity filled BU’s Agganis Arena. Several BU and NU breakaways were halted by both teams’ goalies, forcing the game into overtime. The Terriers took possession early, and after two shots, the Huskies grabbed the puck. A McDonough steal led to an offensive push and an NU game-winning goal.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, the game between BU and NU was recorded as a 2-2 tie, with both NU goals being scored by McDonough. However, through a 2-1 victory in penalty shootouts, NU earned points to move up in the Hockey East.

Following the decisive win, an exuberant Husky crowd packed Matthews Arena. 

NU won the initial faceoff and a minor interference penalty at 15:33 by BU freshman defenseman Ty Gallagher created an early Husky power play. NU took advantage, with shots from senior defenseman Jordan Harris, freshman forward Justin Hryckowian and freshman forward Matt Choupani.

Strong defense from BU sophomore goalie Drew Commesso and BU defenseman Alex Vlasic allowed the Terriers to escape this early challenge unharmed.

NU continued to move the puck well throughout the period, a change from Friday’s offensive strategy. Eight minutes into the period, Husky senior forward Jakov Novak entered the penalty box for high-sticking. NU defended the two-minute penalty kill well, with three consecutive saves from Levi.

As the power play ended, Hryckowian stole the puck and flicked it up the ice to McDonough. McDonough, who had just entered as the penalty kill concluded, raced up the left side of the ice to receive the pass. Swarmed by four BU defenders, McDonough gathered the puck, spun around and whipped the puck into the back of the net, giving NU a quick 1-0 lead.

The DogHouse’s jubilant cheers would soon quiet down. About a minute later, a quick offensive possession led to a shot by Terrier junior defenseman Domenick Fensore. Levi saved the shot, but the rebound was perfectly placed in BU’s possession, where junior forward Jay O’Brien shot and scored. The period ended tied 1-1.

With the Huskies winning the second period faceoff, the first half of the period involved lengthy offensive possessions from both teams, none of which resulted in goals.

About halfway through the period, BU’s offense was in full force. In a two-minute interval, they attempted five shots. Levi remained a brick wall, saving all of them.

The period continued as a back-and-forth battle until NU’s freshman forward Ryan St. Louis was penalized for tripping, resulting in a BU power play. Initially NU defended well, but a faceoff win by BU resulted in a goal seven seconds before the end of the power play. The goal was scored by sophomore forward Dylan Peterson, assisted by junior forward Ethan Phillips and Vlasic.

The period ended with a fight between BU sophomore forward Luke Tuch and NU junior defenseman Jayden Struble. Struble tackled Tuch to the ground, resulting in roughing penalties for both players as the period came to a close.

NU won the third period face off, as Tuch and Struble remained in their penalty boxes. Soon after, a Terrier hooking penalty gave the Huskies a power play. 

Within a little more than 10 seconds, McDonough scored his second goal of the night. After a pass from Jack Hughes, Harris’ shot rebounded off Comesso, setting McDonough up perfectly to light the lamp.

As the period continued, both teams grew anxious to break the tie. Halfway through, the Terriers organized their offense. Through the excellent defense of NU graduate student defensemen Tommy Miller, blocking three shots in 40 seconds, NU came out unscathed.

The Huskies, unable to muster strong offensive possessions, relied on their defense to get them through the period. After a slashing penalty on Hughes, it seemed as though the Terriers could pull away. However, with missed shots and saves by Levi, NU was able to quell BU’s momentum and force the game into overtime.

The five-minute overtime did not produce results for either team. In the final minute, BU held the puck for 45 seconds, but a Levi save would bring the game to penalty shootouts.

Penalty shootouts begin as best of three shots, and if tied, go into sudden death. Levi saved the first shot against him by BU freshman forward Brian Carrabes. NU’s first shot, from junior defensemen Jeremie Bucheler, was a goal. Northeastern led 1-0.

Both teams would go on to miss their next two shots. With NU up 1-0, a missed BU goal would end it. BU’s O’Brien scored the tying goal, and NU missed their next attempt.

After eight rounds of penalty shootout, Hughes would attempt the next shot. 

Weaving through the middle of the ice, Hughes’s shot was initially stopped between the legs of Comesso. Incredibly, the puck managed to sneak through the goalie’s pads and end up in the goal. 

The referees looked at each other in confusion, and eventually signaled to the net, indicating a goal. The crowd’s delayed response echoed through the arena as the team celebrated with Hughes. 

Over the weekend, performances from Levi, Hughes and McDonough stood out, but an overall team effort cemented these games as victories. 

After two sweeps against Providence College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Northeastern will have two home games against Long Island University. Long Island will attempt to defeat the red hot Huskies who are on a six game win streak and are first in the Hockey East.