Lund hat trick sends Northeastern to tie with rivals Boston College in buzzer-beating comeback


Kayla Shiao

Freshman forward Cam Lund celebrates scoring a goal against Boston College.

Ariana Ottrando, news staff

Coming off a three-game winning streak, the No. 15 Northeastern men’s hockey team (6-3-3, 5-3-2 HE) tied crosstown rival Boston College (3-4-2, 3-3-1 HE) in an intense battle fought to the final buzzer last Friday. After 65 minutes of play with a 4-4 game, the Huskies secured the extra conference point in a 1-0 shootout. 

To start the first period of play, Northeastern came off the bench eager to get on the board before BC, putting up six shots to BC’s two in the first four minutes. NU was successful at 4:01 when freshman forward Cam Lund jumped on the loose puck in front of the Eagles’ crease and tipped it past BC graduate goalie Mitch Benson. Lund’s even-strength goal was assisted by freshman forward Jack Williams. 

“[Scoring] felt great,” Lund said. “I haven’t been scoring as much, but working in practice everyday, just working on my shot, doing all the little things to improve.”

However, Northeastern wouldn’t hold onto the one-goal lead for long. Just over six minutes into the game, senior defenseman Jeremie Bucheler received a two-minute minor for slashing and sent BC to its first power play. 

With 45 seconds left of the one-man advantage, BC freshman forward Cutter Gauthier picked up the puck off a block by freshman defenseman Hunter McDonald and slid it past junior goaltender Devon Levi from the right faceoff dot for an even game at one. BC junior forwards Trevor Kuntar and Colby Ambrosio were credited with the assists. 

With two more power plays in the remainder of the first — one for each team — momentum stayed in BC’s corner after the tying goal. Shots ended at 10-15 in favor of BC, and the score stood at 1-1 heading into first intermission. 

The second period served as a testament to the Huskies’ and Eagles’ special teams. With five penalties in the 20-minute stretch, momentum and offensive zone time bounced between the rivals. 

In the midst of creating good scoring opportunities in BC’s defensive zone, the Huskies’ offensive rushes came to a halt due to a five-minute major and ejection of sophomore forward Matt Choupani. An overlapping hooking minor on Kuntar led to two minutes of four-on-four play, but the Eagles dominated possession. 

When BC returned to the power play, Kuntar took the backdoor slot and buried his second attempt in the far corner under Levi’s glove to take the 1-2 lead with just over one minute left in the period. BC won the period with shots ending 20-28 and the Huskies down by one going into second intermission. 

The Huskies were struggling offensively and taking too many penalties, further delaying any quality scoring opportunities from being made. 

The odds were quickly stacking against Northeastern as BC scored again at 4:43 into the third period, increasing its lead to 1-3. Off a rush from the neutral zone, the Eagles shot from the right faceoff circle and left post until the team’s third effort finally beat Levi in the top right corner. The first two attempts stemmed from BC graduate forwards Cam Burke and Christian O’Neill, but senior forward Liam Izyk came away with the goal. 

Northeastern created a few high-quality chances following BC’s third goal, but couldn’t finish to cut their two-goal lead. In fact, the Huskies’ game took another turn for the worse halfway through the third.

Gauthier took the puck through the neutral zone and past NU’s defensive line and finished on the backhand in the small pocket over Levi’s blocker at 10:28 for his second goal of the night. Gauthier increased BC’s lead to three with help from senior defenseman and captain Marshall Warren and freshman defenseman Lukas Gustafsson. 

Down 1-4 with ten minutes left in regulation, Northeastern needed to respond hard and fast — and they did. 

Within the same minute of BC’s fourth goal and the final seconds of NU’s short power play — due to overlapping penalties — sophomore forward Justin Hryckowian skated up the middle, dangled between Eagles and dropped the puck back to graduate forward and assistant captain Jakov Novak in the left faceoff circle. As play returned to even strength, Novak found a gap in BC’s defense and sent the puck into the bottom right corner past Benson at 11:24, making it a 2-4 game. Novak’s goal was assisted by Hryckowian and senior forward and assistant captain Riley Hughes.

Breaking up the offensive-zone momentum once again, NU was back on the penalty kill when senior forward and captain Aidan McDonough took a slashing penalty. The Huskies were able to kill it off, but the team’s chances to turn the game around were dwindling.

“[The amount of penalties] was definitely not a positive for us tonight,” head coach Jerry Keefe said. “We took way too many penalties, offensive zone penalties [and] … I thought that had the biggest impact on the game against us tonight. So that’s going to have to be addressed.”

With roughly three minutes left of the game, Northeastern needed to break out. 

Lund initiated a forecheck up the ice and into BC’s defensive zone where he snapped a pass through two Eagles over to Williams at the right faceoff dot. Williams then found junior forward Gunnarwolfe Fontaine by the crease for a tip-in attempt, which bounced off Benson’s pad and into the air. Attacking the net just in time, Lund batted the biscuit out of the air into the top right corner for his second goal of the night at 17:53 into the third frame.

The goal was reviewed for high sticking, but stood, bumping the Huskies’ goal count to three and cutting BC’s lead to one. 

Northeastern was back in the game — though the team was still down by one with two minutes left in regulation and desperate for a tying goal. Levi was pulled at 18:11 for an extra attacker, and the Huskies got to work.

“I think there was no quit,” Williams said. “Once [Novak] scored that goal, I think everybody on our bench knew. We had energy, we were still going. There was no quit on our bench tonight.”

Taking shots at every chance the team had, Northeastern was racing against the clock, but nothing was sticking. After an icing call on BC, the last faceoff was in NU’s offensive zone with four seconds remaining. 

Off puck drop, Hryckowian won the draw back to McDonough, whose second effort flew under Benson’s pads and got lost behind him. The Huskies crashed the net, and Lund tapped it over the red line with fractions of a second to spare.

“I thought I got it across in time,” Lund said. “I just did what I was supposed to — go to the net — and the puck popped out right there and just put it in. It was definitely right down to the last second, but it’s definitely a great feeling.”

In buzzer-beating fashion, Lund’s third goal was also under review but stood for the hat trick and sent the game into overtime. 

“[Lund’s] obviously an extremely talented player,” Keefe said. “We’ve been hard on him, too, because we want to make sure that we’re holding him accountable to make him the best player he can be. And he’s responding, so good for him, because it showed what kind of special player that he is tonight. He was big time for us tonight.”

BC’s ending result was also unexpected, but not rewarding. 

“You gotta learn how to close games out,” BC head coach Greg Brown said. “We didn’t execute down the stretch, didn’t do the simple things to keep the lead. There’s probably three or four things that have to go wrong and not get finished to get a chance like that, [and the Huskies] were able to pull it off.”

Levi was back in net and McDonough, Hryckowian and senior defenseman Jayden Struble started in front of him to start the three-on-three overtime. Although Northeastern created more scoring opportunities than BC, the five-minute period stood scoreless and ended in a tie for the teams’ second matchup this season. 

“I like our three-on-three overtime,” Keefe said. “I thought we had some really good looks. We had plenty of opportunities there.” 

The pattern of pucks not finding the back of the net spilled into the shootout, where the only goal came from the first star of the game: Lund. With four goals for the night, he solidified the extra conference point for the Huskies.

“A game like that really shows you what type of kids you have on your team, what type of character [you have],” Keefe said. “That’s the thing that you’re most proud of as a coach, just seeing your guys battle all the way till the end. Be able to be down 4-1 and tie that game up and be able to win in the shootout.” 

The second game of the double-header Saturday night in Chestnut Hill was another hard fought battle by the Huskies. Without Lund or another Husky on a fiery streak, Northeastern struggled to stand neck-and-neck with BC on their home ice in Conte Forum. NU never took the lead, falling 0-2 to BC in the first period and 2-3 in the third period for the final score. 

Williams and Fontaine were the goal scorers, and Levi finished the night with 33 saves. Due to a fight that broke out post-game, McDonough and Struble were suspended for one game and will not dress on Friday. BC’s Kuntar and sophomore defenseman Cade Alami were also suspended from their next game due to the incident.

The Huskies will look to take back conference points in another home-and-home series this weekend against the rival Boston University Terriers. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 18. in Agganis Arena.