The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

Huskies continue hot streak with statement 6-3 win over Maine

Justin+Hryckowian+scores+the+game-winning+goal+in+Friday+nights+game+against+Maine.+The+captain+also+tallied+an+assist+in+Hunter+McDonalds+goal+earlier+in+the+contest.
Brian Daniels
Justin Hryckowian scores the game-winning goal in Friday night’s game against Maine. The captain also tallied an assist in Hunter McDonald’s goal earlier in the contest.

After coming off a huge overtime win against No. 3 Boston University Tuesday night, the Northeastern men’s hockey team (11-12-2, 6-11-0 HE) completed back-to-back upsets with a 6-3 victory over No. 6/5 University of Maine (17-5-2, 9-4-1 HE). 

The teams skated back and forth in the opening minutes, with neither team dominating possession of the puck. Maine had a few good looks at the net, but freshman goaltender Cameron Whitehead, tying his season high in saves against BU, looked off to a  strong start.

In the 12th minute, senior left wing Alex Campbell passed to sophomore center Jack Williams, who was entering the Huskies’ attack zone. The Black Bears were slow to get their defense settled, allowing Northeastern to score. Williams slid the puck toward the net and swiped it left to freshman right wing Dylan Hryckowian. Senior goaltender Victor Ostman crept to his left, preparing for Hryckowian’s swing, but the rookie waited for Ostman to leave the net wide open and snuck the puck right behind his back. 

With less than three minutes left in the first period, Maine senior right wing Donavan Villeneuve-Houle was sent to the box for hooking, giving Northeastern its first power play of the night. The Huskies got five shots off during the two minutes, with junior center Justin Hryckowian missing one by inches from in front of the net. The power play and the period ended with the Huskies up 1-0. 

Maine evened things up two minutes into the second period. As the Huskies’ offense worked to set into their offensive zone, graduate student defenseman Matthew Staudacher tried to pass to graduate student forward Matt DeMelis. However, out of nowhere, freshman left wing Bradly Nadeau intercepted the pass and raced toward Whitehead. With no help, Whitehead could not make the save. Northeastern’s lousy turnover led to Nadeau’s goal tying it up 1-1. 

After the goal, the Black Bears gained momentum and kept the puck in their attack zone. In the seventh minute, Maine got its first power play when junior right wing Matt Choupani was called for holding. While the Black Bears did not capitalize on the power play, they consistently got good looks at the net and dominated possession.

With three minutes left in the period, Maine took its first lead of the game. In Northeastern’s zone, miscommunications between the Huskies led to scrambles for the puck. After the Huskies failed to gain possession, the puck slid to Maine junior center Cole Hanson. Unassisted, Hanson skated to the net and swung high. The puck flew over Whitehead and put Maine up 2-1. 

Two minutes later, Northeastern had a chance to even up the score when sophomore defenseman Luke Antonacci was penalized for holding Dylan Hryckowian. However, as the last 30 seconds of the power play carried over into the third period, the Huskies could not convert. 

Going into the third period, the Huskies had much to figure out. In the last 20 minutes of play, Maine took 30 shots compared to Northeastern’s 15. The Huskies’ defense was tired, as the offense could not keep the puck in their attack zone for more than one or two shots at a time. 

“We got to dig into this last 20,” head coach Jerry Keefe said he told the team in the locker room. “There’s much time left to go in the game; there’s no panic.” 

Just over two minutes in, it was a 4-on-4 game after penalties on Antonacci for hooking and Walsh for embellishment were called. In the Huskies’ attack zone, sophomore defenseman Vinny Borgesi passed across the ice to sophomore defenseman Hunter McDonald in the left faceoff circle. McDonald swung hard and made his first goal of the season; it was tied up 2-2. 

As the penalties ended, Northeastern was granted an enormous advantage. Black Bear graduate student left wing Ben Poisson was called for contact to the head, and after reviewing the penalty, it was deemed a five-minute major. The 5-on-4 advantage and extended power-play time turned things around for the Huskies. 

Two minutes into the power play, Northeastern got its first goal of many to come in the next three minutes. Captain Justin Hryckowian guided the puck toward the net and quickly passed right to Campbell, setting him up for a perfect swing. The puck flew past Ostman and reclaimed the Huskies’ lead 3-2. 

Twenty-four seconds later, Campbell took another shot at the net, but it deflected off Ostman. However, as Ostman fell to the left and the puck slid to the right, Justin Hryckowian was right there to shove it in, extending the lead 4-2. 

Williams, who has scored in every Northeastern win this season, was hungry to get his own goal during the power play. Willaims passed to Borgesi near the center ice from the left faceoff circle. Borgesi slid it back to him as Williams set up for a shot. Williams took his swing and continued his streak of goals to bring the Huskies up 5-2. 

In an effort to close the gap, Maine head coach Ben Barr pulled Ostman with five minutes to go to give the Black Bears an extra skater. The Huskies’ defense held Maine off until the last minute of the third period. Freshman right wing Josh Nadeau slid the puck to Hanson, who swung and made his second of the game. 

The Huskies were still working even with the score 5-3 and only seconds left in the period. The puck reached Northeastern’s attack zone as Maine rushed to get it away from their empty net. A bad pass let Borgesi snatch the puck and make an easy swing into the net. The goal finished the game and gave the Huskies their fourth win in a row, the final score 6-3. 

Keefe said that even though the Beanpot is one of the pinnacles of the season, the team was strictly focused on beating Maine. 

“Two huge [wins]; I can’t stress that enough,” Keefe said. “I don’t think the Beanpot has come into our team’s minds. We knew how big this game was, and we weren’t looking ahead. Now, the excitement can start to begin.” 

Northeastern, a team that’s also faced several injuries this year, will face Harvard in the Beanpot semifinals. 

“I think our guys have a lot of respect for Harvard,” Keefe said. “They’re a talented lineup with a heck of a coach. Anybody can win in the Beanpot.” 

Alex Campbell swerves around a Maine defender. The Huskies beat the Black Bears 6-3 in the pair’s first meeting of the season.

Justin Hryckowian explained how going into the Beanpot with a four-game winning streak gives the team a huge boost. 

“It’s the perfect time to get hot. It’s a lot easier when you start seeing the results go your way,” he said. “When you are doing the right things, and you still end up losing, it’s tough to believe in it. But as of late, we started getting the results.”

After moving up to No. 6 in the Hockey East rankings with the win over Maine, Northeastern hopes to make it to the Beanpot finals in their matchup with  Harvard (4-13-3, 4-8-3 ECAC) Monday at 5 p.m. 

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