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Huskies send Hawks up river

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LOWELL – No matter what happens tomorrow night, the Northeastern Huskies will spend another day in the eighth and final playoff spot following a 4-1 win over Lowell in front of 2, 208 at Tsongus Arena.

The Huskies, who came into the contest searching for a way to end their nine game Hockey East losing streak and looking for their first road win in the conference, got the benefit of some strange bounces, something they haven’t been used to.

‘?We can’t be worried about that,’ said Northeastern coach Bruce Crowder.

However, thanks to Keni Gibson’s 32 saves, NU will spend another night in the final playoff spot.

‘?When he’s on his game, he makes it look easy,’ said Crowder. ‘?He was great for us tonight.’

‘?It does feel easy on nights like tonight,’ said Gibson. ‘?We really played well, we got some bounces and I saw a lot of pucks coming at me.’

In part, Gibson made some spectacular saves in net, but it was the defense, which so often has left Gibson to fend for himself, that took the credit from the team. NU allowed just three odd-man rushes including two in the first period, and never let Lowell set up on the power play, a problem the Riverhawks have had for the last two months (they haven’t scored on the man advantage.

‘?Our problem is our team doesn’t have the character or the drive when they are knocked down to get back up again,’ said Lowell coach Blaise McDonald. ‘?Give credit to Northeastern. They did all the things I wish we could do. They crash the net, they take advantage of turnovers and they work hard. They prepared well tonight.’

The Huskies would increase their lead to 2-0 when Joe Santilli, playing on the first line in place of injured Mike Morris, ripped a shot from right in front. Dominic Smart appeared to make the save, but an extra effort by Santilli followed by a non-whistle from referee Ed Hache allowed for the 2-0 lead. The Riverhawks came right back with one of their own just 30 seconds later when Bobby Robbins took a slap shot from the top of the face off circle to cut the lead in half.

‘?It’s so easy playing on the line with Jay and Mike (Jason Guerriero and Mike Ryan),’ said Santilli. ‘?You get so many chances when you play on that line.’

The Huskies took the two-goal lead right back when Jared Mudryk rebounded the apparent goal by Steve Sanders. Sanders’ shot hit the cross-bar and shot right back out at Mudryk.

Northeastern started the scoring in the first period when Brian Tudrick skated past the Lowell bench on the near side and got past the Lowell defense and shipped a pass across to Trevor Reschny to put NU ahead 1-0. Reschny, who at that point had scored NU’s last three Hockey East goals, has scored four goals in NU’s last six contests.

The Huskies could have Eric Ortlip back in the lineup. According to Crowder, Ortlip could be back as early as tomorrow night’s game at Matthews Arena. According to Crowder, Morris won’t return for at least another three weeks. Morris is to meet with a neurologist next week and his concussion has gone from a grade-2 to a grade-3; a far more severe concussion.

The student newspaper of Northeastern University
Huskies send Hawks up river