By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – The Northeastern Huskies men’s ice hockey team began 2013 with a crushing three-goal defeat to Bentley University.
Roughly six days after their crushing loss, the Huskies tried to rebound with a win against Maine, a squad that’s currently in the Hockey East basement, but instead squandered numerous goal-scoring chances and finished with a 1-1 tie.
“It was a hard fought game by both teams, and for us, I like the way we responded from our game last weekend,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought we were much better in our defensive zone and at protecting the middle of the ice a lot better.
“I know they had a lot of shots, [but] I thought we did a good job keeping some of the shots from the outside, I thought we did a better job protecting the front of the net, protecting in front of Chris [Rawlings], so those are the things I liked.”
Despite staring the New Year with a loss and tie, Northeastern remains a six-win team, three of their victories coming against conference foes.
Northeastern had a handful of chances once the contest commenced, but various attempts in Maine’s zone were either blocked, misdirected or flicked wide. Although, their effort paid off late in the frame when Kevin Roy slipped the puck past Martin Ouellette on the right side of the crease, which provided the host’s with a one goal advantage.
Maine responded early in the second, as Bill Norman netted his first collegiate goal after collecting a pass from behind the net from Adam Shemansky on the left side, which evened the score at 1.
The Black Bears intensity continued, though, as they outshot the Huskies, 18-8 during the frame, as well as denied the Huskies any goal-scoring chances on two power plays.
“We had some good chances, some good looks [during our power plays], and we didn’t capitalize,” said Madigan. “I didn’t think our last two power plays had a lot of good chances.
“Maine kills penalties well, all teams in this league kill penalties at 84-85-86 percent, so I think we’re hitting at 60 percent, and that’s what we try to tell our guys, ‘don’t get frustrated.’ If you go 0-for-4, hey, don’t get frustrated. If you go 0-for-5, don’t get frustrated because you can go 1-for-6 and that one goal could be the difference, it could be the winning goal of the game.”
Cody Ferriero attempted to put Northeastern ahead on numerous goal-scoring chances once the third started, but Ouellette and the Black Bears defense smothered the junior forward, while the Huskies defense denied Maine’s rushes and shots outside the zone.
Neither team managed to pot the go-ahead goal during the final session or overtime, which provided Maine with their third tie, Northeastern with their second.
Northeastern will attempt to earn their first win in 2013 next Friday when they travel to Boston University, while Maine will travel to Merrimack College tomorrow for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.
NOTE: We will have more from this game on the blog later, as well as video postgame video reactions, too.