Going into the first of the home and home games between the Northeastern University Huskies and the Boston University Terriers, Northeastern really needed to come out strong and just keep going. After all, the Terriers had yet to win a game this season, going 0-4-0 having lost three on the road and their home opener last weekend.
As the game got underway at Matthews Arena, it looked like perhaps the Huskies were going to take it to the struggling Terriers who may have been feeling a bit fragile. As the clock ticked to 3:11 of the opening period, Northeastern already had two goals. Grant Jozefek put the Huskies on the scoreboard just 2:07 after the first puck drop. And Bobby Hampton notched his first goal of the season a mere 1:04 later.
Boston University’s head coach Albie O’Connell, who is in his first season as the Terriers head bench boss, had elected to start 21-year-old, red shirt junior Max Prawdzik in his first game of the season. However, just 20 seconds after Prawdzik had let in two goals on two shots, O’Connell made a quick goaltending change putting Jake Oettinger in. Oettinger has yet to get a win this season, currently 0-3-0 with a 4.66 goals against average and an uncharacteristic save percentage of .866 through those three games.
Northeastern on the other hand was coming into the game on a hot streak with a 4-2-0 record in Hockey East division competition. Not surprisingly, Huskies head coach Jim Madigan was sticking with Cayden Primeau between the pipes. Primeau has been the starter in all of Northeastern’s games in the current season. He was bringing with him a 2.00 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.
Despite the score at the end of the first period, which stood at 2-1 in favor of the Huskies, the Terriers actually outshot the home team 10-8 and were 54% in the faceoffs. Neither team was able to capitalize on the man advantage, though both teams got two opportunities. In fact, during the Huskies first opportunity, Boston University’s Logan Cockerill got his first goal of the season on a short handed bid assisted by Shane Bowers to cut Northeastern’s lead in half. And it was that goal that gave the Terriers renewed energy.
As the second period got underway it was apparent that the Terriers were determined. At 3:13 of the middle frame BU’s Patrick Curry put his second goal of the season behind Primeau and the Terriers showed their tenaciousness. While Northeastern would respond just a little more than a minute later to regain the lead off the stick of Patrick Schule, it was evident that the Terriers were keeping the Huskies on their heels. Once again Boston University’s players were outshooting the Huskies and as the period drew to a close, the score was again in Northeastern’s favor, at 3-2, but the shots on net were 31-23 for the two periods, with BU having outshot Northeastern 21-15 in the second. The Terriers continued to maintaining the advantage in the faceoff as well, having won 52% through the two periods. Northeastern also had added three more penalties during the second, giving the Terriers ample opportunity to try to capitalize on the man advantage, though Primeau continued to come up strong for the Huskies.
The Terriers tied the game 2:42 into the third off a shot by Joel Farabee and then for the first time in the game they found themselves leading when Bobo Carpenter scored at 4:05. Two minutes later Jozefek got his second of the game and tied things up again at four each while on the power play. Despite once again being outshot, the Huskies would take the lead at 10:57, as Schule got his second goal of the game. The lead would not last long. The Huskies once again found themselves in the penalty box, as Zach Solow was whistled for roughing. Twenty-five seconds into the man advantage, BU’s Chad Krys would knot the game up again at five each, where things would stay through the horn ending regulation.
The additional five minutes of overtime would not help declare a winner and the teams would have to be satisfied with each taking a point. Of course, satisfaction was not in abundance as things escalated after the game, when BU’s Carpenter shot the puck after the whistle and Matt Filipe let him know that wasn’t acceptable. Carpenter would receive two minutes for the initial infraction and an additional ten minute misconduct. Filipe was handed two minutes for roughing.
For the coaches, O’Connell was pleased to see his team skating hard and shooting at the net. He hopes to see that mentality continue as the season goes forward. When the Terriers are skating fast they are formidable. Madigan was not happy. He told his players that there are good ties and then there are bad ties. He qualified Thursday night’s game as a bad tie, pointing out that the Huskies had allowed the Terriers to get back into the game. He described the game as the Huskies “playing ping pong” with the Terriers.
Despite having let in five goals, Primeau actually saw a total of 50 shots, so his save percentage for the game was .900 and this was a season-high 45-save game for him. It was unfortunately also a season how 5 goals allowed game for him as well.
The teams will reconvene on Saturday night at Agganis Arena as the Boston University Huskies play host to the Northeastern Huskies. It should prove to be quite a game as both teams now have something to prove after the tie on Thursday.