BOSTON – An early lead for Northeastern turned out to be just that after St. Lawrence capitalized on a a sluggish second period from the Huskies and took the game, 5-2. With the win, the Saints moved to 6-3-2 on the season while Northeastern fell to 2-6-1.
The Huskies opened up the scoring when Ludwig Karlsson took a feed from Dan Cornell out by the blue line and shot high with a wrister that went above goaltender Matt Weninger to make it 1-0 at 12:25 in the first period. As the final seconds of that first period ticked off, St. Lawrence’s offense broke up the Northeastern defense which made it possible for Greg Carey to get right in front of Bryan Mountain, deke, and beat him with a backhand shot to tie it up going into the second.
The Saints carried that momentum with them, capitalizing on a power play chance caused by a hooking call on Dustin Darou. The power play combination of leading scorers Kyle Flanagan and Greg Carey set up the opportunity for Gunnar Hughes 16 seconds into the power play to make it a 2-1 Saints lead, one they wouldn’t give up throughout the latter half of the game.
Flanagan notched one of his own at 13:05 in the second, taking a feed from Patrick Doherty while positioned perfectly between the circles to beat Mountain. That closed out the second period scoring, but Chris Martin and Pat Raley would each score one in the third to give St. Lawrence a 5-1 lead.
Northeastern added a late goal to cut the deficit when Dax Lauwers scored his first goal as a Husky for a 5-2 final.
What I Saw
- St. Lawrence plays with a lot of intelligence, and that poses a serious threat. With a strong forecheck, the Saints came in and were able to beat Northeastern at their own type of game. They were able to eliminate scoring opportunities for the Huskies while capitalizing on their own chances, which leads to exactly the type of final score they were left with.
- Northeastern plays most games with a second period slump, and this one was no different, if only more obvious. The Huskies have only scored two second period goals this season, both of them coming against Alabama-Huntsville. Friday night, they were sluggish and sloppy throughout most of the second, which leaves them in the predicament of playing catch-up in the final 20 minutes. It’s not a good place to be in, and although the Huskies have been able to register some late goals, like Lauwers’ on Friday and Roy’s Sunday in Vermont, it ends up being too little, too late.
- Saint Lawrence’s conference record isn’t indicative of just how well they play. The Saints currently sit tied for tenth of twelve ECAC teams, with a 0-2-2 ECAC record. Their 6-3-2 overall record is much more reflective of how this team will do moving forward, and the conference standings shouldn’t be a major point of concern for the Saints. After all, they’re working with the No. 1 and No. 2 leading scorers nationwide. Flanagan takes sole possession of the top spot after posting a goal and an assist Friday night while Carey shares the second place spot with Bentley’s Brett Gensler after a goal and assist of his own. They have 21 and 19 points, respectively. While they don’t play on the same line, Flanagan and Carey can be a lethal combination on the power play, as they set up Gunnar Hughes for the only man-advantage goal of the night Friday.
- The consensus around Northeastern hockey has generally been, “Don’t worry, it’s still early.” While it is early, it’s time to worry. As the season began, it seemed the one thing that could be counted on was the strong offense being able to score goals in every game, even if the defensive side of their game was allowing their opponent to do the same. In their last three games, the Huskies have been held to two goals a night while their opposition has scored a combined 14 goals. Neither the offense nor defense is standing out, leaving the Huskies with a three-game losing streak. That can be extended to an eight-game winless streak if you take out the Huskies’ two non-conference wins against Alabama-Huntsville (1-11-1). The starting goaltender position still seems to be up for grabs, as Mountain, Chris Rawlings, and Clay Witt have each seen ice time in Northeastern’s last three games. That situation could be a positive one if it was due to the fact that each goaltender was performing so well that the team always had their best shot at winning no matter who was in net, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Yes, it is early, but head coach Jim Madigan had said he was focusing on strong performances in the first 10 games. After 12, the Huskies are 4-7-1 overall, 2-6-1 in Hockey East, and sitting in the basement of the conference rankings tied for eighth.
- “Our pre-scout was to get in there and take away the walls, put a little bit of pressure on the first guy and make them make a play if they’re going to get out of the zone…When you get outplayed like we did last game, you’ve got a little extra reason to play hard. We were pretty much embarrassed on our own ice by a pretty good team, but we didn’t show up that night so I knew these guys were ready to play tonight.” – SLU head coach Greg Carvel on his game plan going into Friday
- “Right now, we’re just not a very good hockey club. We need to take stock in that locker room as to which way we want to go. We can continue feeling sorry for ourselves, have a little pity party, or we can decide we want to be like men and answer the bell. We need to make sure every one of those guys is challenged in the locker room tonight and see how they want to respond. You can go one of two ways, you can keep feeling sorry for yourself or you can just dig out, work harder, smarter, execute.” – Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan