Hamden, Ct. - Northeastern has struggled to this point scoring goals but tonight was a different story, as it ran into a team that has been struggling to keep pucks out of the net. The game was marred with penalties, including 34 PIMS in the second period combined. Northeastern opened the scoring at seven minutes, 45 seconds of the first period, when Mike Szmatula collected his own rebound in the slot putting it over the glove of Michael Garteig.Szmatula would follow that goal up with a power-play tally four minutes later to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead after a period.
The floodgates opened in second period but so did the penalty box, as the teams combined for 34 penalty minutes in the stanza. Landon Smith would open the scoring 23 seconds into the period and follow it up 10:29 to tie the game at two. NU would respond 31 seconds later to retake the lead on a Ryan Rosenthal goal. Andrew Taverner finished off the wild four goal period at 18:53 to send the game into the third tied at three.
The third period saw the teams trade chances, but Quinnipiac was the only to team to find the net. Sorren Jonzzon scored to make the game 4-3, which held for the Bobcat victory. Quinnipiac improves its record to 3-2-1 on the season, while Northeastern’s troubles continue at 0-6-0. Both teams will play conference games next weekend.
What I Saw
- Northeastern and Quinnipiac struggled to find rhythm, mainly caused by the amount of penalties that were called on both teams. All told 80 penalty minutes were called in the game and 10 power-plays were handed out. At five on five the game was played at a standstill, mainly because of the lack of flow.
- Quinnipiac outchanced Northeastern, but when NU had glorious chances it finished. This game had few nice saves, as the goalies stopped everything that should have been stopped and the defenses just struggled to cover the men left open in the slots. Whereas Quinipiac is struggling, NU is more so. The Bobcat defense still has holes and it showed tonight. as none of the goals were bad goals given up by its goalie. Michael Garteig still doesn’t bail his team out in goal, which has been problematic for QU.
- Northeastern has struggled to score, which has been mainly caused by possession problems. Tonight it was much of the same, but it wasn’t dominated by any means. The shots on goal were close but the amount of possession time was still controlled by QU. For them to get wins in the tough Hockey East, this will need to improve but it is not a new problem as it has been ongoing.
What I Thought
- Landon Smith was in the right places at the right time. To begin the second period, Rand Pecknold put him on the first line with Sam Anas and Matt Peca. It paid immediate dividends as the line scored on its first shift, 23 seconds into the period. Smith and Macmaster are both talented freshman forwards, but Smith proved he deserved a shot on the top line with his play tonight. His second goal, was a rebound goal in front of the net. His presence immediately turned the tide for the Bobcats.
- Northeastern is snake-bitten but isn’t doing itself any favors. After the a successful first period, the Huskies fell apart by taking penalties and just making small mistakes that caused the game to get away. They had chances to win the game and score but those chances are going by the wayside. For them to get off the schneid, their game will need to be simplified. Right now, it seems to be a case of holding the sticks tight and not getting the bounces in their favor.
- Mike Szmatula found the scoresheet twice in the game and Kevin Roy chipped in with two assists. The guys that Northeastern need to get scoring have begun to do so, which can only mean good things for NU. Entering the weekend, NU had scored a mere four goals in its four contests. This weekend the Huskies saw its first line come alive. Kevin Roy registered a goal and three assists to go along with the pair of genos scored by Szmatula tonight. It is a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t able to register the win.
What They Said
Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said,
“Congratulations to Quinnipiac. They are a team that plays hard, is well coached and well balanced. In the third we felt good but they scored a goal. This is not where we want to be our how we drew it up, our record is our record. We need to get the monkey off our back.”
“When you’re not winning you need to do all the little things well. I thought we did more of that tonight with an emphasis on it but discipline is part of it.”
Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said,
“We are ecstatic with the win tonight and the sweep on the weekend. It wasn’t our best hockey but to be down 2-0 and battle back, I liked our energy. We really showed a lot of compete.”
“We were flat in the first period, so we juggled a couple of lines. It works once in a while and it worked well tonight. Landon had started there at the beginning of the year. Landon gave us some jump on that line and that kind of energized Sam and Matt.”
Quinnipiac forward Landon Smith said,
They are two very good hockey players and I felt fortunate to be out there with them. I have really good chemistry with them, so hopefully we can continue that.” (In response to his move to the top line before the second period)
Quinnipiac forward Sam Anas said,
“The three of us worked well together, but I think the team needed a change. We needed to shake things up and try to get some momentum on our side. There was no way better to do that then a goal on the first shift.”
What Else You Should Know
Qunnipiac will host the two headed monsters of Colgate and Cornell next weekend. The confidence of this weekend should prove large heading into its first conference weekend, but it won’t be easy. Cornell is entering the weekend off a loss and a tie to Nebraska-Omaha, but should be pretty good with all the returning skaters in its roster. Colgate fell to 6-2-0 on the young season on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Mercyhurst.
Things won’t get any easier for Northeastern as it will play UMass-Lowell in a home and home series next weekend. The Huskies are still winless and just need to get the proverbial monkey off the back.
Jim Madigan gave some injury updates after the game. Clay Witt’s timetable is up in the air, as Madigan said “They are going day-to-day hopefully week to week.” Madigan also said, “Colton Saucerman is getting close and Snydeman is day-to-day.”