Boston- The 2020 Senior Class on Northeastern’s Men’s Hockey team has accomplished a remarkable amount. Across four seasons, the collection of seven players posted a Hockey East Tournament Championship, two NCAA Tournament trips, and a trio of Beanpot Championships, a stretch of success not seen since the 1980’s on Huntington Avenue.
Northeastern honored their players before a matchup with Boston University on Friday night. The Terriers, still bitter after a heartbreaking Beanpot loss, eyed revenge and soured the Huskies’ night.
The opening frame felt like a feeling out stage of a boxing match. Few punches got thrown and the crowd waited for the action to kick in. The teams combined for five shots on net in the first nine minutes of the game. Pace picked up late in the frame, but Sam Tucker and Craig Pantano recorded scoreless openers of 6 and 10 saves respectively.
BU opened the scoring in the second. Captain Patrick Curry cleaned up a bouncing puck for his 19th goal of the season 7:11 into the stanza. At the period’s mid-point, Case MC Cathy took a cross-checking minor. Off the first faceoff following the penalty, Matt Demelis got the puck on the doorstep of a yawning cage and missed his mark, placing the puck on the outside of the left post. Northeastern didn’t get a better look in the power play. Shortly after the successful kill, Cam Crotty doubled the lead to 2-0.
The third period saw one more goal and an avalanche of penalties. Early in the period, Wilmer Skoog roofed his fifth goal of the season to balloon the lead to 3-0. Northeastern could not muster a response. BU outshot the Huskies 12-5 in the finale and 31-16 for the game. BU also out-attempted Northeastern 62-41 for the game. The only even place was the penalty counter. Both teams took five penalties for 10 minutes total, all recorded in the final 15:34 of the game. Through the mess, BU closed the game 3-0.
The loss is Northeastern’s fifth consecutive loss. The Huskies drop to 17-13-3 (10-12-1 HEA). New Hampshire’s 2-1 Friday night loss to Boston College means Northeastern stays one point up on the Wildcats for the final Hockey East playoff spot.
“Obviously not good enough,” observed Head Coach Jim Madigan. “Unacceptable at this point of the season when we’re fighting for a playoff spot. To be honest, our older forwards need to do more for us. We haven’t scored many goals lately. And if that’s going to be the case, then we’ve got to defend better. And we allowed three goals at the net front where we didn’t pic up sticks. We’ll get back at it tomorrow; our season’s on the line.”
Craig Pantano recorded 28 saves on 31 shots faced.
Tyler Madden did not play but is listed as day-to-day.
Boston University improves to 13-12-8 (10-8-5 HEA). The Terriers secured a playoff spot with the win. They sit in 6th place in Hockey East.
“It’s a good road win for us,” commented Terrier Head Coach Albie O’Connell. “We need the points. I thought our D-Core played terrific. And then we got good leadership from our older guys. We’re pretty pleased with our effort.”
Sam Tucker notched 16 saves and his second shutout of the season.
David Farrance added three assists and set the record for the most points by a BU defender in a season since joining Hockey East (43), surpassing Tom Poti’s 42 points in the 1997-98 season.
The Beanpot rivals rematch on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena to conclude their regular seasons. Puck drops at 4 pm ET. A Northeastern win knocks out the New Hampshire Wildcats. Otherwise, the Wildcats can clinch a playoff spot by defeating Boston College in their senior night in Durham. Puck drops at the Whittemore Center at 7 pm ET.