Boston, MA- The 2017-2018 season has seen the most success for the Northeastern University Hockey team in three decades. The Huskies won their first Beanpot since 1988, regular spots in the rankings, and hopes for a Championship run. On Friday night, the Huskies honored their six seniors and had a chance to make their 2018 class the winningest in Northeastern’s history. They faced a struggling University of New Hampshire squad that needed a win to get home ice advantage for the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. Unfortunately for Dick Umile’s team, Northeastern clicked and rolled to a dominating victory.
The game started with even skating and nice pace from both teams. Northeastern found their stride midway through the period when the third line showed some long-missing punch. Brandon Schultz beat Danny Tirone and the Huskies were off and running. Northeastern got a power play on Frankie Cefalu’s interference minor. They didn’t score on the man advantage, but they did score almost immediately following when Patrick Schule put one home from the right doorstep. UNH returned fire, but Cayden Primeau was perfect on the period, saving all eight shots he faced and maintaining NU’s 2-0 lead at the break.
Northeastern started the second period slowly but clicked midway through the period. Patrick Schule won a puck through the UNH defense and thread it through Tirone for a 3-0 lead to knock UNH’s starting goalie out of the game. Tirone allowed three goals on 18 shots. Mike Robinson replaced him and the Huskies offense did not relent. With time winding down in the second period, Adam Gaudette came to life. He fired a wrister off a Dylan Sikura pass and put NU up 4-0 before the second intermission.
The Huskies offense roared in their final period and turned a convincing victory into a complete rout. Dylan Sikura netted two power-play goals in the first half of the frame. One on a Kohei Sato slash and the other on a Richard Boyd elbow. Less than a minute after Sikura’s second goal, Lincoln Griffin potted a rebound goal for a 7-0 lead. Just after the halfway mark, Brandon Hawkins and Biagio Lerario combined for Lerario’s third goal of the year and the 8th NU goal of the night. Northeastern knocked out Robinson, who saved 9 of 14 possible shots. The 8-0 Northeastern victory is the largest margin of victory in this series since 1992 and the biggest margin and goal output for Northeastern.
UNH Head Coach Dick Umile was angry after the game. “I thought we came out playing hard but in the third period, we got our ass kicked. I have nothing more to say.” The loss drops UNH to 10-17-6 overall and 5-13-5 in Hockey East, last place in the conference.
NU Head Coach Jim Madigan was pleased, but not over the moon about the game. “That’s a great way to honor our seniors. But that wasn’t an 8-0 game. We weren’t too thrilled with how we skated in the first two periods. Very happy with how the third period went.”
For his part, Husky freshman goalie Cayden Primeau stopped all 29 UNH shots and recorded his fourth shutout of the season.
The teams will rematch at the Whittimore Center in Durham, NH, for Dick Umile’s final game at Lake Whit. Puck drops at 7 pm.