Northeastern pushed their win streak to 6 in the final game of the first half with a 3-2 win over Lowell on Saturday.
- Adam Reid, Anthony Bitetto, and Steve Quailer were the goalscorers for the Huskies.
- Zak Stone, Dan Cornell, and Cody Ferriero picked up assists.
- Chris Rawlings made 38 saves on 40 shots.
- The Huskies were outshot 40-32.
- NU was 0-1 on the PP. Lowell was 1-3.
What You Need to Know
- The Huskies weren’t at their best offensively, but they were able to overcome a good Lowell team by playing solid defense.
- NU took the lead early in the second period on a bit of hard work. Dan Cornell made a smart pinch to keep the puck in. Adam Reid was able to win the battle behind the net and throw the puck out front to Chad Ruhwedel who put it by Lowell goalie Doug Carr. If the name Chad Ruhwedel doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s because he plays for Lowell.
- Lowell tied it up and the score was 1-1 heading into the third.
- Northeastern took the lead a few minutes into the third thanks to Anthony Bitetto. Bitetto knocked a Lowell pass out of the air in the neutral zone. He took the puck and led the rush into the zone where he found Cody Ferriero on top of the faceoff circle. Ferriero ripped a slapshot and Bitetto tipped it by Carr. It was a truly amazing play by Bitetto, who has shown exactly why he is an NHL draft pick in his 1.5 years here.
- With 4 minutes left, Lowell was on a PP. Down by 1, they decided to pull their goalie coming out of a timeout. The faceoff was in the Northeastern zone, but after a scramble, Steve Quailer got possession and threw it all the way down the ice. A Lowell defenseman got a piece of it, which caused it to go straight into the net. Lowell’s gamble had failed miserable.
- Lowell would add a PP goal with 1:30 left to make things interesting and make that decision look even worse, but NU held on for the win.
Another win and it feels even better because it was at home and in the conference. It certainly wasn’t NU’s best game of the year, but they played well enough to win. Lowell was definitely a bit tired after playing BC last night and Northeastern was able to use this to their advantage in winning most of the 1 on 1 battles. Lowell has some very talented forwards, but the defense really stepped up and did not allow them to come down the middle. Lowell got a ton of shots, but they weren’t from the positions they wanted. And Chris Rawlings was up to the task as usual.
People always criticize the fact the NU gets outshot so much (us included), but I am starting to think it might not be that bad. With Rawlings’ size (and now talent) in net, shots from the outside are never going to be an issue. So on nights like tonight, yes NU got outshot, but how many of Lowell’s shots had a good chance of going in? Not many. I think the team has figured this out and they are willing to allow shots as long as they can clog the middle and keep the Grade A chances down, which they have done a great job of doing during the win streak. Rawlings’ numbers and play have been fantastic during this stretch, but the defense deserve a ton of credit too.
Offensively, things didn’t look as crisp tonight. It was also going to be tough to score with Doug Carr in net for Lowell. He is the real deal. Probably the second best goalie in the league behind Joe Cannata from Merrimack. But I thought the best line for much of the game was the 4th line. They got the first goal (through a bit of luck) and they were working very hard all night. Zak Stone didn’t see much time last year, but he has really impressed me so far this year. I think Madigan will have to find a way to keep him in the lineup when Mike McLaughlin comes back.
Northeastern didn’t play bad, but Lowell is really good and they didn’t allow easy opportunities. These two teams meet again for a home and home in about a month. That should be a very exciting weekend.
The Huskies are off for a couple weeks before heading to Minnesota for the Mariucci Classic.