Northeastern University sent its nine seniors off with a win in their final game at Matthews Arena on Wednesday night as the Huskies topped Boston University, 4-2, behind a two-goal effort from freshman Kyle Kraemer. Joe Vitale and Bryan Esner also scored for the Huskies while Brad Thiessen made 30 saves.
The Huskies secured the No. 7 seed in the Hockey East playoffs with the win, improving to 13-16-5 overall and 9-13-5 in Hockey East. Boston University dropped to 18-7-9 and 13-6-8 in Hockey East with the loss. The Terriers are still second in the Hockey East standings, but could be passed by Boston College this weekend.
The Huskies broke into the scoring column at 13:41 in the first period on Kraemer's first goal. Aaron Moore poked the puck to Jimmy Russo in the neutral zone and Russo hit Kraemer with a perfect pass for a breakaway. Kraemer took a slapshot that went off BU goalie John Curry's pad and into the net. It was his sixth goal of the season. The assists were the 10th for Russo and the first of the season for Moore.
Northeastern made it 2-0 before the first period was over. Dennis McCauley got the puck to Chad Costello, who passed it to Vitale in the BU zone. Vitale took a wicked slapshot that beat Curry to make it 2-0 in favor of the Huskies at 17:30.
Boston University got on the board in the second period with a Matt Gilroy power-play goal at 9:09. Bryan Ewing passed it from down low to Gilroy in the slot and Gilroy fired a top-shelf slapshot past Thiessen to make it 2-1.
The Huskies came back with a goal of their own with Kraemer's second of the game just over a minute later. McCauley and BU's Tom Morrow took matching minors for roughing, making it a four-on-four. On the ensuing faceoff, Esner won it back to Louis Liotti, who banked it off the boards and back to Esner. Esner streaked around a BU defenseman and passed it to Kraemer, who was coming up the slot, and Kraemer buried it to make it 3-1 Huskies at 10:11 in the second period.
Kraemer nearly made it a hat trick when Esner set him up again at 15:30 in the second. Kraemer's shot from down low went through the crease and behind Curry. Early in the third period, Kraemer had another bid at the hat trick when he took a point-blank shot but Curry made the save.
BU made it close in the third period when Ewing scored on the rebound of a Pete MacArthur shot at 3:18, making it 4-3. The teams battled throughout the third period, with BU taking six penalties to Northeastern's four, but neither could put the puck in the net until the final minute.
Boston University pulled Curry with over a minute to go and the Huskies had several bids on the empty net. Esner finally put one through the pipes at 19:45 in the third, making it a 4-2 final for Northeastern.
Northeastern has the weekend off but will be back in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs, which are March 8-11. Northeastern will play Boston University or Boston College in the first round depending on this weekend's games. Wherever the Huskies are, the three-game series will be broadcast on 890 ESPN Boston.