BOSTON, Mass. - Senior goaltender Chris Rawlings set Northeastern's school record in career shutouts on Saturday night at Matthews Arena and backstopped the Huskies to a 3-0 victory over non-conference foe Alabama-Huntsville. Tonight was the first meeting between both institutions.
The North Delta, B.C., native stopped 19 shots to accrue his 10th-career victory in his 102nd game in net for Northeastern. Rawlings surpassed Brad Thiessen's mark of nine shutouts set back on Feb. 27, 2009 with the 19-save blanking. Thiessen set the school record in his 103rd-career game. Rawlings matched Thiessen's shutout mark in just his 69th start as a Husky.
Sophomore assistant captain Ludwig Karlsson found his scoring touch against the Chargers with his third-career two-goal performance. Rookie Kevin Roy and senior captain Vinny Saponari joined Karlsson with multi-point performances, each chipping in a pair of assists. Junior Braden Pimm also scored his second goal of the season to start the scoring for NU.
The Huskies totaled 54 shots in Saturday's shutout and limited UAH to just 19 attempts. The last time Northeastern reached the 50-shot plateau was at Boston College on Feb. 21, 2010.
Both teams had early chances in the opening frame, but the Huskies started pouring the rubber on UAH netminder John Griggs as time went on.
Rookie Mike McMurtry nearly scored at the 6:15 mark of the opening period on a chip shot off the near post and followed that with a nearly-converted one-timer from Roy at 12:45.
The Huskies channeled their momentum into the contests' first blood with a beautiful transitional tally from Pimm at 13:06. Saponari moved the puck off the boards in Northeastern's zone and hooked up with a streaking junior Cody Ferriero in the neutral zone. Ferriero scooted down the right side and needled a pass to Pimm on the goalmouth. Pimm brought the puck to his backhand and easily scored after duping Griggs for the 1-0 advantage.
Immediately after Northeastern snuffed out a sophomore Dax Lauwers high-sticking infraction (14:53), the Huskies added their second goal of the frame in transition once again.
Senior Drew Ellement generated the play and bounced the disc out to Roy on the red line. Roy skated the puck down below the net and patiently picked his spot with Karlsson between the circles. Karlsson accepted the pass and zipped the puck over Briggs' glove to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead at 17:13.
The Huskies did not score in the second, but the penalty-killing unit did its job keeping the Chargers off the board after McMurtry and rookie Cam Darcy penalties at 12:48 and 17:37, in that order. Saponari had a chance after a great set up from Ferriero with three minutes minutes to go, but Griggs made the stop.
Starting off the third, a trio of Chargers committed penalties in a span of 1:22. The Huskies gained an extensive 5-on-3 power play advantage and Karlsson took advantage at 5:57.
After Graeme Strukoff took a seat with a cross check at 5:22, Roy won a faceoff to Briggs' right and slid the draw out to Saponari behind the cage. Saponari patiently sought out Karlsson on the left dot and made the perfect pass to connect the one-timer goal and a 3-0 lead.
Northeastern dictated the pace of play down the stretch and continued to add to its shot total but did find the back of the net the rest of the evening.
Northeastern will run it back against the same opponent tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
• Chris Rawlings set the Northeastern school record in career shutouts with 10 after the 3-0 victory over Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 10. Rawlings broke Brad Thiessen's (2006-09) record of nine set back on Feb. 27, 2009. Thiessen recorded his ninth shutout in his 103rd-career start. Rawlings' notched his 10th-career shutout in his 102nd-career start as a Husky. It marks Northeastern's first shut out since blanking New Hampshire on Oct. 14, 2011.
• Ludwig Karlsson secured his third two-goal game since the Boston University contest on Jan. 13, 2012. The Stockholm, Sweden, native is now tied for the lead in goals with Kevin Roy.
• The Huskies totaled 54 shots in Saturday's shutout and limited UAH to just 19 attempts. The last time Northeastern reached the 50-shot plateau was at Boston College on Feb. 21, 2010.
• Kevin Roy and Vinny Saponari are riding three-game point streaks. For Roy, it marks a career best. Saponari has strung together two four-game point streaks since donning the NU sweater. Saponari posted his sixth two-assist night for Northeastern while Roy's two-helper outing marks a career first. Roy now has three multi-point games at Northeastern.
• Drew Ellement registered his first point with an assist on Braden Pimm's goal since scoring a goal at Boston University on March 3, 2012.
• The Huskies won just their second non-conference opener in the last six tries with the 3-0 triumph against Alabama-Huntsville.