NORTHEASTERN SWEEPS WEEKEND SERIES AGAINST ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE WITH 3-1 WIN
Vinny Saponari, Ludwig Karlsson and Robbie Vrolyk score goals for Huskies
The Northeastern men's hockey team (4-4-1, 2-4-1 HEA) took care of business on Sunday night and swept the two-game series over Alabama-Huntsville with a 3-1 triumph at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies' captains' corps scored all three goals in the victory and senior Vinny Saponario extended his point streak to four games with his second goal of the season. Second-year forward Ludwig Karlsson stayed red-hot and netted his third goal in two games while senior Robbie Vrolyk's empty-netter solidified NU's win late in the third period.
Rookie Kevin Roy is also riding a four-game point streak heading into next weekend after setting up Karlsson on his power play game-winning goal. The Lac-Beauport, Quebec, native has registered six points (1-5-6) over the course of his scoring streak.
Senior backstopper Chris Rawlings won his fourth game of the season after stopping 24 shots on Sunday night. Chargers' goaltender Gregg Gruehl saved 31 shots in the losing effort.
Northeastern outshot UAH, 34-25, and capitalized on 1-of-5 power play chances.
The Chargers ended their scoreless drought in Boston and lit the lamp first with a rebound tally at 7:01 of the first stanza.
Lasse Uusivirta generated the play along the blue line and deferred to Justin Cseter along the far boards. Cseter unleashed a slap shot through traffic and Rawlings made the initial save, but Kyle Lysght was in perfect position to throw the carom back past Rawlings to take a 1-0 lead.
Alabama-Huntsville had a couple power play chances late, but the Huskies' penalty-killing unit kept the Chargers from causing any more early damage. NU gained a late extra-man opportunity on a UAH too many men call with 40 seconds to play in the first frame, but the Huskies could not capitalize.
Northeastern gained some momentum from the power play and finally even the score on a beautiful redirect by Saponari at 7:16.
Junior Cody Ferriero made a great play to keep the puck in Alabama-Huntsville's end and eventually kicked the puck back to Darou on the blue line. Darou discovered Saponari lingering by the near post and flung the disc towards the net. Saponari followed the puck the whole time and positioned his stick perfectly to flip the puck into the top right corner to tie it up, 1-1.
The Huskies eventually took the lead seven minutes later, taking advantage of an Uusivirta hooking infraction at 14:18.
On the initial draw after the call, rookie Mike McMurtry swept the faceoff back to Roy at the blue line. Roy skated at the top of the zone and allowed Karlsson to create some room down low. Roy made the pass and Karlsson kept the forward momentum intact and buried the one-timer on the far post at 14:29 for a 2-1 advantage.
Sophomore blue liner Dan Cornell nearly made it a two-goal cushion at 17:23, but upon further review, Gruehl was interfered with in the crease and the officiating crew deemed it no goal.
As the third period continued, a pair of 4-on-4 chances unfolded, but both squads were denied with the extra real estate.
Alabama-Huntsville opted to pull Gruehl for the extra skater, but the Huskies turned it into the final nail in the coffin.
Sophomore Joe Manno dug a puck out of a scrum and managed to find senior Garrett Vermeersch swooping through the neutral zone. Vermeersch scooted the disc up ahead to Vrolyk and the assist captain was to the races and put away the empty-netter to ice the contest, 3-1, at 19:33.
Northeastern takes to the road for a Friday-Sunday pair at Providence and at Vermont, respectively. The Huskies take on the Friars at Schneider Arena on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. followed by another Sunday night affair at Gutterson Fieldhouse at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18.