NORTHEASTERN SKATES TO 8-8 TIE AGAINST DARTMOUTH AT LEDYARD CLASSIC
Freshman forward Mike Szmatula scores two goals and assist for the Huskies
HANOVER, N.H. - After seeing Dartmouth (2-11-1) pot six straight goals in a span of 19:24 midway through the game, the No. 17 Northeastern men's ice hockey team (10-6-3) scored four straight in the final 11 minutes of regulation in an 8-8 draw in the consolation game of the Ledyard National Bank Classic on Monday afternoon at Thompson Arena.
The Huskies jumped out to a 4-2 second period lead thanks to two power play and one shorthanded goals before the Big Green stormed back with the next six to take an 8-4 lead. NU then notched the game's final four goals, including two with the extra attacker, to force overtime.
Mike Szmatula scored twice for the Huskies, highlighted by the game-tying tally with 53 seconds left in regulation. Northeastern also received goals from six other skaters, while Derick Roy made 22 saves in goal before being replaced by Bryan Mountain (five saves) at the start of the third period.
NU outshot the Big Green 45-35, including a 21-7 edge in the third period and overtime. Both teams were also 2-of-4 on the man advantage.
Northeastern came out of the gates with a jump in its step, taking control of the game with physical play and burying three goals to take a 3-2 lead into the locker room. The Big Green, which outshot NU 13-8 in the opening frame, struck first less than three minutes into the contest when Jeese Beamish netted his first goal of the season. After Roy stopped an initial shot from Jack Barre, the puck sat in the middle of the crease, and Beamish flew in to bury it before Roy could cover.
With Brad Schierhorn in the box for high sticking 4:34 into the game, the NU power play converted 17 seconds into the man advantage on a goal from Szmatula. Matt Benning began the play with a hard shot on goal that Grant stopped, leaving a rebound out in front. John Stevens collected the loose puck along the left side before patiently sliding the puck over to Szmatula in the slot for a one-timer that beat Grant for Szmatula's seventh of the year.
NU would take its first lead of the weekend with another power play marker with 5:22 left in the frame on Colton Saucerman's third goal of the season. After taking a feed from Mike McMurtry at the right wall, Cody Ferriero skated the puck along the blue line before sending it across to Saucerman at the left point. Saucerman then took a couple strides towards goal before rifling a snap shot that beat Grant under the glove.
Dartmouth brought it back to an even game 1:10 after the Saucerman tally as Geoff Ferguson netted his first collegiate tally when he sent the puck into the crease where it caught the skate of an NU defender before trickling over the goal line.
The Big Green looked to regain the lead late in the period with Josh Manson in the box for slashing, but it was the Husky penalty killing unit that capitalized on the odd man situation to take a 3-2 lead. With Dartmouth playing catch with the puck at the point, Stevens dashed out to poke the puck off the stick of Ryan Bullock to create a 2-on-0 with Braden Pimm. Pimm collected the puck in the neutral zone, and skated it into the attacking zone before feeding Stevens for a one-timer past Grant.
Manson extended the Northeastern lead to 4-2 eight minutes into the second period when he jumped into the play, pouncing on a loose puck and wristing a shot under Grant's blocker for his second goal of the season.
The Dartmouth offense came alive following the Manson tally, scoring the final four goals of the period, including two power play tallies. The Big Green made it a 4-3 game with 6:33 left in the frame when Charlie Mosey ripped a shot over the shoulder of Roy. Less than two minutes later Neiley knotted the score at four when he pounded home a loose puck with Dartmouth on the power play.
Josh Hartley gave Dartmouth the lead once again with 2:19 remaining in the period when he lost a defender at the attacking blue line before firing a snapshot short side for a 5-4 Big Green lead. Neiley would strike again in the final minute of the stanza, beating Roy over the shoulder for his second of the night to give Dartmouth a two-goal lead into the second intermission.
With Mountain into the game for the Huskies at the start of the third period, the Dartmouth offense persisted, scoring two more goals in the first six minutes of the frame. The first came two minutes in when Hartley beat Mountain during a two-on-one before Andy Simpson fired a shot top shelf four minutes later to give the Big Green an 8-4 edge.
Northeastern began mounting a comeback near the midway mark of the final frame, and Ferriero brought NU within three when he scored his second of the year with a slapshot from the point off a feed from Benning.
Assistant captain Adam Reid would bury his third of the season with 6:45 left in regulation as he pounded home a loose puck atop the crease off an initial shot from Ryan Belonger to cut the deficit to two.
NU pulled Mountain in favor of the extra skater with 2:13 left in the third, and Dalen Hedges popped in his sixth of the year when he one-timed a pass from Szmatula from in close to make it 8-7 with 1:18 left.
After Dartmouth called timeout with a Northeastern offensive zone faceoff looming and 58 seconds left in regulation, the Huskies completed the comeback when Szmatula hammered home his second of the game with 53 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
In the extra session, NU was awarded a power play in the final minute of the game, and Szmatula nearly netted the game-winner in the waning seconds, but his shot went just wide.
The Huskies will return home for the first time in nearly a month on Saturday night when Northeastern hosts Massachusetts in a nonconference matchup beginning at 7 p.m.