MAINE AND NORTHEASTERN SKATE TO 4-4 TIE
Senior forward Braden Pimm scores goal and assist for Huskies
BOSTON, Mass. - Trailing 4-3 with less than two minutes left in regulation, Braden Pimm's one-timer off a feed from Mike Szmatula forced overtime to help the No. 9 Northeastern men's ice hockey team (17-10-4, 9-6-2) to a 4-4 draw with No. 17/15 Maine (15-10-4, 9-5-3) on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
Pimm (one goal, one assist) was one of four Huskies with multi-point efforts, joining Jarrett Fennell (two assists), Kevin Roy (one goal, one assist) and Colton Saucerman (one goal, one assist). Clay Witt made 23 stops in goal for Northeastern, which now sits in a tie for fourth place in the league standings with New Hampshire.
Martin Ouellette had 27 stops for the Black Bears, who received a goal and an assist from Steven Swavely and two helpers from Devin Shore. NU outshot Maine 31-27 in the game while neither team could capitalize on the power play with Northeastern going 0-of-3 and Maine 0-of-1.
Both teams had their chances during a fast-paced first period, with Maine outshooting the Huskies 12-8 and netting the game's first goal with 2:55 left in the stanza. NU had the period's lone power play opportunity, and tossed two shots on goal.
Northeastern nearly took a 1-0 lead with nine minutes to play in the period when Jake Schechter flipped a puck from the NU zone up and over the Maine defense and on to the stick of Roy. Roy then settled the puck and tried to send a backhand past Ouellette, but the senior netminder got a glove on it.
The Black Bears drew first blood with less than three minutes to play in the period when Connor Leen potted his sixth goal of the season with a backhand past Witt. After Conor Riley sent the puck along to Steven Swavely at the right dot, Swavely hit Leen with the puck in the slot. Leen then shifted from forehand to backhand before sending it through Witt for a 1-0 Maine lead.
The Huskies nearly knotted the score at one with 1:11 left in the first when Braden Pimm fired a pass up to Zach Aston-Reese entering the Maine zone for a wristed that Ouellette handled. Torin Snydeman and Adam Reid nearly connected in the final minute of the frame, but once again Ouellette was up to the task.
Maine wasted no time in extending its lead in the opening minute of the second period, striking with a goal from Swavely. Devin Shore began the play with a pass down to Riley in the right face-off dot. Riley then sent a changeup to Swavely that threw Witt off guard, and Swavely was able to sneak it past Witt for his eighth of the season.
Less than a minute later, the Black Bears made a bid for a 3-0 advantage when Witt stoned Swavely on the doorstep before Brian Morgan rifled the rebound off the post.
With NU on the power play and 13 minutes left in the stanza, Saucerman took a feed from Roy and rocketed a shot from between the hashmarks that Ouellette got a piece of. Later in the shift, however, Saucerman came right back. After Roy saucered a pass up to Jarrett Fennell at the point, Fennell tossed it across to Saucerman, who then sent a bullet through traffic, off the left post and past Ouellette for his fifth of the season.
Northeastern kept the pressure up after the Saucerman tally, and thought it had tied the game at two aside when the Huskies crashed the cage is pursuit of a loose puck, but the official lost sight of the puck and blew the play dead. On the ensuing face-off, NU made up for it with a goal from Roy off a deflection in the slot. After Roy won the face-off back to the point, Saucerman sent a shot towards the cage, where Roy redirected it through the legs of Ouellette for the goal.
The Huskies struck again for their third goal in less than seven minutes when Stevens hammered home his seventh of the season with 5:46 left in the period. After Dax Lauwers fed the puck below the goal line, Pimm chased it down and took it to the net. Ouellette made the initial stop, but Stevens crashed the cage looking for the rebound, and dug it under Ouellette's pad for NU's first lead of the night.
The advantage would be short-lived, however, as Blaine Byron picked up his seventh of the year just 1:36 after the Stevens goal. Ben Hutton, skating the puck through the neutral zone, found Brian Morgan at the left side. Morgan then threaded a pass across the crease to Byron for the tap-in to make it 3-3.
NU came out buzzing in the third period, cycling the puck in the offensive zone and peppering Ouellette with shot after shot. Roy almost regained the Husky lead in the opening minutes when he came out of the corner and snapped a shot on goal that was blocked by Hutton. Moments later, John Stevens found Pimm alone in the slot for a chance, but it whistled wide.
Maine buried the go-ahead goal with 6:03 left in regulation following a successful penalty kill. After Brady Campbell chipped the puck up to Shore exiting the box, Shore sped to the net and tossed a shot on goal that Witt stopped. Anthoine, however, followed the play and tucked the rebound under the stick of Witt for his eighth of the season and 4-3 Black Bear lead.
The score would remain that way until the final two minutes of regulation when Northeastern fought back to level the score once again. Mike Gunn began the play for the Huskies by chipping a puck down to Mike Szmatula at the goal line. Szmatula then drew a defender towards him before spotting Pimm in the slot. Szmatula hit Pimm with a pass, and Pimm roofed a one-timer over the left shoulder of Ouellette to force overtime.
In the extra frame, Witt came up big for the Huskies in the first two minutes, cutting down the angle on Leen as he came off the bench with a hard wrister that Witt got a pad on, sending Snydeman the other way for a chance on Ouellette.
Roy and Reid created a two-on-one chance with 1:05 left in overtime, with Roy dishing to Reid on the right side. Reid tried to slide the puck five-hole, but Ouellette squeezed the pads to make the stop.
The Huskies and Black Bears will meet again in the series finale tomorrow night at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.