|1st||6:17||NOE||1-0||EV||Zach Aston-Reese (11)||Nolan Stevens/14, John Stevens/18|
|1st||9:45||NOE||2-0||EV||Eric Williams (5)||Zach Aston-Reese/21, Nolan Stevens/15|
|1st||14:38||MNE||1-2||EV||Andrew Tegeler (3)||Blaine Byron/14, Cam Brown/12|
|1st||19:28||MNE||2-2||EV||Will Merchant (13)||Brendan Robbins/6, Mark Hamilton/5|
|2nd||12:56||NOE||3-2||EV||Eric Williams (6)||Nolan Stevens/16, John Stevens/19|
|2nd||13:54||NOE||4-2||EV GW||Patrick Schule (2)||Dylan Sikura/13, Adam Gaudette/15|
|3rd||4:36||MNE||3-4||EV||CÚdric Lacroix (4)||Daniel Perez/5, Nolan Vesey/4|
|3rd||19:21||NOE||5-3||EV EN||Adam Gaudette (9)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Rob McGovern (L, 2-12-3)||58:16||4||11||5||5||21|
|Ryan Ruck (W, 13-10-4)||60:00||3||9||11||14||34|
BOSTON - The Northeastern men's ice hockey team (15-13-5, 9-8-4) received a career-high 34 saves from freshman goaltender Ryan Ruck, as well as a pair of goals from Eric Williams, and held off a late Maine (8-21-6, 5-14-2) surge in the third period to escape with a 5-3 victory on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
Northeastern bolted out to a 2-0 first period lead with goals from Zach Aston-Reese and Williams before seeing the Black Bears level the score at two late in the frame. Another two goals in the second from Williams and Patrick Schule gave NU a 4-2 cushion heading into the third period, but the Black Bears would outshoot the Huskies 15-6 in the final frame and make it a one-goal contest before Adam Gaudette scored an empty netter with 39 seconds to play in the game.
The win Friday extends Northeastern winning streak to six games, its second such streak of the season, and also improves the Huskies record to 9-0-1 in its last 10 conference games.
Ruck was strong in goal again for Northeastern, steering aside 25 shots in the second and third periods alone to improve to 13-1-2 in his last 16 starts. Nolan Stevens added a career-high three assists, while his brother John Stevens had two assists.
Maine received goals from Andrew Tegeler, Will Merchant and Cedric Lacroix, while Rob McGovern made 21 stops in net. The Black Bears held a 37-26 edge in shots on goal, the most allowed by the Huskies all season, and won 39-of-25 draws. Neither team could capitalize on the man advantage, with NU going 0-of-2 and Maine 0-of-3.
- The Huskies drew first blood six minutes into the first period on Aston-Reese's 11th of the season. After Aston-Reese forced a turnover behind the Maine goal, John Stevens slid the puck across to Nolan Stevens below the right face-off dot. Nolan then quickly moved the puck back over to Aston-Reese atop the crease for the one-timer past McGovern.
- Northeastern went up 2-0 nearly four minutes later on Williams' fifth of the year. After a one-time bid by Aston-Reese went off the heel of his stick, Williams chased down the puck in the corner, skated towards the net and tossed a backhand on goal that hit a Maine defender and snuck through McGovern for the score.
- Maine made it a 2-1 hockey game with 5:22 left in the first period on Andrew Tegeler's fifth goal of the year. With the Black Bears in transition, Cam Brown fed Blaine Byron with a pass at the right side. Byron's shot was initially stopped by Ruck, but Tegeler was stationed on the doorstep to tap home the rebound.
- The Black Bears pulled even with 31.9 seconds left in the period on Will Merchant's team-leading 13th goal of the season. As a Maine penalty expired, Conor Riley chipped the puck out of the zone and up to Brendan Robbins. Robbins then skated the puck into the attacking zone and tossed a shot on goal that Ruck got a pad on. Merchant crashed the net, though, and hammered home the round to tie the game at two.
- Northeastern went back up by one with 7:04 remaining in the second period on Williams' second of the game. After John Stevens tossed the puck down to Nolan Stevens at the left side, Nolan saucered a pass up to Williams, who crept in from the point. Williams then ripped a snapshot off the pipe and in to give NU a 3-2 edge.
- Schule extended the Husky lead to two less than a minute later on his second goal in three games. Following an Adam Gaudette outlet pass across the ice to Dylan Sikura at the left side, Sikura threaded a pass behind a defender and on to the stick of Schule. Schule then did the rest, making a slick move before sending a backhand five-hole.
- Cedric Lacroix brought Maine back within one early in the third period when he capitalized on a rebound left in front of the Northeastern cage. Nolan Vesey began the play by corralling the puck behind the goal line and dishing to Daniel Perez in the slot. Ruck handled the first shot from Perez, but Lacroix was there to send the rebound home for his fourth of the year.
- With McGovern pulled with 1:23 left in regulation, the Huskies put together their biggest defensive stand of the night, as Gaudette blocked a pair of shots before gathering the loose puck and flinging it 150 feet into the open cage for his ninth of the year to ice the game.
Stats of the game:
- Northeastern is now 41-56-19 all-time against Maine.
- The Huskies have won six games in a row for the second time this season. It's tied for the fifth longest winning streak in program history.
- NU is unbeaten in 15 of its last 16 games (13-1-2), tied for the best stretch in program history (12-1-3 in 2014-15).
- The Huskies are also unbeaten in 10 straight league games (9-0-1), the longest such streak since joining Hockey East in 1984-85.
- Friday marked the sixth straight game that the Huskies have scored at least four goals in a game, the first time that's happened since the 1993-94 season (Dec. 10, 1993 - Jan. 7, 1994).
- Both John Stevens (10 assists) and Nolan Stevens (five goals, seven assists) extended their point streaks to six games on Friday night. Nolan had a career-high three assists on the night, becoming the third Husky to tally three helpers in a game this season.
- Aston-Reese recorded his team-leading 10th multi-point game of the season, and has points in 15 of his last 20 games (nine goals, 14 assists).
- Williams scored his first goal since Dec. 6 against Boston College, a span of 16 games. He had a career-high two goals on the night.
- Maine's third period tally marked the first time since January 2 against No. 3/2 Quinnipiac (14 games) that Ruck has allowed more than two goals in a game
The road ahead:
- The two teams will meet again tomorrow night in the regular season finale at Matthews Arena, beginning at 7 p.m. Prior to the game, the Huskies will honor the six members of the 2016 graduating class (Dustin Darou, Jarrett Fennell, Mike McMurtry, Derick Roy, Kevin Roy and Colton Saucerman) for their dedication to the men's hockey program and the Northeastern community.