|1st||5:58||NOE||1-0||EV||Adam Gaudette (12)||Grant Jozefek/2, Dylan Sikura/22|
|1st||11:05||NOE||2-0||EV GW||Jeremy Davies (5)||Dylan Sikura/23, Adam Gaudette/21|
|2nd||5:01||MER||1-2||EV||Sami Tavernier (3)||Brett Seney/12, Johnathan Kovacevic/9|
|2nd||8:16||NOE||3-1||EV||Brendan Collier (3)||Ryan Shea/6, Eric Williams/8|
|3rd||6:09||NOE||4-1||PP||Dylan Sikura (13)||Garret Cockerill/13, John Stevens/14|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Drew Vogler (L, 6-7-3)||58:56||4||9||10||4||23|
|Ryan Ruck (W, 8-9-4)||60:00||1||8||14||11||33|
BOSTON - Ryan Ruck stopped 33 shots for the second straight game, and Dylan Sikura recorded a three-point night to lead the Northeastern men's ice hockey team (8-10-5, 2-8-3) to a 4-1 victory against Merrimack (8-12-3, 2-6-3) on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
Sikura led the charge offensively with a goal and two assists while eight different Huskies recorded at least a point. Adam Gaudette recorded a multi-point effort with a goal and an assist while Jeremy Davies and Brendan Collier also scored for the hosts.
Northeastern jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game on goals from Gaudette and Davies to take a two-goal lead through the opening frame. Sami Tavernier cut the NU lead to one with a goal five minutes into the second period, but Northeastern regained its two-goal edge three minutes later as Collier pounded home his third of the season.
Sikura would add another insurance marker with a power play tally six minutes into the third period and Ruck slammed the door from there, steering aside 11 third period shots from the Warriors, including a pair during a six-on-three skating advantage for Merrimack in the final minute of regulation.
Drew Vogler got the nod in goal for Merrimack, which outshot NU 34=27, making 23 stops. Northeastern was 1-of-4 on the power play while holding MC to an 0-of-6 showing on the man advantage. The Huskies also won the battle in the face-off dot with 33-of-61 draws, led by a 16-of-28 performance from captain John Stevens.
- Northeastern struck first less than six minutes into the contest when Gaudette knocked him his 12th of the year. With NU controlling the puck in the attacking zone, Sikura fired a pass out of the right corner to Gaudette. Gaudette then stickhandled around a defenseman before snapping a shot on goal that Vogler stopped, but the rebound went off of Grant Jozefek's foot and into midair, where Gaudette batted it home for the score.
- The Huskies extended the lead to 2-0 with 8:55 to go in the opening frame on Davies' fifth of the year, and second in as many games. After Gaudette took the puck from the defensive zone and across the attacking blueline, he found Sikura joining the play down the left side. Sikura then recoiled and flew between the hashmarks, eluded three defenders before finding Davies on the doorstep for the one-timer past Vogler.
- Merrimack cut the deficit in half five minutes into the second period when Tavernier netted his third of the year. With MC moving the puck in transition, Johnathan Kovacevic hit Brett Seney with a pass down the left side. Seney then found Tavernier joining the rush on the weak side, and slid a pass over for a low one-timer that beat Ruck five-hole.
- Northeastern regain its two-goal lead just 3:15 later on Collier's third of the year. Patrick Schule began the play by winning a puck battle along the wall to keep the puck in the attacking zone and down to Sam Kurker below the goal line. Kurker then returned the puck to Schule, who in turn found Eric Williams up at the point. Williams would glide the puck across to Ryan Shea, whose shot from the left point was stopped by Collier before he tucked it under Vogler's pad for a 3-1 NU lead.
- The Huskies extended the lead to 4-1 with 13:51 remaining in regulation with a power play goal from Sikura. On the ensuing face-off following a slashing call on Jared Kolquist, John Stevens won the face-off over to Garret Cockerill along the right wall. Cockerill then fed Sikura at the point while Stevens created a screen in front, and Sikura was able to thread a shot under the glove of Vogler for his 13th of the year.
Stats of the game:
- Northeastern is now 53-42-10 all-time against Merrimack, and has defeated the Warriors in four straight regular season meetings for the first time since 2009.
- Sikura has points in 11 of his last 12 games (nine goals, 14 assists), while Gaudette has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last seven games.
- Zach Aston-Reese's point streak was halted at 11-games on Friday night, which was a career-long. He had 15 goals and 10 assists in that span. It is just the fifth time in 23 games that he was held off the scoresheet.
- Northeastern two first period goals give them 32 goals in the first period this season, which is tied for the second most in the nation.
- The power play unit scored for the 12th straight game, and now has 31 goals on the man advantage this season, which is the second most in the country.
- The penalty killing unit, meanwhile, held its opponent scoreless on the man advantage for the fourth straight game, and is 34-of-36 (94.4%) in the last nine games.
- Jozefek returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 5 after missing the previous 13 games with an upper body injury.
The road ahead:
- The two teams will meet again tomorrow night in the series finale at Lawler Rink. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.