Northeastern Tops Merrimack, 3-1
Sophomore forward John Picking scores goal and assist for Huskies

Sophomore forward John Picking scored a goal and an assist for the Huskies
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 7:47  NOE1-0 EV John Picking (2)Garrett Cecere/4, Patrick Schule/3
1st 10:28  NOE2-0 PP GW Nolan Stevens (8)Dylan Sikura/10, Garret Cockerill/9
2nd 17:22  NOE3-0 EV Lincoln Griffin (5)John Picking/2, Garret Cockerill/10
3rd 11:46  MER1-3 PP Cole McBride (2)Marc Biega/2, Johnathan Kovacevic/9
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Merrimack  0011
Northeastern  2103
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Merrimack  417829
Northeastern  1091029
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Merrimack (2-8-3)  1/3 9/18 0
Northeastern (8-5-1)  1/6 5/13 0
Merrimack Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Craig Pantano (L, 2-4-1)60:003 881026
Northeastern Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Cayden Primeau (W, 4-3-1)59:361 417728
Empty Net0:240     

BOSTON - Freshman Cayden Primeau stopped 28 shots and John Picking had a goal and an assist to get the No. 12/11 Northeastern men's hockey team (8-5-1, 6-3-0) got back in the win column on Friday night with a 3-1 victory against Merrimack (2-8-3, 1-5-1).

The Huskies took a 2-0 first period lead thanks to tallies from Picking and captain Nolan Stevens before Lincoln Griffin buried a rebound late in the second period to give the hosts a commanding three-goal edge through 40 minutes. Senior Garret Cockerill added two assists.

The teams went back-and-forth in the third period before the Warriors were awarded a five-minute power play midway through the final frame. Merrimack cut into the deficit with 8:14 to go in regulation on a goal from Cole McBridge, but the Huskies controlled play from there to secure the win.

Craig Pantano made 26 saves for the Warriors as shots were level at 29 a piece in the game. Northeastern went 1-of-6 on the power play while Merrimack was 1-of-3 and won 27-of-48 face-offs.

Goal descriptions

FIRST GOAL (1-0 Northeastern) - FIRST PERIOD - John Picking - 7:47
Northeastern jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Picking's second of the season. After Bobby Hampton won a puck battle in the corner and found Patrick Schule atop the left dot, Schule spun around quickly and hit Garrett Cecere with a pass at the point. Cecere then stood a string to the right to create a shooting lane before firing the puck towards the cage, where Picking redirected it for the score.

SECOND GOAL (2-0 Northeastern) - FIRST PERIOD - Nolan Stevens - 10:28
The Husky power play converted midway through the first period when Stevens notched his eighth of the season in the final second of the man advantage. During a scrum in front of the net, Garret Cockerill backhanded a shot wide, but Sikura was there to chase down the rebound and skate it along the blue line. Sikura then sent a low shot in on goal, where Stevens got a stick on it to knock it past Pantano.

THIRD GOAL (3-0 Northeastern) - SECOND PERIOD - Lincoln Griffin - 17:22
Northeastern took a commanding three-goal advantage with less than three minutes left in the second period on Griffin's fifth of the year. As the Huskies controlled the puck in the attacking zone, Cockerill sent the puck into a slew of bodies in front of the cage, where Picking's initial shot was stopped by Pantano. The rebound, though, sat in the crease where Griffin was able to knock it home for the score.

FOURTH GOAL (3-1 Northeastern) - THIRD PERIOD - Cole McBride - 11:46
Merrimack got on the board with 8:14 remaining in regulation with a strike from McBride during a five-minute Merrimack power play. With the Huskies in the box for a charging/goaltender interference major, Johnathan Kovacevic dropped to Marc Beiga at the blue line. Biega then slid it over to McBridge at the right face-off dot, who ripped a shot through traffic over Primeau's glove for his second of the season.

Stats of the game

Northeastern is now 55-42-10 all-time against Merrimack, including five wins in a row, the longest streak since 2009.

The Huskies are now 14-3-3 in Friday games over the last two seasons.

Northeastern now has eight wins in 14 games, the fastest to eight wins since 2013-14.

Since returning from injury last February, Stevens has points in 16 of his last 25 games (15 goals, 14 assists).

Sikura is now alone in 38th on Northeastern's all-time scoring list with 109 points (43 goals, 66 assists). Sixty-seven of those points have come on Friday nights.

Picking recorded his first multi-point game of his career on Friday (one goal, one assist).

The road ahead

Northeastern and Merrimack will meet again tomorrow night at Lawler Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. in North Andover.