PORTLAND, Maine — Coming into Sunday afternoon’s contest with Maine, Northeastern was in need of a wake-up call. Mired in a four-game losing streak, the Huskies were looking to overcome an offensive slump that had seen them score only five goals during that period.
Two nights previous, NU had turned in a lackluster effort at Alfond Arena, losing 5-1.
The Huskies found that spark in the closing minutes of the contest Sunday, erasing a two-goal deficit to escape with a 3-3 tie with the Black Bears.
Freshman Trevor Reschny scored a pair of goals 55 seconds apart in the last two minutes of the third period to erase the 3-1 Maine lead. From there, Northeastern weathered a few close calls in overtime to earn the point.
NU came out of the weekend set with a 5-6-2 mark, 2-4-2 in Hockey East. Maine settled for a 6-4-4 record, 3-1-2 in conference.
“I talked to the guys about character,” Huskies coach Bruce Crowder said. “We battled a ton of adversity in this game and we just kept coming.”
The final sequence was set up late when Maine’s Cliff Loya was whistled for slashing with 2:28 remaining. The call nullified a Maine power play and Crowder called a time out to address his club.
“We talked about getting a six-on-four advantage when (NU forward Brian) Cummings came out of the box,” Crowder said. “I didn’t expect us to cut into the lead that quickly.”
Twenty seconds after the timeout, Reschny positioned himself in front of Maine goalie Mike Morrison (27 saves) and tipped a Mike Jozefowicz drive from the right point over the defenseless netminder, cutting the lead to 3-2.
“It was a good shot, flat on the ice,” Reschny said. “I got just enough of it.”
Less than a minute later, with Husky goaltender Mike Gilhooly (23 saves) on the bench and the NU net empty, Reschny struck again.
“We had the pressure on them the whole time,” Reschny said. “They seemed to be running around. Chris Lynch deked, and I thought he was going to shoot, but he passed it out in front to me. I had a wide open net, it was a good play by Lynchie.”
The play stunned the near capacity crowd at the Cumberland County Civic Center. It was a far cry from the midpoint of the third, when goals by Maine forward Matthias Trattnig 17 seconds apart put that same crowd into a frenzy.
Trattnig’s first score came at the 9:08 mark. After picking up a loose puck in neutral ice, Trattnig skated into the offensive zone one on two.
“I pushed the puck past their first defenseman,” Trattnig said. “It went too far and I got it again and looked around and didn’t see anyone, so I just snapped a shot at the net.”
Trattnig’s shot beat a surprised Gilhooly high to the glove side, giving Maine a 2-1 lead.
Seconds later, Trattnig emerged from behind the net to whack in the rebound of a Tom Reimann shot for a two-goal lead. The two goals, Trattnig’s fourth and fifth of the year, were scored 17 seconds apart, a record for the quickest two goals by the same player at Maine.
Black Bear nemesis Willie Levesque had tied the game in the first minute of the final period when his drive from the right circle hit Morrison’s stick and caromed high over the goaltender’s shoulder into the net.
Maine sophomore Martin Kariya staked the Black Bears to a 1-0 lead in the first period. Kariya redirected a Francis Nault feed from the low right circle for his fourth goal of the season with Maine on the power play.
For Maine, the tie felt more like a loss.
“This one’s tough,” Black Bear forward Niko Dimitrakos said. “We had two points and just like that, it’s gone.”
“We lost our intensity in the second period,” Maine co-captain A.J. Begg said. “We didn’t bring the same energy that we played with on Friday night.”
“Clearly, this was a situation where we could have gained four points, Maine coach Shawn Walsh said. “We made some mistakes late and they came back to haunt us. They good news is that we come out of the weekend with three points.”