BOSTON — After a 2-1 overtime defeat the previous evening, Maine came into Matthews Arena with revenge on its mind. It instead would have to settle for a 2-2 tie in the rubber match of the season series with Northeastern.
Northeastern’s Leon Hayward and Trevor Reschny added two assists each, while Maine’s Peter Metcalf had a goal and an assist in the contest.
“I thought we played hard,” said Maine’s Coach Tim Whitehead. “You play like this on the road you win four out of five. Tonight we played a great game and came out with the point. My regrets are last night, that’s where we really dropped the ball.”
Said Northeastern coach Bruce Crowder, “The last four games we’ve played really good hockey. The last 12 periods we’ve played, we haven’t let up.”
The first period was an exact extension of the previous night’s action, with both teams battling hard and scoring chances abounding. Northeastern edged the Black Bears (11-7-4, 5-3-2 HEA) in shots, 12-10, in the opening period, but it was Maine which would come out of the period with the lead, 1-0.
With less than three seconds remaining in the period, Maine’s Peter Metcalf was able to put one past goalie Keni Gibson, five-hole, as Northeastern failed to clear the puck out of the zone as the period wound down.
Northeastern (10-9-3, 4-6-2 HEA) appeared to jump on the board early with a quick pass to Huskies freshman Jared Mudryk, but the goal was dissallowed because Chris Lynch was in the crease in front of Maine netminder Mike Morrison.
In quick back and fourth play, both Northeastern’s Gibson and Maine’s Morrison made several tremendous stops on continuous opportunities.
“You want to have your goalie in a position where you can win games,” said Coach Crowder. “He made a huge save on a 2-on-1 that really lifted the guys up. He’s just been excellent.”
“The guys played great in front of me this weekend,” said Northeastern’s Gibson. “We were really playing off of our momentum from last weekend and continue to play well. We’re playing good hockey.”
Northeastern wasted little time in the second, as freshman Tim Judy put away a rebound from a shot by Trevor Reschny at 1:31. The shot developed from a pass off the boards from Leon Hayward, which led to the breakout.
“We’re a great hockey team,” said Northeastern’s Jim Fahey. “We’re not going to score 10 goals like UNH did against Merrimack, it’s just not how it happens here. We battle in front of the net and get our goals by really grinding down low.”
“Northeastern played great this weekend,” said Whitehead. “You can’t come into [Matthews Arena] and expect to win. They played strong and deserved every point they got.”
Much like the first, the second period saw back and fourth action with both teams battling. Maine made the score 2-1 at 11:57 when Metcalf found Todd Jackson in the high slot, who put a shot past Gibson.
Play got chippy as the second went on. Maine’s Prestin Ryan and Northeastern’s Chris Lynch received four minutes each for roughing, while Maine’s Paul Lynch and Northeastern’s Eric Ortlip received six minutes each for roughing.
There would be a total of 14 different roughing penalties in the very physical contest.
With less than 22 seconds left in the second, it was Northeastern’s turn to score in the final minute of a period. Senior Captain Jim Fahey lifted the puck top shelf off of a rebound shot by Reschny from the top of the circle.
“Guys that don’t get a lot of credit but should are Hayward, Reshny and Tudrick,” said Fahey. “They are the guys that really scored our goals for us tonight.”
The third period saw more than its fair share of crossbars and posts, as both teams were unable to find the back of the net. For the second night in a row, the teams would need an extra period to decide matters.
“We knew that coming into this weekend, it was going to be a tough battle,” said Maine’s Morrison. “We just wanted to make up for last night and I think the guys played really well.”
The extra period saw five different scoring chances for Northeastern to Maine’s one. Despite the opportunities, the score held.
Maine next faces Merrimack (8-12-2, 3-7-2) in a two=game homestand, while Northeastern plays UMass-Lowell (16-3-1, 8-2-1) in a home-and-home weekend.