BOSTON — So much for a goaltending duel.
Through two periods of Tuesday night’s non-conference contest between Rensselaer and host Northeastern, RPI goalie Jordan Alford and NU backstop Keni Gibson had stopped 17 and 14 shots, respectively, as the Engineers held a 2-1 edge.
Then things got downright offensive.
After the dust and eight third-period tallies cleared, RPI (2-1-1) left a sparsely populated Matthews Arena with an impressive 7-4 victory.
Things started off innocently enough in the third. Northeastern killed off the remaining 1:16 of a Bryan Cirullo roughing penalty, and moments later Husky senior captain hit sophomore Aaron Moore on a backdoor pass, on which Alford made a sprawling pad save.
That’s when the starting gun went off.
“I thought we let them off the hook and let them get back in the game, and give them a lot of credit. They didn’t stop,” RPI coach Dan Fridgen said. “They just kept coming at us.”
Despite outshooting its opponent for the third straight game, Northeastern lost for the third straight time, falling to 1-3 after upsetting then top-ranked Michigan on Oct. 8.
“Our biggest problem is our shot selection,” Husky coach Bruce Crowder said. “We try to make everything look perfect. We try to make sure the goalie is out of the net. We’ve got to score ugly goals — a little bit like Ortiz. We tried to talk to the guys and that’s how he scored. He turned and threw it to the net.
“I really think in a lot of ways I think we controlled the offensive end for a long period of time but for the most part I think it was RPI’s kind of ‘rope-a-dope,’ giving us the space and we skated and we don’t shoot,” he said. “There’s no harm done.”
Northeastern’s penalty-killing woes also continued, giving up three power play goals in seven chances. For the season, Northeastern has killed just 23 of 33 shorthanded situations.
Nick Economakos scored the game’s first goal, a power-play strike for RPI just 1:06 into the first period. The senior picked up the rebound of a Brad Farynuk shot and deposited it for RPI’s first lead.
Although Morris’ first goal of the game tied the score at the 2:55 mark of the second period, RPI never trailed. The junior has scored in every game this season, with four goals and three assists. Guerriero has also notched a point in every contest this year and has a nine-game scoring streak dating back to last season.
With four minutes left in the second period, Engineer freshman Andrew Lord gave RPI its 2-1 second intermission edge with an even strength marker assisted by Hussey.
Northeastern travels to Colgate Saturday for a 7 p.m. tilt, while RPI visits Army Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.