LOWELL, Mass. — On a night dedicated to the survivors and first responders of April 15′s horrific Boston Marathon Bombing, the Northeastern University Huskies battled to a 4-2 victory over Massachusetts-Lowell at the Tsongas Center.
Before the contest, the teams honored the victims of the attack with a video montage on the Jumbotron, followed by a special ceremonial puck drop. Coaches also wore “Boston Strong” pins.
“It was bigger than the game,” Lowell coach Norm Bazin said of the ceremony. “When we’re talking about ‘River Hawk Strong’ and ‘Boston Strong,’ it’s for a great cause. I thought they did a great job.”
With the victory, the Huskies picked up their first Hockey East win of the year, improving to 6-3-0 overall and 1-2-0 within the conference.
The River Hawks fall to 5-4-0 overall and 2-1-0 in Hockey East action.
“I thought it was a really good college hockey game,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I just like the way our guys stuck to our game plan.”
Lowell drew first blood when Adam Chapie capitalized on a man advantage at 6:54 of the first stanza. After losing an edge in the Northeastern zone, Scott Wilson slid the puck to the point from his belly. Christian Folin then corralled it and quickly fired a hard wrist shot on net. The initial shot was kicked away by goaltender Clay Witt, but the rebound found its way to an open Chapie, who chipped it into the empty net for his fourth tally of the year.
The Huskies drew even at 13:58 when they picked up a power-play goal of their own.
After a good short-handed chance from Lowell’s Chris Maniccia, Northeastern quickly got the puck back into the River Hawks zone. Kevin Roy then picked it up at the left circle and wristed a shot that beat a screened Connor Hellebuyck.
Shortly after, the Huskies took their first lead of the game when Mike Szmatula converted off of a perfect pass from Torin Snyderman in front of the net.
“[Snyderman got down and put pressure on the defense,” said Szmatula. “He got it on my tape, fortunately, and I just went hard to the net and got a good bounce.”
Not long after Lowell leveled the score on yet another power-play goal from Derek Arnold, the Huskies quickly bounced back to retake the lead.
Following a hard point shot from Colton Saucerman, Dalen Hedges found the rebound and slid a backhanded shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the year.
A third period empty-netter from Snyderman capped off the 4-2 victory.
“I like the way our guys competed tonight,” said Madigan. “I thought we grew together as a team. It’s one game, and I said to our guys that this is what Hockey East is about. It’s the best league in the country, and we’re going to be in these games for the rest of the year. So, it’s good to be on the plus side on this one.”
Northeastern’s Hockey East schedule rolls on next week with a home-and-home series with New Hampshire. Lowell hits the road with a Tuesday contest with Princeton before heading out to State College for a series against Penn State.