In a spirited back-and-forth matinee affair, Northeastern’s Aidan McDonough scored the only goal in a shootout to earn the extra point in the Hockey East standings after the No. 12 Huskies skated to a 3-3 draw against No. 19 Providence.
Northeastern goaltender Connor Murphy, who finished the game with 36 saves, stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout.
“At the end of the day, [Connor] has done a real good job for us, made some real big saves down the stretch,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan of his goaltender’s play on Saturday. “He continues to make progress each and every start. He’s a pretty balanced young man and you can see that in his game. I thought he battled real well tonight.”
— Northeastern Men’s Hockey (@GoNUmhockey) December 19, 2020
Defenseman Jayden Struble notched a goal and assist for Northeastern while Providence’s Greg Printz matched that scoring line, his goal coming with the extra attacker on the ice for the Friars with 1:24 remaining in regulation.
In a game where each team scored once in each frame, it appeared that Northeastern’s Zach Solow could play the role of hero, netting his third goal of the season with 2:54 remaining in the third.
“We scored late in the third period and I thought we’d come away with a win,” said Madigan. “But that’s a credit to them as a team that they’d come all the way back.”
Jaxson Stauber made his second straight stop for the Friars, earning the tie to move his record to 1-0-1.
No. 13 Bowling Green 4, No. 11 Quinnipiac 2
No. 13 Bowling Green rallied from 2-0 down, scoring four goals in the game’s final 21 minutes, including three goals in the final 6:02 to earn a 4-2 road victory and weekend sweep of No. 11 Quinnipiac.
Connor Ford’s power play goal with 1:48 remaining completed the comeback and gave the Falcons their first lead of the game. Ford assisted on a Tim Theocharidis empty-net goal that cinched the victory.
“We just tried to get our guys to relax,” said Bowling Green coach Ty Eigner about maintaining a mental position to win after falling behind. “Getting a power play goal late in the second helped. Then we had some older guys make some plays.”
While Quinnipiac was playing its fourth game in six nights, it has also been an interesting week for Bowling Green, which chose to play a non-conference series against a tough opponent 10-plus hours from campus. Add in the massive snowstorm that hit the east coast that slowed travel, it could’ve been a reason for an excuse.
“We’ve got a really proud group and a bunch of guys that care,” said Eigner. “This series was on our radar for sure. If you have our attention we’re going be really good.”
After a scoreless first period, Quinnipiac jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Ethan de Jong at 4:17 and Desi Bugart at 9:36.
It appeared that the Bobcats would head to the third with the two-goal cushion until Bowling Green’s Gavin Gould’s power play tally with 57 seconds left in the second.
As the Falcons pressed in the third, Quinnipiac netminder Keith Petruzzelli (32 saves) stood tall. But an off-angle rocket by Brandon Kruse evened the game with 6:02 remaining, setting up the late-game heroics.
The home sweep for Quinnipiac doesn’t sit easy with coach Rand Pecknold, who admitted that his players maybe didn’t have the full-game effort necessary to earn the victory on Saturday.
“Some of our older guys think it’s going to be easy. It’s not,” said Pecknold. “It’s part of maturing. We went through this last year.
“You’ve gotta make sacrifices at this level. It will come for us. It was a really frustrating and disappointing weekend. We’ve got to learn. We weren’t good enough.”
No. 4 North Dakota 2, No. 3 Minnesota Duluth 1
Grant Mismash redirected a shot for his fourth goal of the season with 48 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and give No. 4 North Dakota the win over No. 3 Minnesota Duluth.
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) December 19, 2020
The throwback matinee, with a 12:05 p.m. local start time, was a defensive battle between two of the NCHC – and the nation’s – top teams.
For North Dakota, it was the penultimate game in the NCHC pod, but was the last for the Bulldogs, who finish the nine-game COVID-based aberration with a 5-2-2 mark. The Fighting Hawks stand at 6-2-1 and will end their own pod play on Sunday against Miami.
Neither team scored in the first period, but Collin Adams third goal of the pod with 6:45 left in the second broke the deadlock.
The game went without a goal until the 7:12 mark of the third when Noah Cates drew Minnesota Duluth even. But it wasn’t enough with Mismash playing hero.