Image via Merrimack Athletics
The Northeastern University Huskies drew 1-1 with the Merrimack College Warriors this past Saturday in North Andover, MA.
The tie leaves the Huskies one point shy of the Boston College Eagles for first place in Hockey East heading into the Christmas break.
The contest got off to a slow start, with Merrimack outshooting Northeastern 7 to 5 in the first period. The Warriors got on the board first around 14 minutes into the period with a score from senior Jace Hennig, assisted by senior Brett Seney.
The Huskies tied it midway through the second, on a power play score from Adam Gaudette. Gaudette’s 12th goal of the year was an impressive showing of hand-eye coordination.
Both teams threatened the rest of the way, with Merrimack outshooting NU 4-2 in overtime, but neither side could pot a winning score.
Once again, freshman goaltender Cayden Primeau continues to impress. Primeau saved 29 of 30 shots, a performance that gave him his fourth consecutive game with a save percentage over .920. His season save percentage now sits at .925, a number that would be third-best in program history over a full season.
Perhaps even more encouraging was the performance of the Northeastern penalty kill. A unit that has struggled for much of the fall (8th in Hockey East, 78.6%) put up a perfect 3-for-3 showing against the best non-NU power play in the conference (Merrimack is scoring 22.1% of the time).
Even-strength scoring continues to be an issue, with NU scoring just 4 goals 5-on-5 in its last 5 games. This bears watching in the second half, especially with the loss of Garrett Cockerill and the potential Olympic absences of Dylan Sikura, Adam Gaudette, and Jeremy Davies. But a point is a point, and 5 points out of 6 against any team is nothing to sneeze at.
Northeastern is back in action at Matthews Arena next Saturday night (12/30) against American International College.