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Men’s Ice Hockey Splits Weekend Series vs Northeastern

Men’s Hockey Splits Weekend of Redemption Against Northeastern

The University of Maine Men’s Ice Hockey team hosted Northeastern University on Feb. 23 and 24 at the Alfond Arena. The two teams each came away with one win, earning them each three crucial Hockey East points as the regular season approaches its conclusion.

Northeastern came into the weekend hot. The Huskies had won seven of their last eight games, including a dominant 6-3 victory over Maine on Feb. 2. They also racked up two wins against Boston University, ranked second nationally, and won the annual Beanpot Tournament.

On the other hand, the Black Bears looked to bounce back from a three-game losing streak. This was a crucial redemption series for the Black Bears after being swept by rival University of New Hampshire, their worst performance of the season.

The Friday night game started with early action as the Huskies were awarded a penalty shot five minutes in. Maine first-year goalie Albin Boija denied Northeastern fourth-year forward Alex Campbell’s attempt, making a nice blocker save.

Just a few seconds later, first-year forward Bradly Nadeau finished off a pass from his brother Josh Nadeau to open up the scoring for the Black Bears, making it 1-0. After changing the lines against New Hampshire, Maine Head Coach Ben Barr put the Nadeau brothers and the Black Bears’ captain, fourth-year forward Lynden Breen, back on the same line together. They would combine for seven points on the night, finishing with a plus-minus rating of +3.

About a minute later, Maine scored again and brought the crowd to their feet. First-year forward Sully Scholle one-timed a nice two-on-one pass from third-year forward Harrison Scott to make it 2-0, which was the eventual score after one period.

Maine came out a little sloppy to start the second period. They had chemistry issues, giving up a few breakaways, but Boija continued to make timely saves to maintain the lead. Boija would finish the game with 32 saves.

Northeastern’s second-year forward Cam Lund cut the lead to 2-1 on a one-timer goal from the slot. But  Breen responded four minutes later with his own goal for the Black Bears. This gave Maine a 3-1 lead and all the momentum heading into the third period.

In the final period, Bradly Nadeau struck a second time for the Black Bears, and his goal was again assisted by Josh Nadeau. This gave Bradly Nadeau his team-leading 16th goal of the season. With 10 minutes to go, second-year forward Parker Lindauer scored his first collegiate goal to make the score 5-1. The last ten minutes of the game got pretty chippy and physical, hinting at a competitive rematch on Saturday after Maine’s 5-1 win on Friday.

After serving a one-game suspension on Friday night, Maine senior forward Donavan Villeneuve-Houle returned for Saturday’s tilt against the Huskies. Houle, who is fourth on the team in goals, is also one of Maine’s most physical players. However, his presence didn’t matter, as the Huskies tossed Maine around all night. For the majority of the game, Northeastern was the more physical team, and Maine didn’t have an answer.

Northeastern third-year forward Justin Hryckowian scored a power-play goal eight minutes into the game, and the Huskies never looked back. They exploded for a three-goal second period, quieting the once raucous Orono crowd. Alex Campbell scored twice, his second being a breakaway. Graduate student Brett Edwards scored, ending the second period at 4-0. 

Despite Maine’s aggressive third period, Northeastern’s first-year goalie Cameron Whitehead secured a 40-side shutout after giving up five goals Friday. Northeastern would go on to win 4-0, and they defeated Maine in the season series two games to one.

With just two weekends to go, Maine is currently third in the Hockey East standings at 35 points. They trail Boston College (52 points) and Boston University (51 points). They are just ahead of Providence College (33 points), UMass Amherst (32 points), and the University of New Hampshire (30 points). 

The Black Bears will travel to Burlington to face the University of Vermont this Friday and Saturday. They look to get back on track and earn six Hockey East points before hosting UMass Amherst on March 8 and 9 to end the regular season.

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