Home Winless Streak Hits 7 for Northeastern
Northeastern got 48 shots on Friday, but they were unable to end their lengthy home losing streak. The Huskies fell 3-1 thanks to the work of New Hampshire goaltender Casey DeSmith, the posts, and a handful of missed open nets for the Huskies offense.
The loss continues a streak of futility at home for the Huskies, with their last win at Matthews coming on November 11th. That win and the win the night before came against Alabama Huntsville (58th out of 59 in RPI). If you want the Huskies last Hockey East win at home, you have to go all the way back to the first week of the season: October 13th against Boston College. In Hockey East play this year, Northeastern has taken just 7 points from a possible 18 in home games.
As far as loses go, this one wasn’t particularly egregious though. Chris Rawlings made his return to the lineup as did forward Ludwig Karlsson. Jarrett Fennell replaced the injured Drew Ellement to round out a makeshift defensive group that is still missing Dustin Darou.
The Huskies and Wildcats picked up right where they left off in the last meeting with a scoreless first. The 0-0 tie in October was an exciting goalie duel between Bryan Mountain and DeSmith and while the first period was similar in the lack goals, the play featured much less quality or noteworthy moments than the previous meeting.
Things picked up a bit in the 2nd and UNH struck first through Grayson Downing. Chris Rawlings was bailed out by the post on the originally shot, but his save attempt left him out of the crease and facing the wrong way, allowing Downing an easy tap into a wide open net. It would be 2-0 UNH just 45 seconds later when Eric Knodel’s well-placed wrist shot finished off a nice move by the Wildcats in transition.
Vinny Saponari would poke in a rebound to pull the Huskies within one in the 2nd period, but the 2-1 UNH lead would hold until the third period. They would add to it on a power play when John Henrion’s one-timer found the net.
The Huskies would have 18 minutes and plenty of chances to get back in the game but it never materialized. Four power plays and a couple wide open nights went by the wayside and the game finished 3-1. The final power play of the night was particularly disheartening. Northeastern pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, making it a 6-on-4 power play. The Huskies had some great passing and were able to create some good shooting lanes, but the shots never came and the Huskies were still passing the puck when the clock hit 0.
UNH is a better team and they played like it last night. But the Huskies played better than they did last weekend. With BU getting beat handily by UMass, the Huskies’ Beanpot chances may actually look better than they did going into the game.
It wasn’t the best performance from Rawlings, but it was definitely good enough to get him the start on Monday.
Ludwig Karlsson was not able to finish the game after re-aggravating his back injury. His status for Monday is unclear.