BOSTON, Mass. - Northeastern and Rensselaer skated to a 2-2 draw in a penalty-infused affair that combined for 74 penalty minutes between the two clubs at Matthews Arena on Friday night. Both Engineers' goals came with the man advantage while the Huskies went 0-for-8 on the powerplay.
Freshmen Rob Dongara and Jamie Oleksiak tallied their first collegiate goals for Northeastern while newcomer Luke Eibler and veterans Randy Guzior and Steve Silva notched their first points of the season with an assist apiece. Eibler's helper marks his first point in a Huskies sweater.
The Engineers edged NU in shots, 31-28, while Huskies' netminder Chris Rawlings stopped 29 shots in net. RPI's Allen York steered aside 26 attempts in the tie.
Freshman Brodie Reid had the first look of the contest after Brock Higgs was sat down for cross checking at 1:41, but York was able to made the stop.
A few minutes later, Guzior induced a turnover in front of RPI's bench and sophomore Steve Morra scooped up the idle puck and carried it in towards York. Morra went high, but York stayed with him and kept the Huskies off the board. Around the 7:30 mark of the first, Morra targeted rookie Zak Stone on the far post, but Stone wasn't able to get enough lumber on the disc to nudge it by York.
At 8:26, newcomer Anthony Bitetto was cited for slashing, but the Huskies' pressure yielded a breakaway opportunity for NU. Sophmomre Steve Quailer stripped the Engineers in Northeastern's zone and needled a perfect pass across the sheet to connect with senior Tyler McNeely on the blue line. NU's captain made a move left but could not convert the breakaway chance.
Sophomore Garrett Vermeersch and Guzior followed one another to the box with slashing infractions five seconds apart as Vermeersch took the initial call at 12:55 of the first. The Engineers exploited the two-man advantage at 13:29 when Bryan Brutlag deflected Tyler Helfrich's rip past Rawlings for the first score of the night. Nick Bailen slid the disc over to Helfrich on the right dot and Brutlag was able to dupe Rawlings in front of the crease.
Northeastern responded at 16:42 when Dongara roofed the Huskies' first marker of the night with the extra attacker. Rawlings raced off the ice after RPI was charged with a penalty and NU converted shortly thereafter. Freshman Cody Ferriero ripped a shot from the point that was blocked and the carom ended up on Guzior's stick. Guzior linked up with Eibler in the slot, but York blocked the rookie's take. Dongara zipped through the crease and corralled the rebound to hook it over York's blocker to cinch the game at 1-1.
Oleksiak opened the second stanza with a successful wrister from the top of the zone at 4:24. Silva won the faceoff outright in RPI's territory and kicked the puck back to the waiting defenseman. Oleksiak gathered the puck uncontested and bilked York with help from traffic in the middle for the 2-1 edge.
The Huskies were able to stay out of trouble after RPI was bestowed with another 5-on-3 situation at 9:26. Stone hit the showers after a game misconduct for hitting-from-behind at 7:45 followed by an Eibler hooking infraction.
Rensselaer staved off a Huskies powerplay opportunity after Brutlag took a seat for instigating at 13:07. Roughly four minutes later, the Engineers pounced on their second powerplay chance after Bitetto was called for interference at the 17:00-minute mark.
RPI cycled the puck a couple times before Chase Polacek's rip meandered through the clogged up middle and found its way underneath Rawlings' pad at 17:55. Bailen and Lee were credited with the help as RPI buttoned the game back up, 2-2.
Northeastern's powerplay unit took the ice to start the third after Lee was carted off for interference with 13 second left in the second session, but the Huskies extra-man offense was not able to penetrate RPI's penalty-killing unit.
Immediately following Lee's release, Guzior gave Rensselaer another five-minute window with an extra attacker. Guzior committed a hitting-from-behind penalty and followed up the act with extracurriculars in front of RPI's bench to be shown the door.
Luckily for Northeastern, Marty O'Grady and Jeff Foss were both sent to the box for hooking, respectively, at 4:49 and 5:18, but the Huskies could not muster a threat on York with 1:31 of 4-on-3 action.
The special teams' exhibit continued and NU was the beneficiary of an extra icer after Helfrich was called for tripping at 17:47. Head coach Greg Cronin called timeout with 1:07 left in the powerplay, but Northeastern's extra-man unit couldn't crack the scoreboard.
After regulation expired, RPI targeted Rawlings for three shots while the Huskies failed to register a shot, but neither team was able to end the stalemate.
Northeastern has tomorrow night off before diving back into Hockey East play next Friday, Oct. 22 when the Huskies welcome New Hampshire to Matthews Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.
- The last overtime game for the Huskies was when Northeastern tied New Hampshire, 4-4, on Feb. 26, 2010.
- Northeastern has scored an extra-attacker goal in two of its first three contests. The Huskies did not score a goal in that fashion all throughout the 2009-10 ledger.
- Both teams combined for 74 penalty minutes.
- Rob Dongara, Luke Eibler, Randy Guzior, Jamie Oleksiak and Steve Silva all tallied their first points of the season.
- Steve Morra donned a Northeastern sweater for the first time this season.