SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In a battle of teams hailing from the world's oldest ice arena against one of the country's newest, the Northeastern men's hockey team became the first opponent to win a game at No. 2/3 Notre Dame's brand new facility, the Compton Family Ice Arena, in demonstrative fashion, 9-2. Friday night was Northeastern's second-ever trip to South Bend, Ind. to combat the Fighting Irish.
The Huskies offered up 12 points scorers, eight of which turned in multi-point efforts, to power Northeastern's most lopsided victory since bowling over Dartmouth, 7-0, on Jan. 2, 2010. The last time Northeastern reached the nine-goal plateau was at Matthews Arena against Connecticut on Oct. 11, 2002. The Huskies throttled UConn, 10-1. The last time Northeastern turned the trick on the road was a 9-4 triumph at Boston College on Jan. 7, 1994.
Three was a common denominator in Northeastern's landmark victory. The Huskies tallied three goals in the first 4:13 of play. Three skaters achieved their first goals of the season. Northeastern also scored a goal under the first minute of play in all three periods. Notre Dame also trotted out all three netminders in 60:00 of regulation. Lastly, all nine of Northeastern's goals came in even-strength play.
Freshman Ludwig Karlsson continues to impress, becoming the first Husky to notch four points since Chris Donovan turned the trick against Boston College on Feb. 2, 2009 (1-3-4). The Stockholm, Sweden native is Northeastern's first player to record four assists in an outing since Mike Morris accomplished the feat at UMass Lowell on Jan. 19, 2007.
Sophomore Cody Ferriero (1-2-3) and junior Steve Quailer (0-3-3) continue to melt the ice, each turning in consecutive multi-point performances, while juniors Garrett Vermeersch (1-2-3), Drew Ellement (1-1-2) and Vinny Saponari (0-2-2) joined sophomores Braden Pimm (2-0-2), Anthony Bitetto (0-2-2) in the multi-point outburst. Rookies Dan Cornell (1-0-1) and Adam Reid (1-0-1) teamed up with the Daniels' brothers, Justin (1-0-1) and Drew (0-1-1) on the scoring sheet.
Junior Chris Rawlings continues to limit opposing offenses, holding Notre Dame's 17th-ranked offense to just two goals via 25 stops. The North Delta, B.C. native has allowed a scant six goals in his last four starts, setting his goals against average at 2.37. Notre Dame's trio of Mike Johnson (0 saves - 3 GA), Steven Summerhayes (8 saves - 4 GA) and Joe Rogers (3 saves - 2 GA) were stymied for nine goals on just 20 Huskies' shots.
Northeastern wasted no time setting the tempo as Pimm pounded home a loose rebound just 30 seconds into the first frame. Northeastern won the initial draw and penetrated Notre Dame's zone down low. Ferriero fed Quailer up top as he attempted the first shot on Johnson, but the puck caromed out to the near post where Pimm was waiting to give Northeastern the 1-0 edge at 00:30.
Northeastern maintained its physical presence and added another just over two minutes later where junior Drew Daniels connected with Reid on a home run pass at 2:58. D. Daniels was simply trying to clear the puck out to Reid through the neutral zone when Reid found himself charging towards the net unattested. Reid made a deke to his left and banked it off Johnson. The puck trickled out to Johnson's left with velocity and it bounced off of a Notre Dame defenseman and into the net for the 2-0 Huskies' edge.
The first-period scoring did not stop there as Northeastern put away its third tally in the first 4:13 of the contest. Quailer redirected a pass over to Bitetto who spotted Cornell atop the zone all alone. Cornell rifled a shot from beyond the blue line, hoping to pinball the puck through traffic and gain a redirect goal. Luckily, the puck eluded the clogged up middle and forced Johnson out of net as Cornell's blast put Northeastern up, 3-0.
Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson called for a timeout to put a half to the ambush and swapped in Summerhayes before the five-minute mark of the first period.
Sophomore Anthony Bitetto went off for tripping to give Notre Dame its first man-advantage of the game, but two huge stops by Rawlings kept the Irish at bay. Each team got another power play in the middle of the first, but neither club could capitalize.
Before the first stanza concluded, Ferriero added a fourth goal to give the Huskies a 4-0 pad after the first 20 minutes. Karlsson registered his first of four helpers on a perfect give-and-go through ND's zone to beat Summerhays.
Even though the Fighting Irish outshot the Huskies, 9-4, in the second session, Northeastern still outscored its opponent starting off with a Vermeersch marker 47 seconds in. Ellement connected with Karlsson in the neutral zone where the puck was relayed out to Vermeersch on the left side. Vermeersch carted the puck in unattested and was able to unleash a wrist shot that whizzed past Summerhays' mitt off the crossbar to the back of the net for the 5-0 lead at the 00:47 mark.
Rawlings continued to anchor the defense with two big stops in front immediately following Vermeersch's goal, allowing the Huskies' offense to shine once again.
Vermeersch netted his second-consecutive goal halfway through the second on a tic-tac-toe play from Karlsson and Saponari. Sophomore Luke Eibler cleared the puck out to Karlsson on Notre Dame's blue line. Karlsson skated towards the net and chipped it back to Saponari who then connected with Vermeersch on a cross-crease pass. Vermeersh redirected through Summerhays' five-hole to give Northeastern a six-goal buffer at 10:33 of the second period.
A couple more extra-man opportunities went by the wayside before Notre Dame stopped the bleeding with a late power play goal. Ellement went off for holding at 17:59 and T.J. Tynan blasted one through traffic on a feed from Riley Sheahan between the blue line and left circle. Rawlings could not spot the disc and the Fighting Irish got on the board at 19:47 to make to a 6-1 affair.
Once again, Northeastern got the early jump to start the third period as Pimm shredded the back of the net just 13 seconds off the draw. Bitetto chipped the puck into Quailer off the faceoff as it eventually made its way to Ferriero in the corner. In an attempt to get the puck into prime position, Ferriero crafted a no-look pass to Pimm in front of the net. Pimm quickly gathered the rubber and made it a 7-1 game at 00:13.
Everything continued to go Northeastern's way after a Notre Dame goal was waved off a few minutes later. Robbie Russo appeared to shovel the puck in, but Anders Lee was called for goaltender interference, forcing the officiating crew to deem the goal invalid.
Jackson opted to test his third netminder of the night at 15:24 of the third frame, but Northeastern continued to light the lamp, offering two more tallies before the final horn. J. Daniels sniped the left corner at 14:24 of the third period from the right dot on a pass from Bitetto before Ellement closed out Northeastern's onslaught with a ferocious slap shot off the blue line. Ellement's missile bounced off both posts at 18:19.
Nick Larson added the Fighting Irish's second and final marker at 11:32 on a redirect blast generated by Kevin Lind two strides from the blue line.
The Huskies went 0-for-4 on the power play while Notre Dame finished 1-for-7.
The Huskies look for their fifth-straight victory tomorrow night at the Compton Family Ice Arena at 7:05 p.m. against Notre Dame. It will be the first time Northeastern has faced its opponent in consecutive nights since battling Merrimack on Nov. 3-4.