BOSTON, Mass. - The Northeastern men's hockey team (4-7-1, 2-6-1 HEA) tallied the first goal of the contest on Friday night at Matthews Arena, but the Huskies could not bounce back from five unanswered goals off the sticks of St. Lawrence (6-3-2, 0-2-2 ECAC) and ultimately lost, 5-2.
Sophomores Ludwig Karlsson and transfer Dax Lauwers netted goals for Northeastern, but the Saints outshot the Huskies, 39-23, to set the precedent throughout the night. Lauwers' goal counted as his first at Northeastern and second collegiate while Karlsson put away his fifth on the year.
Senior goaltender Bryan Mountain picked up his fourth start of the season and stopped 34 shots in the setback. SLU's Matt Wenninger steered away 21 shots in his sixth triumph of the season.
Senior captain Vinny Saponari extended his point streak to a career-best seven games while junior Zak Stone and sophomore Dan Cornell picked up their first points of the season.
St. Lawrence established its offense early and hurled the first flurry of shots on Mountain in the early goings. Shortly after, the Saints gained a power play opportunity after a Lauwers' interference call at 3:33 of the first period. The Huskies' penalty-killing unit kept the puck of the net and in turn, gained a consecutive chances shortly after.
Greg Carey (6:19) and Matt Dyer (9:05) were whistled respectively and momentum started to tip in NU's favor. Even though the Huskies did not capitalize with the extra skater, Karlsson drew first blood at 12:25 of the opening frame.
Saponari won a hard-fought battle in the near corner and slid it out to Cornell just beneath the blue line. Cornell popped it back down to the goal line where Karlsson corralled it, wheeled it up the right dot and smoked a wrist shot top shelf through Weninger's glove for the 1-0 lead.
Before the first stanza came to a close, St. Lawrence tied it up in transition with 52.9 remaining. The Saints broke up a Northeastern cycle at the blue line and SLU charged into the Huskies' zone. Nelson Armstrong passed it down to Jeremy Wick on the far post and Wick connected with Greg Carey on the far post. Carey made one juke and beat Mountain with the backhand on the goalmouth to cinch it up, 1-1.
The second period did not amount to much for either squad early on until St. Lawrence took advantage of its second power play opportunity of the night.
Newcomer Dustin Darou was cited for a hooking call in the far corner at 7:40 and Gunnar Hughes made the Huskies pay 16 ticks later. Kyle Flanagan triggered the power play strike with a dish to Hughes on the near post. Hughes carved the zone with a pass out to Carey atop the left circle. Mountain blocked the initial shot, but Hughes was in position to sneak the puck past the goal line on his second try for the 2-1 led at 7:56.
The Saints maintained pressure and added their third goal of the contest at 13:05. Pat Riley thrust the puck out of SLU's zone to Hughes on the near boards. Hughes thread the needle with a pass to Patrick Doherty right in front of Mountain, but instead of shooting, Doherty kicked it back to Flanagan in between the circles for the easy dunk an a two-goal advantage, 3-1.
Towards the end of the second period, St. Lawrence picked up a 4 x 3 advantage at 16:32, but Northeastern stood its ground and stayed within two tallies of the Saints heading into the third frame.
Northeastern looked like it was about to get back into the game after applying heavy pressure on Weninger, but SLU padded its lead late with two more goals to ice the game.
Chris Martin was the beneficiary of a tough play in front of Mountain. Sean McGovern sent the puck towards the far post and Martin positioned his stick perfectly behind Lauwers as he crashed to the ice and earned the goal upon further review from the officials. Tommy Thompson generated the scoring play at 15:44 from the neutral zone, earning the second assist.
Twenty-six seconds later, Pat Raley netted the Saints' fifth tally in transition on a great look from Sean McGovern at 16:10. McGovern streaked down the right side of the sheet, accepted a pass from Alex Hagen and connected with Raley on the near post for the 5-1 lead.
The Huskies added a late goal immediately off the draw at 18:53, but it was too little too late. Stone won the draw back to Lauwers on the blue line and Lauwers tossed the puck on net. Lauwers put some english on the lob and it made its way past Weninger to close out the scoring on Friday night, 5-2.
Northeastern returns to Hockey East action and will travel to Amherst, Mass., for a Friday night bout with Massachusetts on Friday, Dec. 1, at the Mullins Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.