BOSTON, Mass. - Fourteen players recorded a point, highlighted by four points from John Picking (two goals, two assists) and the first collegiate hat trick by Zach Solow as the No. 13 Northeastern men's ice hockey team (9-3-1, 5-1-1) exploded for five goals in the first period and never looked back, skating to a dominating 9-1 victory over Merrimack (4-10-1, 2-6-0) on Friday night at Matthews Arena.
The Huskies have now won five straight games and improve to 5-1-1 in Hockey East, good for second place in the league standings.
Northeastern, which scored nine goals for the first time since Feb. 13, 2015, struck twice in the first four minutes of the game with goals from Matt Filipe and Austin Plevy, his first as a Husky, before Patrick Kramer cut the lead to 2-1 with his fourth of the season.
From there it was all Huskies, who scored seven unanswered goals the rest of the way, including a pair from Solow in a span of 1:42 before Brandon Hawkins buried his third of the year just 15 seconds later to give the hosts a 5-1 advantage through 20 minutes.
The offense continued the rest of the way as Solow completed the hat trick with a shorthanded marker five minutes into the second period, followed by another shortie off the stick of Picking on a breakaway with six minutes to play in the middle frame. Picking added a power play strike five minutes later, and Hawkins closed out the scoring with his second of the game in the third period.
Cayden Primeau got the start for Northeastern, making 19 saves through two periods before giving way to Ryan Ruck, who stopped all three shots he saw in his first action of the season.
The teams will meet again next weekend at Lawler Rink. Puck drop on Saturday, Dec. 8 is scheduled for 7 p.m.