BOSTON - A season-high 27 blocked shots by the No. 3 seed Northeastern men's hockey team (24-10-1) and 41 saves from sophomore Cayden Primeau set the table for Austin Goldstein in overtime, who scooped up a loose puck before going in on a breakaway and beating Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman to send the Huskies to a victory over the Black Bears in Game 1 of the Hockey East Quarterfinals on Friday night at Matthews Arena, 2-1.
It was a defensive battle throughout the night as Primeau and Swayman (30 stops) matched each other save for save while getting assistance from their respective defensive corps who combined for 40 total blocks in the game (Northeastern, 27-13), including a game-high six from junior Ryan Shea.
The win puts Northeastern on the brink of securing their third trip to the Hockey East Semifinals in the last four seasons, and the 24th win of the season overall, the third most in single-season history. The teams will meet again tomorrow night for Game 2 at Matthews Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are available by visiting NUHuskies.com/tickets.
The victory is also the Huskies' fifth overtime win of the season, matching their OT win total from the previous three years combined.
After playing to a scoreless first period, it was the Huskies who drew first blood midway through the middle frame when Lincoln Griffin created a turnover in the attacking zone before finding Tyler Madden streaking to the cage. Griffin sent the puck over to the rookie center, who ripped a shot top shelf for his 11thof the year.
Maine would draw even with 3:40 left to play in the second period when Brady Keeper picked up a loose puck at the defensive blue line before taking it up ice himself and firing a shot than snuck past Primeau shortside for his seventh of the year.
The score would remain that way until overtime when a bouncing puck wound up on the stick of Goldstein, who went in two-on-one with Zach Solow before electing to shoot and beat Swayman for his first of the season.