The Northeastern Huskies (4-0-1, 3-0-0 HEA) have struggled against the University of Maine (1-2-0, 0-1-0 HEA), winning only two of their last ten games versus the Black Bears. That all changed Friday night, as Northeastern rolled to a 5-0 win. With his eight career shutout, Northeastern junior goalie Brad Thiessen took over the all time career shutout mark at Northeastern, passing Keni Gibson. For Thiessen, it was his second shut out of the young season.
“Keni Gibson is a big name at Northeastern. To be able to pass someone like that is a big honor and hopefully it’s not the last one we get,” Thiessen noted after the game.
Northeastern scored three quick goals in five minutes in the first period. Northeastern defenseman Mike Hewkin got the Huskies on the board with a shot from the point that beat Maine goalie Dave Wilson five-hole.
Less than three minutes later, the Huskies struck again when Chris Donovan scored his second goal in as many games by backhanding a rebound off a Dylan Wiwchar shot.
The Huskies added to their lead 94 seconds later when Rob Rassey scored his first goal of the season. Freshman Steve Quailer picked up the puck at his own blue line and started to motor forward. By the time he reached the Maine blue line he had caught and passed Maine defender Jeff Dimmen. Quailer than slid a picture perfect pass to Rassey, who one-touched the puck to the back of the net.
“They scored on three of their first four shots,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead. “Against a real good team like Northeastern that’s not an easy deficit to climb back from. But our guys didn’t quit; they kept playing hard.”
Maine started the second with a power play, but Thiessen turned away every Black Bears’ opportunity to hold onto their lead.
As he came out of the penalty box, freshman Alex Tuckerman got a feed from Quailer, bolted down the boards into the Maine zone and ripped a shot that found the far post and bounced into the back of the net to give the Huskies a four goal cushion.
The Huskies finished the scoring when David Strathman scored a third period strike at 7:51 of the third. Strathman had the puck at the point and started to move towards the net. At the top of the circle, he ripped a shot that beat Wilson high on the blocker side.
“I know it sounds crazy saying this, it was a 5-0 game, but we were fortunate to have great goaltending,” said Northeastern coach Greg Cronin. “I know that Wilson would probably like to have a couple of those goals back. I told the team after the game that Maine had as many quality chances as Northeastern did. They set the pace of the game. We have to have a better effort tomorrow night.”
Maine and Northeastern conclude their series Saturday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, ME.