Boston, Mass - While the score line was dramatically different, the result was the same, as Northeastern was able to squeak out a win over Alabama-Huntsville for the second consecutive night, 3-2.
The Huskies, like they did on Friday night's first match up, took advantage of early penalties from the visitors, and capitalized on the man-advantage in the first period just 3:32 in. Mike Szmatula corralled a faceoff, and Kevin Roy zipped a pass to Braden Pimm whose wrist shot found its way through traffic for the only goal of the first period on the man-advantage.
"I think yesterday we weren't a Division 1 hockey team; today we were a Division 1 hockey team," said Chargers head coach Mike Corbett. "That was the difference.
"We didn't talk about a lot of things today, I gave the kids some time, we just talked about competing, and battling, and things like that, nothing system wise."
The Chargers played a much more physical, aggressive brand of hockey Saturday night, giving Northeastern significantly less space to work with, especially on the power play.
"Obviously it was a win, and we'll take the win," said Huskies head coach Jim Madigan. "I thought Alabama played very well. They really came after it from the opening faceoff.
"They had a lot of energy, and I don't think our guys responded throughout the whole game."
Northeastern's power play, which connected early, lost its rhythm through the middle part of the game, but found the back of the net again in the second period to double their lead. With a two-man advantage, Roy sent a point-to-point pass to Cody Ferriero who buried a one-timer just below the cross bar.
After misconnecting on an opportunity earlier on the same power play, Roy and Ferriero switched point spots, opening up the one-timer for the senior.
"I liked on our energy when we were playing 5-on-5, I liked how we forechecked, when we're playing 5-on-5, the problem is we're not playing too much 5-on-5," said Madigan, who's team committed 11 penalties Saturday night.
Up 2-1 in the third period, the Huskies added what turned out to be a crucial third goal, when Colton Saucerman found the back of the net for his first of the season. After outmuscling a defender below the dots, Saucerman's shot went through the legs of UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero, and just inside the far post to give Northeastern a 3-1 lead.
"Credit them; I thought their goaltender played extremely well," said Madigan. "Every time we tried to get a little bit of separation from them, they found a way to get back into the game."
Northeastern will hit the ice for its next game this Friday when it travels to Holy Cross for the first of a home-and-home two game series.