BOSTON -- The beginning of the season was not what head coach Jim Madigan and Northeastern were looking for, but the new year has brought new momentum to Huntington Avenue.
It didn't start well for the Huskies as they faced a 2-0 deficit after the first period on Tuesday night, but three unanswered goals to close the night helped them earn a 3-2 win over the 19th-ranked Bulldogs at Matthews Arena.
"I thought it was a great hockey game. We knew we were going to be in a tough game (with Keith Allain's team)," Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan said. "Obviously, there's a winner and we're thrilled we came out on the plus side.
"I thought they controlled the play a little bit in the first, it bounced back our way in the second and in the third, there were chances at both ends," Madigan assessed.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead at 8:36 thanks to a lucky bounce off a Northeastern skate in front of the net. Trent Ruffolo took a pass from freshman defenseman Nate Repensky and his shot took a funny deflection past NU sophomore Derick Roy for the fourth goal of his senior season.
Amherst, N.H. native junior Cody Learned doubled the Yale lead at 10:45, finishing off a transition rush with a wrister past Roy just outside the left wing circle.
Northeastern stormed back in the latter half of the middle period to tie the game at 2-2. Entering the night, the Huskies had won just twice in 12 games when their opponent scores first.
"I feel like we didn't have to work for our goals in the first period," Allain said. "Sometimes when you get into a game like that, you get lulled into a false sense of security. They raised their level in the second, and we were clearly a little bit uncomfortable with it."
At 14:09, redshirt senior assistant captain Torin Snydeman banged home a rebound on a loose puck left out front by Yale sophomore goaltender Alex Lyon. The goal was the Groton, Mass. native's third of the season but his first since Nov. 21 against Merrimack.
Junior Kevin Roy notched the 100th point of his career at 15:40, capitalizing on a puck that Lyon was unable to track in his crease. Senior captain Adam Reid fed Roy who banked one in off the goaltender out of position.
On his 44th career goal, Roy became the 47th player in Huskies program history to reach the century mark and just the 21st to do it in three seasons or less.
"I was more happy that goal made a difference in the game rather than just the 100th point," said Roy, who has contributed five goals and five assists over the last ten games. "By getting it, it just means our team is having success now. Helping the team's success is what we want and we did that tonight."
"I think it's just a little extra that (the 100th point) was part of this game, but you just have to look at it as another goal to help the team move forward."
The third period was a microcosm of a very even game as there were significant scoring chances to break the tie at both ends of the ice. Derick Roy made 13 of his 28 saves in the third, including a pair of key ones at the crease with less than seven minutes to play, denying Ruffolo and senior Tommy Fallen.
Junior Mike McMurtry came up with his first goal of the season and the first game-winner of his career at 16:46, propelling the Huskies to their 20th all-time win over the Elis.
From the low slot on Lyon's glove side, classmate Colton Saucerman fed McMurtry in front for a nice tap-in goal, the team's ninth on the power play in three games.
"It was a long time coming," the Greely, Ontario native said after contributing the game-winner. "I've been getting some chances, but I haven't been able to get the puck in the net. I just stuck with it, and obviously tonight was a pretty good time to get it (with) a lot of emotions going through me."
It was not the best of starts for the Huskies, but Madigan was once again happy with his team's effort when it mattered the most as they bounced back to remain on a high.
"I liked the way our mentality and resiliency was, down 2-0," Madigan said. "We stuck with it and bounced back with a real good second period and grinded it out again in the third period."
With the win, the Huskies improved to 7-10-2 on the season and extended their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) entering a home-and-home weekend series with Boston College beginning Friday at Conte Forum.