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Northeastern continues hot streak with 5-2 win at Merrimack

Northeastern extended its unbeaten streak to seven games with a 5-2 win at Merrimack on Friday night.

Kevin Roy recorded two assists on Friday night in his first game action since November.
Kevin Roy recorded two assists on Friday night in his first game action since November.
Matt Dewkett

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- Entering Friday night's game at Lawler Arena, Northeastern and Merrimack were heading in opposite directions.

Sixty minutes later, the teams continued moving down differing paths.

Northeastern fell down 1-0 after the first period, but scored five of the game's final six goals ― including all three in the second ― in a 5-2 victory over the Warriors that extended its unbeaten streak to seven games.

The Huskies gained their third consecutive Hockey East victory and now stand 8-12-4 on the season with a 3-8-3 league mark. NU has not lost since Dec. 6, 2015 against Boston College.

"I liked the way we stayed in the game," Huskies head coach Jim Madigan said. "In that first period, I thought we carried the play territorially but we got down 1-0. I just liked how we stayed to our game plan and came back in the second period. ... We kept coming."

The Warriors drew first blood just 5:06 into the contest as sophomore Brett Seney scored his fifth goal of the season, tipping home Jared Kolquist's shot from the point. Kolquist let the puck fly from the left point and Seney drove the net hard to notch his second goal in as many games.

Northeastern held a 16-6 shooting advantage in the opening frame, but finally solved Warrior sophomore Collin Delia at the 1:23 mark of the middle frame.

Sophomore Dylan Sikura got credit for his fourth goal in three games, getting to the front of the net and jamming a loose puck home following senior assistant captain Mike McMurtry's nice work to battle in the low offensive zone.

Captain Brian Christie set up the Warriors' go-ahead goal at 3:48 as he worked around the net and fed sophomore Mathieu Tibbet at the front of the net.

The teams traded penalties, but could not convert in the next couple minutes. McMurtry found the back of the net himself at 8:53, jamming home a rebound at the crease.

Huskies captain Kevin Roy got the puck to McMurtry for his fourth goal of the season and second of three points on the night. Roy returned to the lineup after a 12-game absence with an upper-body injury and recorded two assists in his first game back.

"I thought he played really well," Madigan said of Roy, a Ducks prospect. "He played 200 feet, he went on the offense, he snapped a couple off, he was really good away from the puck coming back, and that's how we're playing as a team."

Although Roy's return was certainly a welcomed sight for the Huskies, it was a balanced offensive attack that got this job done. Four different Huskies found the back of the net on the night with rookie Lincoln Griffin doing so next at the 17:24 mark, crashing the net for a rebound off junior Sam Kurker's initial try.

"You mentioned third line, but we have three lines we think can score goals," Madigan said. "If Kevin Roy is our third line winger we might be in the NHL next week."

The Huskies scored twice in 91 seconds in the first two minutes of the final period to put the game away. Junior John Stevens scored on NU's first offensive zone entry of the third, taking sophomore brother Nolan's assist and banging home a rebound.

Roy created once again at the two-minute mark, streaking down the left wing and faking a shot before passing to Sikura on the opposite side of the ice for the easy score.

The Warriors' record drops to 7-12-5 on the season and 2-6-5 in Hockey East play. The loss was Merrimack's eighth straight ― a streak it had not seen previously seen since 2008-09 ― and 11th in the last 15 games.

"We're not playing Merrimack hockey, that I know," Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy said. "We talk about building this from the net out and we've given up 5, 5, 7, 5 in the last four games. That's just not good enough. We have to get back to playing the way we need to play."