If the Tommies headed into the newly renovated Matthews Arena looking for a good fight they certainly found one. While the arena was not full, the fans who are in attendance are loud. With the final score being 7 to 5, STU hung with their opponent and can claim the moral victory based on several predictions of them losing soundly to top ranked NCAA competition.
STU took an early 1 to 0 lead 5 minutes into the first when Matt Eagles batted in a loose puck shortly after a Northeastern penalty expired. The Huskies responded by scoring the next 3, the first at 11:49, the second at 12:59 on a delayed penalty, and the third at 16:37. Ben MacFarlane got the start in net. Shots on goal are 21 to 5 for NU. Territorial play is all Huskies in the first with power play opportunities favouring NU 4 to 1, including a full 2 minute 4 on 3.
St. Thomas came out much better in the second period and scored right off the bat at the 28 second mark but NU scored two quick ones at 3:25 and 3:53 to pull away. The Huskies kept up the pressure on several power play opportunities but could not convert. Devan Praught scored STU's 3rd goal at 4:49 off a nice pass from Max Chamberland. Alex Labonte, with his second of the period, scored on the PP at the 11:00 mark to shrink the deficit to one. Shots on goal were 8 to 6 favouring Northeastern.
The third period saw Max Chamberland tie the score in the first minute but it wouldn't stand for long. The Huskies scored at 4:13 to regain the lead and again at 14:57 to finish out the scoring. The audio went out on the video feed around the 5 minute mark of the period and while I couldn't tell what the penalties were for, the Tommies spent most of the last 10 minutes in the box. STU killed off an entire 2 minutes of 5 on 3 and had several shorthanded opportunities late. Final shots on goal were 44 to 15. With the exception of the first period, the Tommies hung strong against a good opponent and certainly look to be on the upswing. Game recap and box score from gonu.com. The Huntington News: Huskies win wild exhibition affair over St. Thomas
St. Thomas heads to Connecticut to play Sacred Heart tomorrow afternoon. You can follow the game live with Gametracker. It starts at 4:30 Atlantic time.