Northeastern started off to a great start, muddled through the second and most of the third periods, but played solid defense in the third to prevent Merrimack from tying the game, and thus walked away with a 4-2 win.
What was good
I really liked the offense that NU can throw up. They tore threw Merrimack’s defense to start off the game and scored 3 goals. They also had several chunks of pressure where they kept the puck in Merrimack’s zone for long periods of time and tired their guys out. I saw a way better cycle than we had last year. Northeastern was really able to move the puck around very well, and I was pretty impressed.
The defense was pretty solid too. They let the 2nd Merrimack goal walk in for the shot, but I didn’t see a lot of egregious errors. Darou made no mistakes, Saucerman took a few penalties but provided some great offensive punch, and Lauwers had a great move to break up an odd-man rush. The freshman defense was solid, and if they keep improving we could have a pretty good defense sooner than some might expect.
The PK was pretty good, and I also was overall pretty impressed by our freshman. Roy was terrific out there, and I think Belonger provided some solid work in there as well. Goaltending was pretty good, that second goal was weak but Rawlings really stepped up in the 3rd and shut Merrimack down.
What needs work
Sustained pressure all game long. This was a problem last year too. The Huskies’ first period play was phenomenal, tons of chances, and never really let Merrimack pause for a breather. However, Northeastern really muddled through the 2nd and most of the 3rd period.
Northeastern was better than expected on defense, and showed an offense that has a ton of potential. The real trick now is to put it all together for the full 60-minutes. Northeastern needs to do that against tougher teams like BC this Saturday.