Huskies Assert Dominance, Claim ECRHA D2 CrownECRHA March 5th, 2017 at 10:35PM March 6th, 2017 4:35AM
The ECRHA Division Two final saw the Huskies of Northeastern square off with the Lakers of Oswego, both teams taking very contrasting trips to get to the final. Northeastern, cruising through both Yeshiva and Endicott 6-1 and 6-3. Meanwhile, Oswego got knocked into the loser’s bracket in round one, found themselves gifted a forfeit victory due to Yeshiva’s religious circumstances, then upset the number one seeded Stony Brook Seawolves, followed by revenge on Endicott in the loser’s final. As the puck drop was imminent, many in the arena wondered, would Northeastern continue to cruise, or would the “Lake Show” continue to surprise?
The puck dropped and right away both teams were streaking up and down the rink. Northeastern would earn a few shots on Oswego’s goaltender Michael Boyd, while Oswego would scoop up any rebounds and send them right towards Northeastern’s netminder Brendon Pearlman. Both goalies made some outstanding saves to leave the score deadlocked at zero. It wasn’t until 8:39 left in the first when Justin Saccone would solve Boyd and slip the puck past him to make it 1-0 in favor of the Huskies. After the goal, the two teams continued the back and forth play, it looked as though this game would be decided on who could capitalize on the odd man rushes. Then, before you know it, William Hunt scored his first of the game with 4 minutes to go in the first period to give Northeastern a 2-0 lead. This time, it did not take nearly as long for our next tally, as Max Thalmeier would get the puck at the opposing blue line, make two beautiful moves around two Oswego defenders, then another past Boyd, scoring as he fell to the ground, and giving his team a 3-0 lead which they would hold through the end of the first period.
As the second period progressed, Oswego showed some life, each team exchanged penalties and some 3 on 3 hockey was played, but Brendon Pearlman continued to save everything he could see. Then, with 2:47 left in the second, the Lake Show began, it was Joe Cosme with the goal scoring on a Jack Tofallos rebound to bring the Lakers within 2. The final 3 minutes of the second period ended quietly, as teams continued to trade chances but both goaltenders remained at the top of their game.
In the third however, Northeastern found life, and an extra gear to cap off this game. It was Max Thalheimer first with a blistering shot bar down behind Oswego’s Boyd to give the Huskies a 4-1 lead with 7:30 to go. Less than 2 minutes later, it was Thalheimer again, taking a shot that was saved by Boyd and came back to Thalheimer at about waist level, to which he promptly batted the back out of the air like it was nothing, making the score 5-1. Northeastern would add two more goals to make the final score 7-1 as they would earn themselves the ECRHA Division Two Championship. Goaltender Brendon Pearlman earned himself playoff MVP honors for his fantastic play throughout the Huskies run.
Division two teams added some amazing storylines and excitement throughout the weekend, with each team making some kind of statement towards their resume for the NCRHA National Championship. Northeastern unfortunately, is unable to attend the tournament, conceding their automatic bid to the 2nd place Lakers of Oswego, while Stony Brook did not do as well as they had hoped this weekend, but finished the regular season with only 2 losses. Endicott showed they deserve to be considered, finishing 3rd this weekend, and with some impressive wins on their resume. Yeshiva, a team that unfortunately was pitted into the consolation match, lost to only Stony Brook and Northeastern in the regular season, and even Penn State, who rebounded from their losses to Yeshiva and Stony Brook for a statement victory in the consolation match against the Maccabees and earning themselves a technical 4th place finish at regionals.