Northeastern University pulled into Germain Arena Friday, February 1st to face FGCU D2 Eagles. This was a solid and tight squad that flew in from Boston that came to win. Their presence was felt on that ice immediately. The FGCU D2 squad was down a few players on their crew as some players chose to retain their eligibility to play for the next up and
coming season, while others are still out with injuries. Our boys would probably skate almost twice the amount of time they would be required to with a full squad filling the bench.
Friday evening was the launch of this two game series and play got underway and scoring was on the top of Northeastern's list as they sank the first goal at (19:26), past (#1) Ryan Lynch in the FGCU net. They were successful at a second opportunity at (13:07) (and the tide appeared to ebb in favor of the Boston visitors on Germain ice. Finally though, FGCU
scored their first goal at (4:10) when (#12) Brett Sutton sank one behind (#1) Christopher McIndoe in net for Northeastern U. The period would finish with FGCU down by one goal.
It did not take the Northeastern defense to key in on the slick skating and scoring capabilities of (#10) Dan Echeverri, as they were highly successful at keeping a man on him the majority of his time on the ice. FGCU would have to pick it up a bit heading into the second period as they were not able to rely upon their scoring gun due to some serious man-your-man defense. Penalties were split evenly at three per squad in the opening period and mainly your basic tripping and roughing calls.
The second period puck dropped and it was off to the races, as Northeastern was on their heels a bit to begin. (#10) Dan Echeverri decided it was time for the big guns and smacked the first goal of the period home at (16:25) to even up the score and give new life to the FGCU squad. It was one heck of a scoring rally after this goal, as both teams appeared to
simply answer each others scoring opportunities almost immediately.
Not long after at (16:04) Northeastern U struck again on Ryan Lynch and again at (11:10) to regain a one goal lead at mid point of the second period. This middle round was the least in tallies in the penalty box as each squad only visited the box of time served once.
FGCU would answer with two goals to keep things interesting with (#14) Kevin Zipkin slapping one home at (5:53) and also, (#3) Andy Hanno contributing to the scoring tally at (4:39). This would not be the end of the rally: however, as there was last net sinker scored for Northeastern with only (0:21) remaining in regulation of the second period to secure a (5-4) lead for FGCU's guest heading into the final intermission.
The style of skating differed a bit in the second period as Northeastern kept FGCU on the toes of their blades and gave them a good run as their hosted guests. Northeastern maintained the same speed and stamina throughout their ice time, where as FGCU's
players appeared to become more winded in the middle period as they were don a few on their line rotations. FGCU still gave their all on each run and were able to remain within this match going into the final period of play.
The third period would belong entirely to Northeastern U, as they were able to tally a total of three more goals between (19:35) and (13:49) to pull ahead by four goals. They maintained solid and consistent passing and play through the duration of this game and that is key to winning hockey games. The defense was highly successful at forcing our rifle Echeverri into a frustrated sense of scoring silence which contributed as well to this win. That was until (8:27) when Dan Echeverri sank one last net screamer home for FGCU and to bring the final tally of this game to a defeat for FGCU at (8-5).
Both teams would rest and meet again to complete this series the following evening, Sarturday with an 8:30 PM puck drop on FGCU home ice.